From what I gather, Kimchi Fried Rice is Korean Comfort food with a capital “C”… The kind of dish one prepares at home, when there isn’t much in the larder, or just because you want something quick, easy and familiar. This dish is normally served with a fried egg, but I thought I would ramp it up with some sliced boneless Zubuchon. It was terrific! I can’t believe I haven’t cooked this before. And we test marketed it at the Cebu airport stall for a late night flight of a regional Korean airline and it seems to have hit the spot! If you like kimchi, spice and fried rice, you may wish to try a version of this at home.
I took a kilo bag of good (in this case, imported) kimchi and drained off the liquid, then chopped the kimchi into roughly 3/4 inch wide pieces. Save the kimchi liquid in a bowl. Heat up a wok or pan and add a bit of lard or vegetable oil and a tablespoon or two of butter. Saute about 1/4 cup of minced onions, and 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced. To this particular batch, I added roughly 2 cups of chopped up lechon and sauteed that for a couple of minutes. For future batches, I omitted the lechon, as it didn’t do much for the rice, it was better as a clear porky topping. Add the chopped kimchi and let this cook for 2-3 minutes until the color changes slightly, and it is a bit drier. Add roughly 8-10 cups of cooked rice, preferably a few hours old, and cool. Season with salt, a little kikkoman soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of gochujang or red pepepr paste, then add all the reserved kimchi liquid and mix the rice well until it turns a bright orange all over. You could finish with a tablespoon or two of good sesame oil just before serving. Some of you might be wondering about the butter at the start of the process, it has the effect of rounding out the sourness of the kimchi and it adds a layer of richness that you can’t put a finger on when you eat the rice.
At this stage, most folks would fry up an egg, top the rice and dig in. I decided to top the rice with just a bit of boneless Zubuchon (our roasted whole pork belly) and garnished with a bit of chopped green onion… this was a real EYE-OPENER… delicious, spicy, satisfying and addictive. You know it’s well balanced when each spoon full has a bit of leafy kimchi, and it is spicy, tangy and salty. Have a bit of lechon with each bite for a balanced mouth full of flavor, texture and happiness. :)