A_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 it 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:
Preparation: about 15 – 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves two):
1-2 tablespoons frying oil
about 200 g (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.