Korean food is delicious. Over the past month, Steve Miller has been sharing several recipes to make Korean cuisine easily accessible and he’s back with one more dish. This week he combines two staples of the Korean diet, kimchi and rice, to make one of the most common meals served at home and restaurants: kimchi bokkeumbap (김치 볶음밥).
Just like last week’s bulgogi recipe, making kimchi fried rice at home or in a restaurant is a deeply personal matter. Ask ten people how it’s done, and you’re likely to receive ten different answers. The only things that are bound to be in common are kimchi and rice. Aside from that, everything involved is a matter of taste. While typically the meal is prepared with some sort of meat (tuna and pork being two common varieties), it is possible to make the meal as a vegetarian option by omitting that one ingredient. (Please note that many kimchi recipes use fish, shrimp, or oyster sauce in their recipes, so for a pure vegetarian recipe one will need to research the ingredients for the kimchi used.)
- 2 Cups rice
- 500g pork
- 1 medium onion
- 2 carrots
- 3 stalks green onions
- 2 Cups kimchi
- 1 egg per person
- Soy sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Crushed kim (laver seaweed)
- Cook two cups of rice in advance. This can be done on a stove using traditional methods or in a rice cooker. For more texture in your meal, use rice that was cooked a day or two in advanced.
- Cut the kimchi into bite-sized portions.
- Dice the onion.
- Chop the green onion stalks.
- Cut the carrots into small strips.
- Marinade pork in garlic and soy sauce to taste for at least 30 minutes.
- In a skillet, fry the pork.
- Once fully cooked, remove the pork from the skillet and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan.
- In the same skillet, sauté the onion, green onions, and carrots in cooking oil over medium heat. As an alternative, one can use some of the fat from the pork.
- When the vegetables are cooked, stir in the pork and allow the pork to be evenly disbursed.
- Add the kimchi to the skillet and combine with the pork and vegetables. Liquid from the kimchi container or water can be used if there isn’t enough. Don’t add too much, roughly about one cup of liquid.
- Slowly stir in the rice and begin frying it with everything in the skillet, still over medium heat.
- Continue combining until all liquid has been absorbed or evaporated. For extra spicy flavor add gochujang.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Fry one egg per person.
- Plate and top with crushed kim and a fried egg.
The above is our family recipe, inspired by many and tweaked to our taste. I encourage you take the recipe as a baseline and make your own. At its heart, this is a fried rice dish, putting it in good company with many others from around the globe. What’s your favorite fried rice dish?