This kimchi pork stir fry has only four main ingredients, helping you to simplify your shopping list. Spicy kimchi is a Korean dish of fermented vegetables that are seasoned with a particular type of chili powder called gochugaru. Though napa cabbage-based kimchi is the most common, there are many kimchi variations using other vegetables as the main ingredient. Pick the type of kimchi you like best to flavor this dish!
I’ve had an interest in vegetable fermentation for quite a while. Earlier this year, I shared my recipe for sauerkraut as well as instructions for how to ferment beets and turnips. More recently, I wanted to learn more about the process of making kimchi.
There are a ton of kimchi recipes out there, and I ended up settling on The Minimalist Baker’s vegan kimchi. A fellow foodie recommended it, and the recipe contains pineapple juice, which I felt was a fun twist.
You can save a lot of time by purchasing store-bought kimchi to use in this recipe. Making kimchi is a slow food process that took me a total of 1.5-2 weeks from start to finish.
Using store-bought kimchi and cooked brown rice, you can get this meal on the table in under 30 minutes. (If you don’t have leftover cooked brown rice, quinoa is a quick-cooking option that can substitute.)
Additionally, the simplest form of this kimchi pork stir fry only requires four ingredients:
- Pork tenderloin
- Avocado oil or other oil of choice (and you can skip the oil if you use a fattier cut of pork than tenderloin)
- Brown rice (or another whole grain)
I chose to add some additional veggies that I had kicking around on the side as well. That’s it!
That said, there are some definite advantages to making your own kimchi.
Though sometimes shortcuts in cooking are necessary, going the slow food route does offer benefits. First, if you are making kimchi, you can adjust the spices in a way that is tailored to your taste buds.
Classic kimchi is often very hot from the gochugaru. I chose to use half of the amount used in The Minimalist Baker’s recipe. This made a much milder kimchi than you might be able to obtain from the stores.
If you have family members who do not like heat in their food, making your own kimchi is the way to go.
Second, you can add and subtract produce items from the kimchi recipe to fit your taste preferences. I’ve heard of dishes such as cucumber kimchi that I have never seen ready-to-eat in U.S. grocery stores.
Last but far from least, fermenting vegetables is one way to preserve them. This allows them to last for a long time in your fridge. These days, it seems like fermentation and other methods of food preservation may have renewed societal importance.
Finding ways to make our fresh foods last can mean fewer trips to the store. And fewer store trips may help to reduce our risk of getting exposed to the coronavirus.
Freezing and drying fruits and vegetables are two well-known preservation methods. Consider fermentation methods to be another tool in your toolbox of strategies that can help you to eat healthier.
Some even find creating slow foods, such as sauerkraut and sourdough bread, to be relaxing. If you have extra time at home right now, why not adopt a new hobby that may help reduce stress? I think you’ll be pleased with the delicious results!
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Kimchi Pork Stir Fry
- 1½ lb. pork tenderloin, sliced thin
- 1½ T avocado oil (or other cooking oil of your choosing)
- 1½ c chopped kimchi (store-bought or make your own)
- 3 c cooked brown rice (equals 1 cup dry brown rice)
- optional fresh salad veggies (I used 3 sliced Persian cucumbers, 10 chopped grape tomatoes, 3 T of rice vinegar, plus a sliced scallion for garnish)
- Heat your cooked brown rice, if necessary. If you are using dry brown rice, keep in mind that it takes 45 minutes to cook. (Quinoa is a much faster option for those who are short on time.)
- Prepare any optional fresh salad veggies you are adding to the dish. I drizzled a mixture of tomatoes and cucumber with unseasoned rice vinegar. Set aside.
- Add the oil to a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Put the pork slices in the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pork is browned on all sides. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add the kimchi to the skillet and cook until just heated through, about 3 minutes.
- To serve: Divide the brown rice between four plates. Top each with an equal amount of the kimchi pork stir fry. Add any fresh salad veggies or garnishes you've prepared. Enjoy!
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). The calorie count on this meal includes the optional side of cucumbers, tomatoes, and scallion I added. Other non-starchy veggies/fruits are similarly low in calories and shouldn’t have a major impact on the calorie count given. This easy meal is high-protein, low-calorie, and high in volume from the veggie-packed kimchi. If you want a low-carb and lower-calorie dish, swap the brown rice for riced cauliflower. Important! Kimchi and other fermented veggies are not generally the best option for those on low-sodium diets.
Have you tried kimchi? If so, was it a napa cabbage-based kimchi, or did you try one of the less common varieties?
Also, please don’t forget to leave a rating if you try this kimchi pork stir fry recipe! (Five stars means you thought it was awesome.) Thank you for dropping by to my little corner of the net!