NEXT! by Joanne Lipman: Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice from The Korean Vegan

In Next!: The Power of Reinvention in Life and Work, I profile three different chefs—all of whom started out in very different fields. Enjoy some of their signature dishes and drinks with your book club, including this Kimchi Fried Rice from Joanne Lee Molinaro, The Korean Vegan.

Joanne Lee Molinaro is a forty-something Chicago trial lawyer. During the pandemic, simply to blow off steam and relieve the stress of the shutdown, she began posting TikTok videos of her cooking vegan recipes, often backed by a soothing classical piano soundtrack played by her pianist husband. It was a hobby, nothing more, posted under the nickname her husband gave her, “The Korean Vegan.” But her TikTok videos went viral. She ultimately became so popular she quit law, wrote a bestselling cookbook, and turned The Korean Vegan into a full-time occupation.

Joanne featured her recipe for Vegan Egg and Tofu Katsu Sandwich in an early viral video that helped make her name, and this delicious rice dish is one of  Joanne’s early ‘veganized’ Korean recipes.

Next!: Book Club Buzz, menu, author. note, giveaway


3 servings

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

15 mins

NEXT! by Joanne Lipman: Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice from The Korean Vegan

Recipe from the Korean Vegan:

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 cups day old, cooked and cooled white rice, divided
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced  
  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 1 whole carrot, diced
  • 1/2 head broccoli, chopped
  • 3-4 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small Yukon gold potato, diced
  • 2 kale leaves, julienned
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Roasted nori strips
  • 1 green onion chopped
  1. Make the sauce: combine gochujang, soy sauce, and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to a very large pan over high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add 1 cup of rice, spreading across pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fry rice in oil until it begins to toast. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Repeat with remaining rice.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add onion, garlic, kimchi, carrot, broccoli, mushrooms potato, and kale. Season with a little salt, and saute veggies until they begin to brown.
  5. Add sauce and stir until all veggies are coated. Add fried rice and stir until fully incorporated.
  6. Turn off the heat and add sesame oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and nori, and top with green onions.