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on to a good thing

Recipe: kimchi fried rice

I hope everyone had a good weekend. And for those of you in the US, I hope you had a good long weekend as Monday was Memorial Day. Mine had a little bit of family, friends, food, outdoors, work, and all of that good stuff. But I was also mindful of those who died in the service of our country (the purpose of Memorial Day) as well as those who have served and those who are serving now. My friend’s husband just deployed to Afghanistan and some of us are feeling protective of her – we’re going to provide support and love to her here while he’s there. So it’s been on my mind a lot lately. As usual, the big things in life put in proper perspective the ridiculous things that get our panties in a wad. I wish more people had that perspective.

Our weekend kicked off with a little wine and cheese party so some of my friends could meet my parents. On Saturday we took my parents into Boulder to check out the Farmers’ Market before the Boulder Creek Festival got underway. Sunday morning we saw my parents off on their return home and then we tried to resume Normal Life which had basically left off a month ago. Jeremy and I did house maintenance, tended to an injured Kaweah (she re-sprained her neck sneezing, I know, right?!), got outside, watched a few movies (Black Swan – meh, and Inside Job – excellent), and tried to catch up on some work.

party: cheeses, charcuterie, crostini, smoked oysters

party: itty bitty caprese sticks

farmers’ market: pastas

farmers’ market: tomatoes (the good kind)

farmers’ market: radishes

flowers from manisha for my mother

hummingbird season means putting uv decals up on our windows

we went riding and found dirt, snow, and mud

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a planner. Maybe it’s the OCD in me, but I think it really boils down to the fact that I value my time and try to make the most of it according to my priorities. I even have a general schedule on my calendar for my blog posts. It keeps me on track or else you’d probably never hear from me again. On deck this week was kimchi fried rice mainly because I’m crazy for kimchi. But then I saw Molly’s post this morning and knew that I was clearly on to a good thing!

life is too short to eat crappy food

My mom and grandma spoke often to me of kimchi noodles (in fact, my mom mentioned them again on this most recent visit). I am a self-declared noodle girl and so I asked where they had kimchi noodles. Turns out they made them at home. It also turns out that it was inspired by a series of Korean soap operas they watched. Okaaaaay. But when I saw a recipe for kimchi fried rice in my December 2010 issue of Fine Cooking, the idea for kimchifying my favorite fried rice recipe wedged into my grey matter.

eggs, green onions, pork, brown rice, kimchi

slicing the kimchi

Honestly, I could put kimchi on almost anything. I grew up eating kimchi, so the smell makes my mouth water. Yet, whenever I open a container of kimchi, Jeremy will turn around trying to identify what dead thing crawled into our kitchen and died. White Boy is not a fan. Too bad for White Boy.

steamed rice, beaten eggs, pork in marinade, chopped green onions and kimchi

stir-fry the pork with some green onions

I didn’t really follow the Fine Cooking recipe because I was basically replacing the preserved mustard green with kimchi in my favorite Chinese stir-fried rice recipe. The common themes in all of the recipes (Fine Cooking, Molly’s, and mine) are: pork of some sort, egg, kimchi, rice, and onions. You can’t really go wrong now, can you?

add kimchi to the fried rice

sauté in the cooked eggs, pork, and remaining green onions

Believe it or not, once the kimchi had been fried into the rice, Jeremy liked it. Perhaps cooking it and mixing it in with other ingredients mellowed out the odor some? Either way, I like to have a little bowl of kimchi on the side to eat with my kimchi fried rice. Spicy!

a bowl of kimchi fried rice

goes nicely with more kimchi and some greens

Kimchi Fried Rice
[print recipe]
adapted from Fine Cooking

1/2 lb. pork, medium dice (I use pork loin)
2 tbsps soy sauce (or more)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
vegetable oil (something without a flavor – not olive or sesame)
3 green onions, diced
4 cups cooked short-grained rice, white or brown
3 eggs, scrambled and cooked
1 cup kimchi, sliced (more or less to taste)

Mix the diced pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan or wok. When the oil is hot, add a third of the green onions and stir until just wilted. Add the pork and stir-fry until just cooked. Remove pork from pan and set aside. Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in same pan. When oil is hot, add all of the rice and let sit for a few minutes or until the bottom begins to brown and crisp. Scrape up the rice and stir-fry. Add the kimchi, eggs, pork, and green onions. Stir-fry together for a few minutes. Serves 4.

23 nibbles at “on to a good thing”

  1. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Well said! And yes, life is too short for crappy food. The caprese salad looks awesome as does this rice!

  2. Apron Appeal says:

    I had never heard of kimchi until this weekend. I still haven’t tried it, but I want to…but for all the wrong reasons….see I’m not a huge fan of cabbage much less wet cabbage, but the name, KIMCHI. I love to say it. I am pretty sure that is the lamest reason anyone has ever wanted to try new food but I’m ok with that.

  3. Kristin says:

    Poor Kaweah…just wait Jen, I’m only a few years older than you, & I can strain things or feel as if I’ve pinched a nerve after a good sneeze or sneezing fit. And re. perspective…unfortunately there’ve been a LOT of “putting it in perspective” events lately, but the lessons don’t seem to stick with most of us.

  4. Bing Chou says:

    My wife complains that my pickled vegetables smell like feet, not unlike Jeremy’s reaction to kimchi.

  5. Kitt says:

    Nom! Not long ago I was getting my lunch out of the fridge at work and thought, “Man, someone needs to clean this fridge out because something sure has gone bad.”

    And then I realized it was the kimchi in my lunchbox.

    I definitely want to make this after reading your and Molly’s posts. I need to make that Indonesian fried rice again, too. The ladies seemed to like it.

  6. Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) says:

    lovely recipe, Jen!

    And the pictures from the farmers market are just GLORIOUS! I mean, so bright, vibrant, beautiful!

    And many thanks to your hubs’ friend for her service to our country and I pray for her safety while in Afghanistan.

    Have a great week :)

  7. Nicole says:

    Mm, those caprese skewers looks delicious! I love kimchi bokumbap. For me, its the best comfort food out here. Melt a slice of American cheese on top and you got yourself an amazing dish. Sounds weird, right? After one bite of melty cheese + spicy kimchi + soft scrambled eggs, weird = delicious.

  8. Andra@FrenchPressMemos says:

    I am happy Kat has close friends like you to love and protect her now. It is a tough time and she deserves the support of those around her. Your pictures are outstanding and the kimchi rice looks fantastic.

  9. angelitacarmelita says:

    White southern girl, meets Korean food about two years ago… fast forward to today – I’m a kimchi fanatic and can’t eat, or cook enough Korean food!! I received a not so subtle note from one of my co-workers to keep my addiction at home and please not to bring it to work everyday to eat with everything….. humpf! I can’t wait to try your version of kimchi fried rice, and am now completely fasinated at the thought of putting kimchi over noodles (yes please….) I was glad to read that your life is settling back into a normal (whatever that is) routine and hope Kaweah is on the mend. I swear, if I lived near your farmers market I’d be broke.. beautiful photos Jen, thanks for sharing.

  10. zingara says:

    many years ago my great uncle [who was a col in the army] adopted a young korean girl while he was in service in that country. when he & auntie moved back to the states, his daughter [i guess,my great cousin] used to make kimchi. when one container was used up, another was ready to dig up from the ground. we became great fans of “korea’s national dish” & ate it w/ everything from breakfast eggs to corn bread & sausages to hot grits, etc. after a visit to their home, we were loaded down w/ KC to take back w/ us. naturally, our uninformed friends, [poor sad creatures] found our KC to be disgusting, inedible, ghastly & icky! [to say nothing of smelly!] their loss! thanx for the great fried rice recipe, it would make a very nice dinner. i hope your grandma is exactly where she wants to be. love, marianne

  11. Nicole says:

    With every post I get a little more excited for Food and Light. Those Farmer’s Market pictures are so enticing. Hope it will be open during the workshop.

  12. Margie says:

    Beautiful pics! Hope Miss K., is feeling better each day.

    I’m off to read about kimchi. I’m one of those white folks that doesn’t have a clue. ;)

    Thanks for remembering our Vets. I come from a family of career military; it means a great deal to see our service members honored.

  13. Steph F. says:

    I love that you gave props to our active duty military too. It reminds me that I should wear my uniform with pride every day.

    And kimchi noodles are the way to go! Maybe it’s the Taiwanese in me that loves noodles so much more than rice (though I definitely LOVE my rice)! I find that the white boys I live with actually love kimchi jigae (that amazing kimchi stew). They’re a little apprehensive about the kimchi fried rice though.. odd.

  14. Richard says:

    Kimchi will be a first for me as well. I’ve going to need to source some from somewhere.

  15. farmerpam says:

    yum. I love kim chee, always have jar in the fridge, never thought of cooking with it. I can’t wait to try this.

  16. Suzanne says:

    Yum, this dish looks so good! I must give it a try!

  17. Shoshanna says:

    I’ve tried a couple of kimchi fried rice and none of them turn out as well as the ones you can get at restaurant. Will have to try your recipe! I found that fermented kimchi (the ones that don’t taste as fresh) works better for this and in stews! mmmm

  18. Hannah says:

    as a korean i’m so happy to see that others have joined the love for kimchee friend rice (jeremy needs to join the club!). at home and at some restaurants the fried rice is served with the egg as sunny-side up on top of the rice so that the delicious runny yolk is almost like a rich sauce to mix in with the rice….delicious!!

  19. Hannah says:

    lol, i meant kimchee fried rice, not friend rice…although i guess it’s one way to make friends ;P

  20. Ed G says:

    Those itty bitty caprese sticks look really good. What is that other ingredient, besides the tomato, basil and mozzarella?

  21. Mrs Ergül says:

    Very nice touch to spice up the regular fried rice!!

  22. jenyu says:

    Apron Appeal – I feel that way about certain foods too :) Well, it’d be doubly awesome if you DID like kimchi!

    Kristin – oh hon, I’ve already started pulling muscles that didn’t used to do that! ;) And yes, people always seem to lose sight of what’s important… which is why reality TV enjoys such popularity.

    Kitt – mmm, I have to try your Indonesian fried rice too!

    Nicole – wow, that sounds incredible. I’m scared, but in the good way.

    Andra – Kat is one of those extra special people that deserves to be loved :) xo

    angelitacarmelita – that’s amazing that a co-worker would write that to you! Well, I hope you still get your kimchi fix at home.

    zingara – how awesome is that? now you’ve given me ideas to make my own kimchi :)

    Nicole – it will be! The market is open on Saturdays and Wednesdays, so after our last day of the workshop, you all can hop across the street to the farmers market!

    Margie – she’s fine now and back to her goofy self, thanks!

    Steph F – thanks for your service, girl. xo

    Richard – your best bet is an Asian market.

    Shoshanna – I never knew there was a difference between the ripe and the less ripe kimchis until recently. The ripe is awfully good in cooking – I agree!

    Hannah – he actually loves the fried rice, so we’re making progress. Someday I may even convince him to eat it straight ;)

    Ed G – it’s sundried tomato (really good!). I posted the recipe here:

  23. cindy says:

    i made some kimchi last night. i’m lucky to have a white boy that loves kimchi…it was a prerequisite for marrying this half korean girl ;) i love kimchi fried rice! you can also stir fry kimchi and pork and serve it over rice…it’s delicious!

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