Kimchi Fried Rice
Some of my favorite and most delicious meals have been ones that were impromptu. There’s something about digging through the refrigerator for whatever might still be edible or recreating leftovers rather than pushing a grocery cart down the aisle for ingredients that makes whatever I cook up more satisfying. Maybe it has something to do with knowing I’m not being wasteful with ingredients, time, and money. Or maybe it’s the inspiration of the moment that makes the food taste better. Or maybe it’s because I’m usually just really hungry — who knows!
Regardless of the reason, there are definitely some ingredients that are handy to have around for these very situations when you’re either too tired or hungry to go shopping or think too much about what you’re going to make. My list of essential ingredients runs long but I can tell you at the top of it are eggs, green onions, and kimchi — all three used to make this kimchi friend rice, or kimchi bokkeumbap.
With a bit more of a kick than regular fried rice, courtesy of the kimchi, this dish really hits the spot on those days when you’re too tired to venture out to the grocery store but still want something delicious. I had all of these ingredients in my refrigerator. I added some porkchops my grandma had cooked for me and after the rice was done I had dinner in about ten minutes. After being slightly fried, the rice develops a chewy texture that helps enhance the salty and spicy flavor of the kimchi and pork. And the fried egg on top? Well, what more do I have to say?
Kimchi Fried Rice (Bokkeumbap)
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
Green onions, sliced
1/2 cup over-ripe kimchi with about a tablespoon of juice, slicedPork, or chicken, or beef, cut into bite-sized bits
1 serving of cooked white rice, the older the better, cooled
Soy sauce, to taste
1 fried egg
1. On medium-high heat, bring oil to temperature. Add green onions and sautee for just a few seconds until softened. Add kimchi and juice and sautee for two to three minutes. Kimchi should become more translucent as it cooks.
2. Add meat and stir-fry until cooked. If using leftover meat that is already cooked, just warm through. Remove from heat.
3. Add rice and fry until rice is a deep golden brown. Add soy sauce to taste. Add meat and incorporate with rice. Serve with a fried egg on top.
This is the ideal dish to make if you have a bunch of leftover vegetables; just chop them up and throw them in! I had some already prepared and seasoned porkchops so I didn’t have to add any soy sauce. You can add cabbage, mushrooms, or bean sprouts to add some more variety to the dish. The kimchi and rice are great together though and complement each other’s textures just fine so if you don’t have any vegetables just the two will be fine.
You can also scramble your egg with the rice or you can do that and still add a fried egg on top! You can also add diced ham or spam. The dish is really what you make it! Besides the kimchi and rice, this dish is so versatile that it can be adjusted easily for whatever you have around. Comfort food at its best. Oh, and don’t forget the miso soup 🙂