24 April 2012

Kimchi Fried Rice

As often as I eat rice, the vast majority of the time, it is simply steamed. I don't often cook it with seasoning, and rarer still, use it to prepare fried rice. It's not that I dislike flavorful rice dishes. I'm usually just content to eat it in its simplest form, the way I've enjoyed it for my entire, solid-food-eating life.

But every now and then, a dish like kimchi fried rice comes along to entice me, urging me to spice up my carbohydrate-laden repertoire. It's a dish about which I've heard great things, but simply didn't bother to make until recently--odd, considering how I seem to always have copious amounts of rice and homemade vegan kimchi in the house at any given moment--following a conversation with a friend about cooking (of course). I have a feeling there is an "authentic" way to go about making kimchi fried rice, but opted for a winging-it version that seems to work best when making fried rice in general; ingredients were added based on availability and personal preference, with amounts adjusted to taste. Consequently, I didn't commit exact amounts of each ingredient to memory, but the process itself was simple enough that it wouldn't be difficult to replicate with a little bit of cooking intuition.
Here's what I did: I heated a very small amount of canola oil in a nonstick pan (just enough to lightly coat it) over medium heat, threw in the sliced white part of a scallion, some kimchi (lightly squeezed of excess liquid), and shelled edamame, sauteeing them until cooked and tender. When the kimchi was slightly caramelized, I added cooked white rice (brown would certainly work), added a bit of kimchi liquid, stirred the contents of the pan until the ingredients were well combined, and continued to cook the rice (stirring frequently) to allow it to get crisp in some areas. I stirred in a bit more kimchi and the reserved, sliced green part of the scallion just before removing the fried rice from heat.
The grains turned a lovely reddish hue and absorbed the tangy, spicy flavor of the kimchi. Because I used a nonstick pan with minimal oil, this dish wasn't greasy at all, but still had the texture and flavor reminiscent of fried rice. It was a simple yet flavorful and satisfying dish I will likely make again when I feel like changing up my rice routine.

What's your favorite way to prepare and eat rice?

5 comments:

  1. Kimchi fried rice is the greatest!  Or kimchi as an omelet filling--hooray!  But since that's not what you asked, my favorite way to eat rice (and most grains) is to make a big hot salad with a lot of sauteed vegetables.  The other day I had a quinoa salad with sauteed onion, zucchini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and red pepper, all in olive oil.  So good!

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  2. Looks so delicious, thank you for sharing! I'm going to try this at home. 

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  3. Did you make the kimchi or buy it?  If you made it, what recipe did you use?  If you bought it, where did you get it?  I want to eat this very, very badly!

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  4. Did you make the kimchi or buy it?  If you made it, what recipe did you use?  If you bought it, where did you get it?  I want to eat this very, very badly!

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  5. I make my own kimchi, adapting this recipe: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/easy-kimchi I simply use soy sauce instead of fish sauce and omit the squid. I think there are vegan varieties of store-bought kimchi available at some grocery stores and Asian markets, but I've never really looked.

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Thanks for reading! Your comments are always welcome and appreciated. :)