When I was staying in Montauk, on the farthest tip of Long Island, New York, I went to a seafood store and found it was full of fresh seafood. The large sea scallops especially got my attention. The fishmonger said they are so fresh that I could even eat them raw. So I decided on the spot to make haemul-kimchi-bokkeumbap, kimchi fried rice with seafood.

Does the look of the kimchi fried rice topped with seafood remind you of another dish?  It looks like seafood paella, right? When I traveled to Spain years ago, I tasted paella for the first time and totally fell in love with it! It might be because the dish is full of my favorites: rice and seafood! : ) I met a Korean-American businessman who grew up in Spain, raised by his mom’s Korean cooking. He said: “My mom always thinks paella is similar to Korean fried rice!” I couldn’t agree more!

I used to make seafood kimchi fried rice without any shells at all, but ever since I started going to Montauk I started to make it with the half-shells as you see it here in this recipe. It looks great and is fun to eat, especially with the wasabi soy sauce for dipping.

Enjoy the recipe!


Serves 2 to 3

For wasabi soy dipping sauce, optional

  • 1 tablespoon wasabi powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce


Prepare shrimp and scallops:

  1. Place shrimp and scallops in a bowl and sprinkle salt and ground black pepper. Mix well by hand.
  2. Add the potato starch and mix well. Set aside.

Make garlic mixture:

  1. Heat a thick pan over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add garlic, onion, and green onion and stir them with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture turns a little crispy and light brown.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to a large 12 inch skillet, leaving about 1 tablespoon of infused oil left in the pan.

Cooking seafood:

  1. Heat the pan over medium high heat and add the shrimp and scallops one by one and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until the bottoms turns light golden brown. Turn them over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until all sides are nicely cooked and look opaque.
  2. Transfer them to a large platter.
  3. Using the same pan over medium high heat, add mussels and clams with ¼ cup water. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes until they are open and cooked. Remove from the heat.
  4. Put the clams and mussels on the platter next to the shrimp and scallops. If some are not opened yet, cook them a little longer and then let them cool down a bit until you can handle them with your hands.
  5. Split the shells of the clams and mussels with your hands, leaving the half-shell with meat on the platter and discarding the empty half-shell. Now all the seafood is ready on the platter.

Make kimchi fried rice:

  1. Heat the skillet with the garlic mixture in it over medium high heat. Add the kimchi and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute until the kimchi is slightly withered.
  2. Stir in the rice, kimchi brine (or water), gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
  3. Stir all together until well incorporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add seafood:

  1. Reduce the heat to medium and tuck all the cooked seafood into the top of the rice. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the bottom turns a little crunchy. You can tell when it’s ready when the crispy rice makes a “ticking” sound in the pan.
  2. Remove from the heat and drizzle sesame oil over top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  3. Serve right away with wasabi soy sauce (if used).

Make wasabi soy sauce:

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon wasabi powder and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Mix it well with a spoon.
  2. Gather all the mixture together with the spoon and roll it into a ball with your hands.
  3. Put the wasabi ball back into the bowl (or another clean bowl). Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce.


  1. Serve in the skillet on the table with individual bowls and plates so that everybody can take what they like into their bowl and enjoy it.
  2. Mix the wasabi in with the soy sauce in the bowl. Everybody can dip their seafood into it as they eat.

If you like to make soup, I suggest choosing a non-spicy soup such as honghap- miyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels) or baechu-doenjangguk (cabbage and soybean paste soup).

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  1. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11 & has 61 comments

    Another great dish, Maangchi! I will make this tomorrow, with shrimp, octopus and calamari. I love how you take such big bites of super hot food!!!! I howl every time!

    One note: most wasabi powder is powdered horseradish with mustard. To kick the heat up, mix with water and then cover and let sit. Then it gets hot, as the horseradish and mustard re-hydrate and react with the air.

    Great dish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. anothersesameseed Earth joined 2/19 & has 5 comments

    What brand of short-grain rice did you use in the recipe, Maangchi-ssi? I am considering making this recipe soon.

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