June 20, 2013 by Sara Kreidler
Last fall I made my first batch of kimchi, not really knowing how I would use it once it was ready. I had eaten kimchi before in restaurants, usually as a small side/in lieu of a salad, but I had a LOT of kimchi on my hands and wanted to make a meal of it. As I usually do in such times of crisis, I consulted uncle google who told me to make kimchi fried rice. And I did. And it was good. And we ate all of the kimchi that way, and then I made some more kimchi because now we cannot live without it.
I never got around to posting my recipe for fermenting your own kimchi (it’s an amalgamation of hungry tigress’ recipes here and here and the recipe from The Homemade Pantry), but I will try to do so soon. If you’re itching to make your own kimchi in the meantime, click those hungry tigress links and start fermenting (fair warning, the aroma can be a bit pungent during the fermentation process, and if it is warm and humid where you are you will want to put your fermentation vessels in the coolest part of your house and keep a close eye on it as the warmer temps will likely speed up your fermentation time). The kimchi in the photo above is my second batch, which I made this winter shortly after we moved. We still had 3 quarts of that winter kimchi waiting to be used, along with some pork chops and eggs from the farmer’s market and a ton of spinach and pea greens from last week’s CSA box. Add to that some day-old rice, and you’ve got an awesome meal, a marriage of past and present in a bowl.
The cubed pork and wilted greens are entirely optional; in fact, our past iterations of this meal included neither. You can omit the pork entirely or substitute chicken or tofu. The wilted spinach and pea greens were a spur of the moment, use up what’s leftover from the from the CSA addition, but you can substitute whatever wilt-able greens you have handy (or not add the greens at all). However, the sunny-side up eggs (which we call dippy eggs in these parts) are not optional in my opinion — the fried rice is good on its own, but the addition of runny yolk and crispy-on-the-edges egg white makes it amazing.
Serves 4, with leftover fried rice for later (just fry fresh eggs as needed for the leftovers)
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 6 cups of leafy greens (I used a mix of spinach and pea greens)
- 1/3 cup and 1 tbs canola oil, divided (or other neutral tasting oil that can handle high heat)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 boneless pork chops, fat trimmed and cut into small pieces
- Soy sauce, to taste (use sparingly – I only used about 1 tsp because the kimchi is salty and I didn’t want to over-salt the finished dish)
- 1 quart kimchi, drained
- Red chile flakes, to taste (kimchi is spicy, so add as much additional heat as you dare)
- 4 cups cooked white rice (preferably 1-2 days old, the more dried out the rice is, the better)
- 4 eggs
- Sriracha and/or chile paste, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high flame. Add the greens and cook, stirring often, until completely wilted. Add a pinch of red chile flakes, if desired. Reduce flame to low, cover and keep warm while you prepare the rest of the recipe (stir occasionally to make sure the greens are not sticking to the bottom of the pan).
- Heat 1/3 cup canola oil in a wok (or a large, high sided skillet) over medium-high flame. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant. Add the pork, season with soy sauce and cook until pork is browned and cooked through, stirring frequently. Add the drained kimchi and red chile flakes and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rice and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly and taking care to thoroughly mix together all of the ingredients.
- During the last few minutes of cooking the fried rice, heat 1 tbs canola oil in a medium frying pan over medium flame. Once the oil is hot, crack the eggs into the pan and cook until the whites are set, about 3 minutes.
- To serve, spoon the fried rice into large bowls, top with wilted greens and then an egg. Add sriracha sauce and/or chile paste, if desired.