photo credit: Julie Wampler from Dinner for Two Cookbook
This is my type of hangover food.
Kimchi is Korean spicy, pickled vegetables. While there are hundreds of variations of kimchi (and every older generation has their own family recipe), the most popular version of kimchi is made from red pepper powder, green onion, radish, garlic and cabbage. With this version of kimchi, the vegetables are packed into a jar, and allowed to age gracefully. Here’s a recipe for Homemade Kimchi, if you’re game to make it yourself.
The texture and flavors of the ingredients change and transform during the aging process. New, unfermented kimchi is crunchy, sharp-spicy, and each ingredient still distinct. As kimchi ages, the flavors begin to merge, the cabbage softens, the kimchi develops a slightly sweet, distinctly sour punch and the spiciness actually mellows out a bit – it’s more of an all-over heat, instead of a searing burn-your-tongue sensation.
We use kimchi in unexpected ways:
Steak with Kimchi Butter
Asian Pork Burgers with Kimchi
Skirt Steak with Kimchi Butter
Hot Dogs with Kimchi Relish
Pork Belly Buns with Kimchi
Grilled Kimcheese Sandwich
…and, of course, Kimchi Fried Rice. I’ve actually made Kimchi Fried Rice on The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda, Hey – it’s hangover food and we all know how much those gals love to drink!
This recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice is from my friend, Julie Wampler, author of Dinner for Two Cookbook, featuring simple, everyday recipes to make homemade meals for “one, two, or a few.”
My favorite recipes from the book include:
- Roasted Vegetables with Sea Scallops
- Blackened Fish Tacos
- Grilled Chicken and Kale Salad
- Sloppy Joe’s Mac & Cheese
You’ll love Julie’s blog, Table for Two – check out her most popular recipe, Holy Yum Chicken!
What’s the best kimchi?
These days, big supermarket chains will carry kimchi (in the refrigerated produce section, near the tofu), but when I have a chance to go to an Asian market, I’m always on the lookout for Tobagi brand, “Sliced Cabbage Kimchi.”
If you’re looking to shop online, head over to HMart- they have Tobagi for $ 5.50 a jar, which is actually cheaper than I get it locally.
Or, you can make your own. I’ve also bought regular supermarket kimchi – whatever brand they carry – it’s just fine for kimchi fried rice.
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Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe
Recipe adapted from Dinner For Two Cookbook, by Julie Wampler. (c) 2015 by Julie Wampler. Published by The Countryman Press Reprinted with permission.
JADEN’S NOTES: Fried rice is best made with leftover rice, that’s been refrigerated. The rice is dried out a bit and separated, which makes it perfect for stir-frying. Using freshly cooked, hot rice will make your fried rice mushy. I’ve revised Julie’s original recipe a bit.
Ingredients:3 cups day-old, cooked white rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 stalk, green onion, minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup prepared kimchi, roughly chopped + 1 tablespoon kimchi juice
1 cup frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, or others), thawed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
Break up the rice with a fork or with wet hands, set aside.
In a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat, add 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the eggs to pan and scramble them. Remove the scrambled eggs from the skillet, and set aside in a bowl.
Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil, onion, green onion, garlic and kimchi. Stir fry until onion is translucent and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Turn the heat to high and add the rice and vegetables to the pan. Use your spatula mix the rice with the onion/kimchi mixture. Spread out the rice all over the surface of the wok or pan. Let it cook, undisturbed for 30 seconds. Give the fried rice a good stir and flip, spread it out over the surface of the pan again, and let it cook, undisturbed for another 30 seconds. This lets the rice heat up nicely. Repeat until the rice is hot and steamy.
Drizzle in the kimchi juice and the soy sauce. Add in the scrambled eggs. Stir and mix well. Taste and season with additional soy sauce or more kimchi, if needed.