Amratha C.S, New Delhi
When we Asians have the last night’s leftover rice in the fridge, a variety of fried rice is born out of it for our breakfast menu. This habit of ours connects us in a way and because of the change in ingredients, it makes us unique in our own ways. Each Asian country has something unique to offer even with a simple dish such as fried rice dish – and guess what they all are just finger-licking good. Thailand has Khao Phat Gai, China has Yang Chow and Nasi Goreng is what Indonesians & Malaysians have got. All these are fried rice with different types of base ingredients. But there is one dish that I end up cooking all the time which requires the least preparation and is close to my heart as I am a Korean food lover. Yes, it’s Kimchi Bokkeumbap (김치 볶음밥) which simply means Kimchi Fried Rice.
Picture Credits: Amratha C.S
Before knowing more about Kimchi Bokkeumbap let’s have a quick look at what Kimchi is, moreover, I am sure most of you know but for anyone new, I will tell you about it. Kimchi is a Korean traditional fermented vegetable, preserved in chili paste, salt, and some other ingredients; with a long history behind it. Usually, the Kimchi you see in Korean dramas and shows are made from Napa cabbage but there is more variety as you will find radish kimchi, mustard leaf kimchi, cucumber kimchi, and so on in every household in Korea. They even have Kimchi refrigerators nowadays. Kimchi is left to ferment for months to develop a specific flavour. Now enough with Kimchi history! As all of you now must be waiting to know what exactly Kimchi Fried Rice is and how to make it.
What is Kimchi Fried Rice?
Kimchi Fried Rice is a quick meal or snack in Korea. You can find them in every Korean household and can also rush into any Korean restaurant and expect to see them right there on the menu. Nobody knows when it started but it’s getting quite famous these days as the Hallyu wave is taking over the world. Kimchi Bokkeumbap is a type of Korean fried rice made with kimchi and rice. To give it more flavour and variety people according to their taste; use different kinds of meat and/or vegetables. I like to make it simple with just a bunch of quick ingredients which are easy to cook and yum to eat. No matter if it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients for making Kimchi Fried Rice: (2 servings)
· 1 cup chopped kimchi (I use Napa Cabbage kimchi) and ¼ cup kimchi juice
· 3 bowls of steamed rice (3 cups)
· 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
· ¼ cup water
· 2-3 tablespoons gochujang
· 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
· 1 green onion, chopped (optional as it’s for garnish)
· 1 sheet of seaweed, roasted and shredded (optional)
How to make the dish:
1. Heat your pan. Add the vegetable oil.
2. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped kimchi and stir fry for about 1 minute.
3. Now add steamed rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for about 5 to 6 minutes with a non-sticky spatula if possible.
4. Then add sesame oil. Right after that, remove it from the heat.
5. And finally sprinkle some chopped green onion, roasted seaweed, and sesame seeds for garnishing.
Personally, I prefer to serve Kimchi Bokkeumbap with a sunny-side -up egg because once the broken yolk runs into the fried rice, it tastes great.
Day-old rice is perfect for making fried rice. But if you are going to use freshly cooked rice, then spread it on a plate and allow it to cool as freshly cooked rice is soft; your fried rice might become mushy.
Kimchi lovers can look forward to try this dish. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.