Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Korean Kimchi Fried Rice - 김치볶음밥 Kimchi Bokkeum Bap)

Korean Kimchi Fried Rice  - 김치볶음밥 Kimchi Bokkeum Bap
Stir-frying the chopped ingredients 
Cooking the rice with the kimchi
Korean Kimchi Fried Rice, topped with a traditional fried egg
Korean Kimchi Fried Rice  - 김치볶음밥 Kimchi Bokkeum Bap
(L-R)  Korean red chili paste (Gochujang)
and fermented cabbage Kimchi 

Exhausted from the series of nightshifts from my job of late that I just want to have a simple supper. Something that is both easy and quick and yet must be tasty enough to satisfy my taste bud and my hungry soul.
Korean Kimchi fried rice seems to be an obvious choice. It takes minutes to cook and requires very few ingredients, most of which I tend to keep in my kitchen anyway. The main ingredients for this, as the title suggested, are Kimchi and some leftover steamed rice. Like a good Chinese fried rice, this dish is best made with cold rice as freshly cooked rice tend to produce a wet and gloopy result. I often cooked a big batch of steamed rice for a meal and freeze any leftover as these can then be defrost quickly in a microwave and used for a quick supper of fried rice when needed. Kimchi is basically fermented vegetables that are essential for every Korean household and are eaten with every meal. The most common variety are the cabbage kimchi. In additions to these, any meat and vegetable combinations that takes your fancy can be added but I have stuck to the more traditional route with diced bacon, carrot and top off with a sunny side up fried egg. 
(Note: If you are using freshly steamed rice, make sure that you make it well in advance and allow it to cool completely)

Recipe:
(Serves 2)

Around 450g cold cooked short grain rice, best Japanese sushi, if not, Jasmine or Basmati will also do
1 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 stalk spring onions, cut into thin rings and separate the green from the white
3-4 strips of bacon, diced 
200g kimchi, cut into small pieces
1 small carrot, diced
2 tbsp Korean chilli pepper paste (Gochujang)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sesame seed, toasted in a dry pan
1 tsp of black sesame seed, toasted in a  dry pan (Optional)
2 sunny side up fried eggs (Optional)


Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a wok over medium high heat. When smoking, sauté the garlic and the white part of the spring onions for a minute, until fragrant and add the bacon and continue to stir fry for another minute before adding the kimchi, carrots, gochujang. Stir fry for 5 minutes until the kimchi has soften and the flavours  has develop. Mix in the rice and soy sauce and stir until everything is well incorporated and the clumps of rice has been broken up, about 4-5 minutes. Add the sesame oil, stir to mix and turn off the heat. 


Serves top with a fried egg per person and garnish with the reserved green part of the spring onions and the toasted sesame seeds.









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