No Need for a Wok—Make Flavorful Sheet Pan Fried Rice

Tangy kimchi and flavorful gochujang chili paste give this simple vegetarian sheet pan meal a punch of Korean deliciousness. Using the oven to bake the tofu instead of frying it saves time and makes the tofu chewy and savory. The veggies and rice roast at the same time and an easy tahini-based sauce brings it all together.

Kimchi gives this plant-based meal a boost of umami and fermented flavors with very little effort on your part. Gochujang (a fermented chili paste) adds another burst of flavor. In fact, this easy gochujang drizzle is my go-to sauce for stirring into stir-fries or jazzing up a bowl of rice.

What Kind of Tofu to Use

For best results, buy extra-firm, water-packed tofu for this recipe. Extra-firm tofu has already been pressed, making it dense and sturdy. It’s easy to cube and won’t crumble when you toss it with tamari or soy sauce and roast it.

All you need to do is wrap it in a kitchen towel and give it a few gentle squeezes to remove any excess water. Plus, roasting the tofu instead of frying it requires less oil and less cleanup.

Instant Flavor Thanks to 2 Key Ingredients

Kimchi has become a popular staple in most American grocery stores. You’ll find it in the produce section or refrigerated case with other prepared foods or you can make your own.

To please the American palate, many domestic producers make mild kimchi with just a hint of heat. If you have low spice tolerance, go with mild kimchi for this recipe and adjust the heat with the gochujang.

Gochujang is a Korean chili paste made by mixing hot chilies with sugar, salt, rice, and soy and fermenting it, giving it much more complexity and depth than your usual hot sauce. The resulting paste is thick and intense, and should not be confused with gochujang sauce, which has added ingredients for use as a condiment.

Veggie Variations

Once you get comfortable with this sheet pan technique, you’ll see how easy it is to make it your own. Broccoli and carrots can be swapped out for combinations of cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, or peppers—whatever you have in the veggie drawer.

If you can’t find gochujang, Sriracha will work in a pinch. If you want to go whole grain, long-grain brown rice will work beautifully.

Don’t Let Kimchi Go to Waste

Once you use half of a jar of kimchi for sheet pan fried rice, you’ll have enough left over to use in grain bowls, make a kimchi peanut butter sandwich, or whip up one of these tasty recipes:

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