Gyeran Bokkeumbap is a fast and easy Korean Egg Fried Rice. The addition of quick marinated and pan fried pork belly will turn this into your new craveable bacon and eggs favorite!
Dinner with Mom
When I was young, and it was just the two of us, my mom would make effortless Korean food for dinner. American food, with all of its ingredients and preparation time, was for when the men were home. Withhold your shock - this was the 1970's.
When it was just us girls, she would usually fry up some cold rice, add an egg, some meat, and some kimchi, and call it dinner. At the time I felt cheated out of a home cooked meal, but now I see that was exactly what she was giving to me. Filling food, prepared simply, the way she had it when she grew up.
What is Gyeran Bokkeumbap?
Gyeran is the Korean word for egg, bokkeum means to sauté or stir fry, and bap is rice. All together, that gives you egg fried rice! A common and traditional Korean dish that is quick and easy to make, and so tasty. I used to make a variation of this for my kids' lunches with pieces of smoked sausage and a drizzle of fragrant sesame oil.
My mom would usually serve my rice with cold ham, which played well with the hot rice and spicy kimchi. I decided to go a step further and serve mine with a little bit of quick marinated and stir fried samgyeopsal, or pork belly, for a bit of bacon and eggs.
Quick Korean Lesson: Samgyeopsal
- SAM = three
- GYEOP = layer
- SAL = fat
- THREE LAYER FAT: Referring to the layers of fat and meat when you slice bacon or pork belly.
Koreans don't really have foods that are only thought of as breakfast, lunch, or dinner foods. Gyeran Bokkeumbap can be eaten at any time of day and any day of the week. Me? I like mine for breakfast. Egg fried rice is the kind of dish that gets my day off to a great start! Served with tasty pork belly and spicy kimchi - this is bacon and eggs taken in a totally new direction!
Ingredients in Gyeran Bokkeumbap with Pork Belly
For the Egg Fried Rice
- Cooked white rice Whether you use a rice cooker, a pot on the stove, or microwaveable rice bowl - it's all good. I prefer short grain, or sushi rice for the stickiness and texture. As long as you don't use instant rice, which is just dehydrated rice, and has a broken texture. Yuck 😖. Day old rice is best because it is drier and so will better stir fry and absorb the flavors we are adding.
- Eggs Plan on one egg per serving, or more if you really love eggs.
- Green onion Also known as scallions, these have mild onion flavor. We are going to cook the lighter green portion and garnish with the darker green parts. You will chop all the green onions and separate into two piles - light and dark.
- Soy sauce Good fried rice should taste like nicely seasoned fried rice, not just soy sauce. We use just a tablespoon, which plays very nicely with the sesame oil. With just a tablespoon of soy sauce going in, you'll want to taste your rice and adjust with salt to your liking at the end.
- Sesame oil I love this fragrant oil and have been known to just open the bottle and take a whiff. I do this a lot actually 😂. It is a very potent oil, so don't freehand the pour. Measure as directed!
- Sesame seeds I feel like a fried rice dish isn't finished until you add a light sprinkling of sesame seeds. A light sprinkling. Like putting on a headband - not a tiara.
- Kimchi (optional) To most Koreans, no meal is complete with a bit of kimchi on the side. This spicy fermented cabbage is a staple in every Korean household and is truly best friends with rice. It's an acquired taste that you really should acquire. You can find kimchi in any Asian market. If you see it in a regular grocery store, run. Not kidding. Run to the Asian store for the real thing.
- Nori (optional) These are sheets of dried seaweed, usually pre-seasoned with sesame oil and salt. They can be found at any Asian market, most grocery stores, and online. I like to break up pieces on top of my fried rice to mix in. I also love to place a small portion of rice in the middle of a sheet and pop the whole thing in my mouth. Yum!
For the Pork Belly
- Pork belly This is just an accompaniment to the rice, not the main course, so we'll only cook about 3 to 4 pieces per serving. I buy the pre-sliced skinless pork belly that is cut about ¼ inch thick. Occasionally, all I can find is thicker chunks of pork belly. In this case, I freeze the meat for about 15 minutes, just to firm it up a bit, then slice it as thinly as I want it. Ultimately, what you want is 2 inch pieces of pork belly about ¼ inch thick. Or close enough.
- Gochujang This is a sweet and spicy red pepper paste that you can usually find in the International aisle of you local Mega Mart. If not, it's worth a trip to an Asian market, or you can order your gochujang online.
- Honey This enhances the sweetness of the gochujang and brings down the spice level just a bit.
- Soy sauce and sesame oil Just a bit of these two are used in the marinade to loosen up the consistency and a bit of salty flavor.
- Ginger and garlic We're not looking for big chunks of either, so use a fine grater or zester to grate these into the marinade.
What is Gochujang?
Gochujang is a deep red, spicy-sweet Korean paste made from chili peppers, glutinous (sticky) rice, and soybeans. It is usually used to flavor soups and stews, and as a base for dipping sauces and marinades. This addictive paste adds a subtle, or striking heat, depending on how much is used.
How to make Gyeran Bokkeumbap
- Cook your rice Cook your rice according to the package or rice cooker directions. Let cool and then refrigerate at least 8 hours, or up to one day.
- Marinate your pork belly In a medium bowl, Mix together your gochujang, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Add your sliced pork belly and gently massage until the pork is completely covered in the marinade. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Cook egg Whisk your eggs together and add a small pinch of salt. In a large nonstick pan, cook eggs over medium-low heat until they are set, but not completely cooked. You should still see some wet yolky parts. Set aside on a plate.
- Cook pork belly In the same nonstick pan, cook the pork belly, on both sides, until it is caramelized and sizzling. Set aside on a plate and wipe out the pan with paper towel.
- Cook rice, part 2 Add vegetable oil and a bit of sesame oil to the same nonstick pan, now over medium-high heat. Cook on one side until it starts to turn a light golden color and has a little bit of a crispy texture, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add flavors Scoot the rice over to one side of the pan. Add the light green portion of the green onion to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes, just to soften them a bit.
- Combine Mix the rice and green onions together and then drizzle over top with the soy sauce and sesame oil. Continue cooking the rice while evenly distributing the soy sauce and sesame oil throughout all the rice. It will be a light tan color when done. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
- Add eggs Turn heat off and add back in the eggs, breaking them up into smaller curds. The residual heat of the rice will complete the cooking without drying the eggs out. Sprinkle over top with sesame seeds and most of the dark portion of the green onions, saving some for individual garnish.
- Finish Spoon egg fried rice into shallow bowls. Garnish with a little more sesame seeds and a final sprinkling of green onions. Serve with slices of pork belly, nori, and kimchi, if desired.
Storage and reheating
Cooked rice should be refrigerated within 2 hours, 1 hour if the temperature where it is being held is hotter than 90°F. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
To reheat, place desired portion of rice in a microwaveable container, sprinkle lightly with water, cover lightly, and heat for 30 seconds. Stir, and continue heating and stirring in 30 second increments until hot, or until internal temperature is 165°F.
FAQs about Gyeran Bokkeumbap
Looking for more Korean influenced recipes?
- Braised Korean Short Ribs
- Slow Cooker Galbi Jjim (Korean Short Ribs)
- Gochujang Glazed Salmon
- Tteok Mandu Guk (Korean Rice Cake and Dumpling Soup)
Gyeran Bokkeumbap with Pork Belly
- ½ pound pork belly without skin, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 1 tbs gochujang
- 1 tbs honey
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 4 large eggs whisked
- 4 green onions
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Nori toasted seaweed
- Cook rice by your favorite method and let cool. Refrigerate overnight or spread out onto a parchment paper lined large baking sheet and allow to cool for at least an hour.
- In a medium bowl, mix garlic, ginger, gochujang , honey, soy sauce, and sesame oil together. Slice pork belly into 2 inch pieces. Add pork belly slices and massage gently to cover all pieces with the marinade. Marinate the pork belly for 20 minutes.
- Slice green onions into ¼ inch pieces, placing light portions and dark portions in seperate small bowls.
- Set large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil and add eggs. Cook eggs until just set, but not completely cooked. They will continue to cook when added to the rice. Set aside.
- Return pan to medium-low heat and place the pork belly slices in the pan, in a single layer. Pan fry for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until the pork belly is well caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
- Wipe out pan and place back on stove over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- Add rice to pan and cook on one side, without moving, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you get a bit of crispiness and just a bit of color on the bottom of the rice.
- Scoot rice aside and add the chopped light portions of green onion to the other side of the pan. Sauté until the green onions soften just a bit, about 2 minutes.
- Mix the green onions together with the rice and drizzle over top with soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix throughly until they are distributed throughout and rice is hot. Taste for seasoning and adjust for salt if needed.
- Turn off heat and add egg back to pan. Fold in until warmed through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and most of the dark green onions, saving some for individual portions.
- Serve, garnished with more green onion and sesame seeds. Serve with pork belly, nori, and kimchi if desired.
The nutritional and caloric information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It does not assert or suggest that readers should or should not count calories, and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s or doctor’s counseling.