Bacon Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi Fried Rice is probably the easiest Korean dish to make. All you need is kimchi, rice, sesame oil, and egg. You can add whatever you like to the basic ingrdients, such as bacon, sausage, or some vegetables, but in a pinch, you can make a great meal with just those four ingredients.
The key to a good kimchi fried rice is using really ripe kimchi. Please do not use freshly made kimchi! Overripe kimchi that you don't know what to do with is perfect for kimchi fried rice. I'm telling you, kimchi is a dish that just keeps on giving. You buy a jar of kimchi and it never goes bad... you just make dishes based on how ripe it is.
Today I made bacon kimchi fried rice. Ingredients for two servings:
- 2 strips of bacon, chopped
- 2- 3 cups of cooked rice, a day or two old is better
- 1-1 1/2 cups of overripe kimchi, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of kimchi juice
- 2 eggs
- a drizzle of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion, optional
- 1 tablespoon of nori (seaweed), optional
- some sesame seeds for garnish
In a hot pan, start sauteeing bacon until it starts to render some fat, 3-4 minutes. When there is some fat in the pan, add the kimchi. On medium-high heat, fry the kimchi with the bacon for about 5 minutes, until kimchi is cooked and takes on a deeper red color.
Add the rice. If the rice was refrigerated, warm it in the microwave for a minute to soften the rice. Also add 3 tablespoons of kimchi juice. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
When the rice is almost finished, add a drizzle of sesame oil, mix it one last time, and you are done! The sesame oil makes the dish nuttier and rounds out the flavors. In fact, I wouldn't make kimchi fried rice without it.
In the meantime, fry an egg per serving. I like mine with a runny yolk so that when I mix it with the fried rice, the yolk coats it and makes it richer and creamier.
Add garnishes that you like, such as green onions, nori, and sesame seeds. Now you are ready to enjoy! I like mine with a side of some pickled radish (dan-mu-ji).
Break the yolk, mix it all up, and dig in. Kimchi fried rice is easy, delicious, and affordable. It's a go-to meal for most Korean families since everyone has kimchi at home, and it's a crowd favorite. If you have a jar of kimchi at home, I highly suggest making this dish once the kimchi is no longer "fresh". Soon you will be waiting for kimchi to be overripe just so you can enjoy this dish at home. Delicious!
A few tips:
- If the kimchi is so over-ripe that it is too tart after cooking it, add a little sugar to counterbalance it.
- You can add sesame oil at any time, but I like to add it at the end to preserve the flavors of the oil. You can also start cooking with a little butter in the beginning for some richness.
- Make a big batch and everyone will love you!