Level up your fried rice game with these easy, adorable, Kimchi Fried Rice Balls or Jumeok Bap!
Jumeok bap with kimchi fried rice is a delicious and easy-to-make Korean meal that is perfect for lunch, dinner, or even as a snack. Jumeok bap, or “rice balls,” are a popular Korean dish made by forming seasoned rice into balls and filling them with various ingredients. My favourite Jumeok Bap to make BY FAR is this Kimchi Fried Rice Balls Jumeok Bap! In this recipe, I’m going to show you how to make this, with tips and tricks for an easy quick snack or lunch!
What is Jumeok Bap?
Jumeok bap, also known as “fist rice” or “rice balls,” is a popular Korean dish that is perfect for a quick, healthy, and satisfying meal. This dish is traditionally made with short-grain rice, which I highly recommend. It’s more sticky than regular rice, and will easily hold its shape as a ball.
Why you will LOVE Kimchi Fried Rice Balls?
- Bursting with flavour: Kimchi fried rice balls jumeok bap are packed with a spicy, sweet and savoury taste. You will not stop at one!
- Unique twist on a classic: Kimchi fried rice is great, but turning them into rice balls are even greater! These are such a fun spin on the traditional jumeok bap.
- Convenient and portable: Perfect for on-the-go meals, these rice balls are easy to make and easy to transport, making them a great option for picnics, lunches, or snacks. You can eat these cold, but you can also easily warm them up in the microwave.
- Healthy and satisfying: Made with wholesome ingredients like rice and kimchi, these rice balls are a filling and nutritious meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.
What Ingredients do you need?
- Rice: Short-grain rice (japonica or sushi rice) works best for this. Glutinous rice will also work.
- Kimchi: Chop the kimchi up into small pieces.
- Gochujang: Korean red pepper paste will give it flavour and that tantalising red colour.
- Light Soy Sauce
- Honey: I love honey to add that sweetness, but you can use your sweetener of choice such as sugar, rice syrup.
- Sesame Oil
How to Make Kimchi Fried Rice Balls Jumeok Bap
1. Make the Kimchi Fried Rice
While fried rice typically fares better with overnight rice, you can make this Kimchi Fried Rice with freshly cooked rice.
To a pan, stir fry the kimchi first until the liquid dries out slightly. Add the seasonings and stir to get a saucy kimchi. Add the cooked rice next, and stir to combine. Once rice is evenly coated, turn off the heat. Stir in sesame oil, sesame seeds and spring onions.
2. Make the Balls!
Allow the fried rice mixture to cool for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle. Put on plastic gloves to handle the rice. Alternatively, keep a small bowl of water on the side, so you can wet hands lightly to handle the rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking too much to hands.
Take a small handful of the fried rice mixture. Form it into a ball by pressing it tightly between your palms. Once the rice mixture feels tight and “glued” together, you can shape it into a more rounded shape.
Repeat until all the rice is used up.
Optional: Sprinkle on or roll the finished jumeok bap in crushed roasted seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, chilli flakes or furikake (my favourite) for added flavour and texture.
Otherwise, serve immediately and dig in!
Tips to Make Good Kimchi Fried Rice Jumeok Bap
Here are some tips to make good jumeok bap:
- Use short-grain rice: Short-grain rice is stickier and holds together better than other types of rice, making it the best choice for jumeok bap.
- Keep your hands wet (or wear gloves): When forming the jumeok bap balls, keep your hands wet to prevent the rice from sticking to your hands.
- Press the rice tightly: To ensure that the jumeok bap balls hold together, press the rice tightly with your palms when forming the balls. This will help the rice stick together and prevent the balls from falling apart.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving: Jumeok bap can be served warm or cold, but it is best to let them cool to room temperature before serving. This will allow the flavours to meld together and the rice to set properly.
Fillings for Jumeok Bap
I keep my Jumeok Bap basic and filling-free, but you can get creative and use your favourite combinations! Some popular fillings include seasoned vegetables, canned tuna, more kimchi, and cheese!
To assemble the jumeok bap, take a small handful of seasoned rice and form it into a ball using your hands. Make an indentation in the center of the ball and add your filling. Gently close the rice ball around the filling and form it into a tight ball. Repeat until all of the rice and filling are used up.
What type of rice should I use for Jumeok Bap?
Short-grain rice is the best choice for making Jumeok Bap. I use Japanese sushi rice. It is stickier and holds together better than other types of rice, making it perfect for forming into balls. You can also try this with long-grain white or brown rice, but the effect won’t be as effortless.
How do I cook the rice for Jumeok Bap?
Rice Cooker: To cook the short-grain rice, use a ratio of 1:1.1 of rice to water. Rinse the rice well, or until the water runs clear, and soak it for 30 minutes before cooking. This will allow the grains to soak up some of the water, for more even cooking. Then turn the rice cooker on and allow it to cook. Once the rice is cooked, gently fluff with a rice paddle, and close the lid for another 5-10 minutes before using.
Pot cooking: To cook the rice, use a ratio of 1:1.1 for rice to water. Rinse the rice well and soak it for 30 minutes before cooking. This will allow the grains to soak up some of the water, for more even cooking. Bring the water to a boil in a pot, add the rice, and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for an additional 10-15 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Can I use leftover rice for Jumeok Bap?
Yes, you can use leftover rice for Jumeok Bap. However, it is important to make sure that the rice is not too dry, as this can make it difficult to form into balls. I would sprinkle on some water on the rice, and pop them in the microwave just to warm and rehydrate the rice.
What type of fillings can I use for Jumeok Bap?
You can use a variety of fillings for Jumeok Bap, including vegetables, meat, seafood, or even cheese. I love adding canned tuna to this. When adding ingredients, make sure they are chopped up to small pieces. Do not add too much fillings though – this might make it harder to keep its ball form. There should always be more rice than filling!
Can I make Jumeok Bap ahead of time?
Yes! These are GREAT for meal prep. You can make Jumeok Bap ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep well for 2-3 days. I don’t mind eating them cold, but if you prefer them warm, quickly pop them in the microwave to warm them up.
If you don’t mind a bit of effort, you can also pan-fry them in some oil. This will have the added benefit of some delicious crispy rice outer layer!
Can I freeze Jumeok Bap?
Yes, you can freeze Jumeok Bap. Simply wrap them individually in plastic wrap so they don’t stick together and store them in an airtight container in the freezer. They will keep well for up to 1 month. When you are ready to serve, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then warm them up any way you like before serving.
More Recipes Like This:
- Kimchi Fried Rice
- Kimchi Udon Stir Fry with Shrimps
- Cheesy Rabokki
- Volcano Kimchi Fried Rice
- How to make sweet fresh kimchi (for those who don’t like sour kimchi!)
Kimchi Fried Rice Balls (Jumeok Bap)Course: Recipes
1 cup cooked short-grain rice (400g)
1/2 cup kimchi, chopped (120g)
1 tbsp vegetable oil (15ml)
1/2 tbsp gochujang
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/2 spring onions, chopped
- Garnishing (optional)
Toasted sesame seeds, roasted seaweed, furikake, chili flakes
- Add oil to a pan, and add kimchi once hot. Stir fry until most of the liquid has dried out.
Then add gochujang, honey and soy sauce. Stir to combine with the kimchi to form a saucy kimchi.
- Add cooked rice next. Stir with the saucy kimchi mixture until well-combined. Once combined, turn off the heat. Add sesame oil, sesame seeds and spring onions. Mix well to combine and allow rice to cool until it is easy to handle.
- Put on plastic gloves so the rice do not stick to hands. Alternatively, prepare a small bowl of water on the side and wet hands lightly with water before working with the rice.
- Take a small handful of the fried rice mixture. Form it into a ball by pressing it tightly between your palms. Keep pressing it tightly until it feels firm. Once firm, shape into a ball. Repeat until all of the rice is used up.
- Optional: roll the finished jumeok bap in crushed roasted seaweed, furikake or toasted sesame seeds for added flavour and texture. Serve and enjoy!
- This recipe yields about 5-6 jumeok bap balls, depending on the size.