Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Kimchi Fried Rice
After making kimchi on Friday night, I started to think about ways to use it. I know I like it on hotdogs, and I've used it in tacos, but I had never made kimchi fried rice before. I googled around on it a bit and found an approachable recipe over on Rasa Malaysia (which has officially become my go-to site for easy Asian recipes). I changed it up a bit based on what I had around, but I did cook the rice in the morning before work so it could dry out in the fridge during the day. Freshly cooked rice doesn't behave in a frying pan, it's too wet so it gets mushy and soft.
Kimchi Fried Rice
Variations on this dish abound on the internet, but most of them are topped with a sunny side up egg. Since I would eat a bowl of packing peanuts if you put a runny-yolk egg on top, I opted in. Oh, and by the way this takes all of 20 minutes to pull together, so consider it for a busy weeknight! Just make sure you have a cold beer on hand, kimchi is spicy. You can use less than the cup I used if you can't take the heat.
3-4 cups day-old cooked white rice
1 cup kimchi, chopped, plus a splash of the juice
half an onion, chopped
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, fried sunny side up (optional, but excellent)
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. If you're going to use the eggs, fry them now (cover the pan so the top steams and they'll cook more quickly). Slide the eggs out onto a plate or board, and cover them with a bowl to keep warm.
Add the onion to the oil remaining in the pan (add a touch more if you need it) and cook, stirring regularly, until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped kimchi and cook, stirring, for several minutes, until the kimchi is starting to brown.
Add the rice. Stir it a couple of times so everything is well distributed in the pan, then pat it into an even layer and don't touch it! for a couple of minutes. Stir, redistribute everything, then pat it into an even layer and leave it alone again for a couple of minutes. I think the key to good fried rice is actually letting the rice brown, and the only way you can do that is by not messing with it too much. Repeat the patting and leaving-alone until the rice is cooked to your liking. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, kimchi juice and sesame seeds, then stir and taste it. Adjust seasoning with more soy sauce or sesame seeds as necessary. Divide the rice between two bowls and top each with an egg.