Unprocessed Day 55: The craziest dinner I have ever made


Ready for it? Kimchi fried rice! I never would have sought this out because it just sounded good, it just kind of all fell into place somehow. I got a big head of napa cabbage from the co-op last week along with a daikon radish, and I had green onions on hand. I don’t know why but I just thought “I should make kimchi!” I have never even had kimchi but I’ve seen it around on the internets, and I love all things fermented (so far), so I figured why not?

It was pretty easy. I used this recipe from David Lebovitz, but I didn’t have any chili paste or korean chili. I did have some chinese chili that I got from World Spice and I used that instead. The one bottle of fish sauce I have was the most safe-looking one from the oriental market, i.e. no actual fish in it 😆 I made it, put it in glass jars on the counter, and let it sit to ferment. Mine were out maybe 2 1/2 days before I stuck them in the fridge. Full disclosure: the jars smelled awful when I first mixed everything together! After the ferment time it smelled like something I would probably want to eat. When I got it out of the fridge to make the fried rice, it smelled a little wahoo. I thought if it tasted like it smelled maybe I wouldn’t eat it, but it tasted pretty good. Crazy, but good.

Now that I had made the kimchi, I had to figure out how to eat it.  I think lots of people enjoy it as is but I knew we needed to incorporate into something on our first try.  Fried rice sounded better to me than kimchi stew or soup, but I might try that next time.

I loosely used this recipe from Serious Eats for the fried rice. I used:

  • About 2 cups of cooked brown rice
  • 1 small carrot cut in matchsticks
  • 1/2 medium red onion chopped
  • 1/2 each yellow and orange bell pepper chopped
  • About 1 1/2 cups of kimchi
  • 1/2 sheet toasted nori
  • sesame and olive oil
I sauteed the carrot, onion, and pepper for about 5 minutes and then added the kimchi, heating through. I added the rice and let it cook until it was all heated, a few minutes, then served the rice. I added some oil to the pan and scrambled a couple of eggs, and when they were done they topped the rice, along with the nori, some sesame oil, and we also added some roasted asparagus (random!). Cooking the kimchi took a lot of the strong flavor away, but it was still quite sour. I was thinking next time I might try some avocado on it, or just make a runny egg instead of scrambled.
Like I said, not something I would go seek out to eat, but having tried it, I think it was really good! I didn’t even try to feed this one to The Kid, but The Boyfriend said he liked it too. I would be curious to find or make the chili paste and try it with that. I will have to come up with something else to cook the other half of the kimchi.
Have you eaten kimchi? Any recipe I must try?!

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