Fried Rice with Eight Months Old Kimchi

kimchiricepA_Boleyn has recently been a huge inspiration for my regular fridge and pantry emptying resolution. Thanks to her I remember to reduce my food stock more often than ever. Fried rice is a frequent solution during such “actions” because, as you probably know, any leftover meat, seafood or vegetable can be used. Kimchi’s presence makes this simple meal burst with complex tangy and fiery flavours and the older the kimchi the better it is in cooked dishes.

For those who have never heard of kimchi, it’s a Korean specialty consisting in vegetables fermented with hot seasoning. Chinese cabbage (Napa) and white radish (daikon) kimchi are the most famous, but many other vegetables can be “kimchised” (see below). “White” (mild) kimchi also exists but the hot version is the most popular in Korea and abroad.

As a kimchi fan, I make sure I never run out of it and have recently started experimenting with it, observing its changes at different aging stages and also checking how long it can keep in an edible state. When I realised half of an entire fridge shelf was taken by kimchi containers filled at different periods, I thought itย was high time I reduced their size, transferring them to smaller jars and clearing some space. I already knew that old kimchi is excellent in warm dishes, such as fried rice or soups, but this was the first time I used my precious eight months old one. It proved fantastic. (I will report further when its tiny amount arrives to its first birthday.)

If you are in a kimchi making mood, here are some easy and lazy ideas:

Celery Kimchi
Celery Kimchi
Easy Cucumber Kimchi (Oi Kimchi)
Mak Kimchi (Easy Cabbage Kimchi)
Mak Kimchi (Easy Cabbage Kimchi)
White Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)
White Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)

Preparation: about 15 – 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves two):

1-2 tablespoons frying oil

about 200 g ย (about 1 cup) cooked short grain rice (I used Japanese rice)

1 onion (sliced)

two handfuls of vegetables (I have used here a carrot, a small courgette and a piece of sweet pepper), cut into bite-sized pieces, sliced or julienned

2 slices of bacon, ham or leftover roast (pork/chicken)

6 – 8 tablespoons Chinese cabbage (Napa) kimchi, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces (if you prepare mak kimchi, like me, it is already cut into pieces)

4 tablespoons juice from kimchi

1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon soy sauce (depending on how salty your kimchi is)

2 stalks of green onion, chopped

(not obligatory: 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chilli paste))

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil

toasted white sesame seeds

Heat some oil in a pan.

Stir-fry the onion, the kimchi, the meat and the vegetables, starting with those which require a longer frying time.

Stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

Add the rice, the soy sauce, the gochujang and the kimchi juice.

Stir-fry for another 5 minutes scrapping the delicious browned parts that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Combine with sesame oil just before serving and serve with chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds.



32 Replies to “Fried Rice with Eight Months Old Kimchi”

  1. Sounds excellent, I’ve never tried kimchi with fried rice. The only cooked kimchi I’ve had was kimchi chigae. Japanese rice, Korean kimchi, bacon/ham – you can call this United Nations fried rice:)

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. Actually to make it more international, the rice is a Japanese variety but grown in Italy ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Kimchi is Swiss-made ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

  2. I was flattered to see myself mentioned with regard to cooking more with ingredients on hand … rather than letting your stocks accumulate until at some point you end up having to throw things away because their quality has suffered. I do it these days for budgetary reasons, not because I don’t love experimenting with all new ingredients. However, there are an amazing number of dishes that I’ve come up with from those odds and ends.

    I was tempted not to comment at all, because pickled dishes in general are not to my taste but I’m glad that I did just to see all the different varieties of kimchi that there ARE, Sissi.

    1. Thank you once more for inspiration. I not only look through my fridge and pantry more often, but I have actually managed to define a weekly food budget thanks to you. Something I hadn’t managed to achieve for years! Your posts have really motivated me and even though I still spend more than planned, I’m on a good way… Thank you!

  3. Kimchi is not something I am familiar with but I have seen it in restaurants. I love anything pickled so I know I would love this recipe. I read Maria’s live journal too, she is definitely inspiring to clean out a pantry! I must clean out the freezer too, I still have quite a few soups in there.

    1. Hi, Eva. Thank you. You should try making your own kimchi. It’s very easy and rewarding (unless you don’t like sour food…). I never buy it here because it’s horribly expensive and simply not hot enough… (it’s sold in Japanese shops because we don’t have Korean grocers).

  4. I love kimchi fried rice…and you just reminded me that is time to plan on making this dish.
    Hope you are having a great week Sissi ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I, too, have to do this and empty my pantries from all the things that have accumulated and will eventually end up in the dustbin. You found such a creative way to use all the stuff that are neglected!

    1. Thank you, Katerina. I really should clean my fridge more often… It’s a good spring resolution.

  6. I love everything about kimchi and you’re right, it really does inspire the fridge clean-out stir-fry goddess in all of us ;-). What a tasty addition to use bacon here – yum! I don’t tend to have that in my fridge but am always open to picking it up (plus, I’ve been craving Caesar salad lately… perfect double usage). By the way, I tossed some carrots into my garlic dill pickle brine the other day — it worked wonderfully!! (really soaked up the flavour). Thank you for that great tip Sissi. So practical and enviro friendly too.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I’m glad you liked the brine reuse idea. Thank you for your kind feedback. I had no idea carrots would soak up used brine (I have only tried this method with cucumbers), so thank you for this wonderful idea. Now I will put your idea into practice soon ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. yes, the carrots worked like a charm — I used baby carrots and chopped them in half before tossing them in. They were in the brine for 3 or 4 days (lost count) and soaked up the juice beautifully :).

        1. Thank you once again, Kelly. You know how happy you make me with such kind comments! Thank you for the tip. I will try baby carrots then!

  7. Sissi, I haven’t tried fried rice and Kimchi combination yet; I do love both, and have made fried rice with leftover vegetables, and Kimchi by itself, but never thought about combining the two. Such a great idea to mix the two since I love the spicy Kimchi. A beautiful, creative, and delicious combo; love the addition of the ham, as well!

  8. That’s hilarious that half of your fridge is taken up with kimchi. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mine is taken up with jams and pickles. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve never seen bacon in a kimchi dish before. Of course I can’t imagine that it would be a great addition to this dish. I love kimchi but have never made it from scratch. I do need to change that because the last two bottles of kimchi that I’ve bought at the Asain market were not very good. Great dish Sissi!

    1. Thank you, MJ. Only half of one fridge shelf luckily ๐Ÿ˜‰ but it’s already too much for me… My fridge is also packed with jars of pickles, sauces, spreads, misos, gochujang, etc. and all of those take more or less half of the fridge too.
      Kimchi is very easy to prepare (the “lazy” kimchi I prepare because I find the one made with whole cabbage heads too difficult for my clumsy hands…). The fermentation works on its own and you have your own delicious kimchi.
      I made my first one because kimchi sold in Japanese shops here (we don’t have Korean groceries) is just not hot enough for me and too expensive. I never looked back.

  9. I love my kimchi really really mature, especially when it’s used in cooking because then the strong flavours really come through and gives the dish such punch. But I’ve never had the patience to wait 8 months for my kimchi to mature. That probably is the hardest part :p

    On another note, a little hello again. It’s been a while since I’m on the blog scene but finally back, AND glad to be back ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Shu Han, it’s so nice to see you back! I don’t have to wait 8 months actually because I make new kimchi batch regularly, so that I have several “generations” in the fridge all the time.

  10. Kimchi fried rice is delicious. For me and my kids it’s good to have some rice when eating spicy food and this was a great way to start on kimchi for kids. Fried egg makes it a little mild too. Your picture is making me very, very hungry!

  11. I can’t believe you have 8 months old Kimchi in the fridge! My Kimchi never last that long. Besides, I don’t have much storage space in the fridge, so I can’t keep multiple Kimchi jars. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your Kimchi fried rice looks great!

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. Actually I have different “ages” of kimchi in the fridge; this way I can keep one for eight months, another for six, etc..

  12. God I love kimchi… I had a Korean friend in Paris; her mother would ship her over vast boxes with goodies, including huge tins filled with homemade kimchi. We’re talking 4 or 5 heads of cabbage… I was so jealous, and it really was the best kimchi I ever had in my life! I guess it’s true about mothers having the best recipes sometimes! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I hear you can get special kimchi fridges in Korea… maybe you should get one Sissi?! Great way to use some up and “downsize” a little though… looks great!

    1. Thank you, Charles. Yes, I know you can have special kimchi fridge in Korea. I think I must simply buy a second bigger fridge. Then I’ll be able to stock half of it with kimchi…

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