Kimchi Fried Rice

September 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is what I make when I have very old kimchi and I am short on time (mentioned here).  This time I made it with beef hot links for added protein and bulk, but these can be left out and be just as tasty.  In general, when I make fried rice, I found the best way to make it is to fry the rice separately from the kimchi and then combine it at the end.

  1. Fry rice.
    • Using a large pan or wok, fry old slightly dried rice over high heat in sesame oil (can use a mix of vegetable or canola oil with sesame oil to cut calories).
    • Add freshly grated black pepper and roasted sesame seeds.  Do not add salt—kimchi liquid will be used for this later.
    • Transfer the rice to a large plate.
  2. Fry kimchi.
    • Squeeze the kimchi until most of the liquid has been collected.  Set the liquid aside for later.
    • Using the same wok, fry the kimchi in a liberal amount of high heat oil (e.g.  vegetable, canola, safflower, grapeseed).
    • Add kimchi liquid and let most of the liquid evaporate.  Keep some on reserve for later.
  3. Add the hot links to the kimchi and cook until hot.
  4. Add the fried rice to the wok and mix well.  Add more kimchi liquid to help combine all the flavors together (this is like adding pasta water to the sauce and pasta to combine all the flavors).

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March 5, 2012 § 1 Comment

What do you do with some trumpet mushrooms and zucchini?  Well, considering that I almost ALWAYS have tofu, garlic and onions on hand, I made a stew with it.  Remember that fermented bean paste (another staple in my fridge) in one of my earlier posts?  These ingredients were really not even leftovers considering the stew I was able to make out of it (see first photo). 🙂

…..On another day…..

We had a couple of slices of thinly sliced pork that was leftover on a night of grilling meat (called Korean BBQ to Westerners). Essentially, these are like the Korean version of bacon, only it isn’t cured or anything–just thinly sliced.  So what do you do with 6 pieces?  Pan fry it with kimchi, of course (see 2nd photo)! 😛  Kimchi is one of those things that you can use a gazillion different ways. It’s sacrilege to throw out “old” kimchi.  As a rule of thumb, the “older” it is, the tastier it is as a stew or pan fried.

Tofu tip:   To make this vegetarian, omit the pork and you can serve fried kimchi with a side of super-soft tofu that is boiled in water or with sliced firm tofu that is pan-fried.  I’ll show this another time since we eat a lot of tofu.

Korean Black Mackerel Stew

August 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

I have a love-hate relationship with meat and seafood…..if it looks or feels kind of gross, then I really don’t want to touch it or have anything to do with it.  So the spouse and I have an agreement that I would never touch or cook whole fish myself and it would be up to him to make the meal.  I have a lot of issues with eating and cooking things that are looking back at me….it just seems so….wrong….!!!

Growing up, mackerel was NEVER a favorite, let alone letting the potent smell permeate throughout the entire house while my mom had it boiling away in a spicy stew!  So I vowed that I would NEVER, EVER cook or even allow this smelly fish into my house….

HOWEVER,  I do have to acknowledge the many benefits of mackerel.  It is PACKED with nutrition, is a lower-in-the-food-chain fish, AND is a sustainable fish!  This is a “feel good” kinda fish.

So as usual, I ate my own words—-I actually made this spicy stew myself and it was surprisingly really delicious.  I still didn’t eat the fish, but I had a little taste of the broth and vegetables.  The spouse was extremely pleased and asked for another bowl of rice!  I think this will have to be entered in my repertoire as a “classic”.

I didn’t document the steps it took to make this stew, but you’ll notice a big, round, white radish in the background.  That’s the Korean version of the white radish we use, but one can substitute it with the Japanese daikon radish.  The Korean white radish has great flavor—it is a little spicier than the daikon radish, but it is more refreshing.  So when cooking a stew that seems a bit “heavy” (like the oily mackerel), then the spicier Korean white radish balances it well with a refreshing finish.  A side of bitingly fresh kimchi is also a MUST!

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