Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap)

Every time I meet someone from a different ethnic background the conversation usually turns to food. Generally started by me, I usually ask two questions, what nationality are you?, and what are a few of your most popular dishes? This is how I became aware of kimchi. One of the reserve police officers at work told me that he was half Korean (my question number one). I then asked what was a popular dish? (question number two) and he stated kimchi. He then shared with me the fact that some Koreans eat kimchi with everything. I then asked what is kimchi? He advised me that it was fermented cabbage dish. Now being Polish and loving sauerkraut you could probably see the excitement in my eyes. I also thought to myself how have I been on the earth for over forty years and never had heard of this stuff. He told me his mom made it all the time and that it was kind of a pain to make and we parted ways. When I got back home I looked it up on the internet and found some of the recipes came with disclaimers such as “Warning, if you have roommates make sure you ask them permission to make it because it can make your house smell kinda funky”. I figured I wasn’t quite ready for a funky smelling house and left it at that. Fast forward about two years later and I receive the latest issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. What’s inside you may ask? Yep, a recipe for homemade Kimchi. So know I’m obsessed all over again and begin looking for ingredients. I have trouble locating the special hot pepper flakes used in the dish and the quest begins. I locate a Korean market in Ann Arbor and a road trip ensues.

I pull up to the market which received a five-star rating on the internet and before leaving my truck realize I hit the jackpot of Asian groceries. This place is about 5 times the size of any of the ones closer to my house and anyone who knows me knows how much I love ethnic grocery stores. The excitement left rather quickly when I realized every label in the store was in Korean (I think). As usual I turn the items around looking for the English fine print and no luck. I approach a man stocking the shelves and say “excuse me sir”. He stands up, turns, gives me a combination of a nod and a bow and smiles. I begin to give him my run down of everything I need and he listens very carefully until I’m finished. He then states “no English, sorry” and goes back to work. I begin to head to the cashier (who is working alone on a Saturday) and she is too busy to help. I’m getting frustrated and ready to leave when my wife who of course is the more level-headed says “why don’t you just buy some already made and see if you even like it”. I’m instantly reminded that she is generally full of great ideas and I leave with a jar of homemade kimchi made on the premises. So now I’m back at home with the jar and no idea how to get started when, yep, you guessed it, my wife comes up with a cooking blog she found with kimchi fried rice. You can find the original recipe here. This was awesome. I made it Sunday for lunch and actually had the leftovers for breakfast this morning.

Here is what I did.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

4 cloves of thin sliced garlic

3 green onions chopped on a bias (some of the green part saved for garnish)

1/2 of a large red bell pepper chopped

1 large shallot cut in half and then thin sliced

3 cups of steamed rice well chilled in the refrigerator

1 1/2 cups of chopped kimchi

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

salt to taste

1 sunny side up egg per serving

Directions

Saute the shallot, garlic, red bell pepper and green onions in the vegetable oil for a minute. Add the cold rice and stir to coat with the oil. Stir occasionally but let the rice sit for a while to begin browning. When browned to your liking add the kimchi, salt if using, and sesame oil and cook for a few minutes. Serve immediately topped with the fried egg.

Advertisements

2 responses to this post.

  1. Looks good, Ken! I like the changes you made, and your story 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: