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Korean Rice Bowls with Kimchi and Cucumber

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Korean Rice Bowls with Kimchi and Cucumber

Korean Rice Bowls with Kimchi and Cucumber

Jessica Braider
We couldn’t believe how much we loved these savory, and crunchy rice bowls, suggested by Scramble recipe tester Ailea Sneller. Scramble recipe tester Anne O’Neill said, “My 8 and 10-year-olds said that they really liked the combination of flavors, they enjoyed being able to add their own toppings and decide how much kimchi (which they both tried by the way) they wanted in the dish.”
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups brown or white rice
  • 16 oz. extra-firm tofu or boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 8 oz. sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (or use any variety) (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini (sesame paste) (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed), well stirred, or use creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 6 scallions dark and light green parts, thinly sliced about 1 cup
  • 1/2 English cucumber quartered lengthwise and sliced 2 cups
  • 4 oz. kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage), or use 1 cup shredded carrots tossed with 1 tsp. rice vinegar and 1 tsp. chili paste
  • 1 lime quartered, for serving


  • Cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, drain the tofu, wrap it in a clean dish towel to reduce excess moisture, then dice it into bite-sized pieces, or dice the chicken.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat, and add the tofu or chicken. Cook it for 5 – 6 minutes, flipping it once, until it is golden brown, reducing the heat to medium if it’s getting too browned.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook them for 5 more minutes until they are tender and dark. (If using chicken breast, you may need to remove it before adding the mushrooms so it doesn’t get overcooked. Test a piece by cutting into the center to see if it’s white throughout—if it is, remove it from the pan.)
  • In a small bowl, combine the sesame seeds, soy sauce, tahini or peanut butter, and honey.
  • Add the scallions and the soy sauce mixture to the pan with the tofu (or chicken) and mushrooms and continue cooking it for a minute.
  • In individual bowls, top a scoop of rice with the tofu or chicken mixture, cucumbers, kimchi, and lime juice. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Combine the tofu or chicken, sesame oil, mushrooms, scallions, sesame seeds, soy sauce, tahini or peanut butter, and honey in the slow cooker and cook on low for 5 - 6 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours. Serve over cooked rice topped with cucumbers, kimchi and lime juice as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the rice, drain, wrap, dice, and refrigerate the tofu if using or dice and refrigerate the chicken if using, slice the mushrooms if necessary, toast the sesame seeds if necessary (they burn quickly!), make the soy sauce mixture, slice the scallions, quarter and slice the cucumber, quarter the lime.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Serve it with sriracha and extra soy sauce.  Put a fried egg on top of each bowl.
Tip: Fermented foods like kimchi are loaded with probiotics and are good for digestion and possibly overall health and mood.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 355, Total Fat: 14g, 21.5%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 9%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 209mg, 9%; Total Carbohydrate: 45g, 15%; Dietary Fiber: 4g, 14%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 16g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, All, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
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