Kimchi is one of my most favorite foods. I love kimchi in all its forms from the extra pungent kind that has been fermenting for weeks and smells a little like death but tastes like heaven to the quick kimchi that they often serve at restaurants which is much lighter and crisper. A nice accompaniment to heavy Korean BBQ. The one thing I often forget about kimchi is that it is not traditionally vegetarian. Almost all kimchi recipes have fish sauce in them and fish sauce is made of fish. It’s fermented fish which is one of the things that gives kimchi so much of it’s pungent kicky flavor. There are vegan kimchis out there and one of my favorite kimchis of all time happens to come from Dave’s Gourmet Korean Foods and his is vegan.
One of my good friends who also happens to be an amazing cook, Jaime, used to make fried rice for us whenever we’d have boozey dinner parties at her house that would turn into slumber party sleepovers that then turned into brunch around her living room coffee table. She always had the ingredients on hand for fried rice and it was the most comforting thing to eat in the morning after over indulging in wine the night before. She got married and moved and so did our other friends so those impromptu fried rice breakfasts are a thing of the past. However, I made sure to hover over her shoulder while she made it each and every time so that I could learn her secrets and make it for myself. I kind of knew that life would shift and we wouldn’t be doing this forever. This recipe is a combination of nostalgia for those days when we were all single and more like sisters than friends and an ode to one of my favorite fermented foods. I give you, kimchi fried rice.
One of the things I love about fried rice in general is that you can pretty much put anything in here and it will be great. Other additions could be fried tofu, mushrooms, sprouts, broccoli, and sure, some frozen peas and carrots if you like. Fried rice is a great clean out the fridge dish.
Top your kimchi fried rice with nori strips, toasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds, green scallions and a poached egg if you want to make a meal out of it. Have fun and play with it to make it your own!
- 2 Tablespoons of grape seed or other veggie oil
- 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced, green tops and white bottoms separated
- 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 bunch of greens, chopped
- 1 cup of kimchi with the juices
- 2 cups of cooked rice
- 1 Tablespoon of tamari (soy sauce)
- 2 nori sheets, cut up into 2 inch strips
- 2 Tablespoons of toasted peanuts
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Salt to taste
- Heat sesame and veggie oil in skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add white scallions, garlic, and ginger and saute until garlic is fragrant, just a few seconds.
- Add greens and cook until wilted and seared in a few places stirring often.
- Add kimchi with the juices and then add the rice. Pour tamari over top of rice and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed. Cook until all of the kimchi juice and tamari is fully absorbed.
- Put a scoop of rice into each bowl and then top with a poached or fried egg. Garnish each bowl with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, nori, and green scallions.