Kimchi Fried Rice

Full of punchy flavour and mellowed with butter, this Korean favourite is a winner at all times of the day or night.

First sampled at 2am in Clapham (what more  do you need to know), Kimchi Fried Rice is eternally satisfying, whatever the eating circumstance.  A family favourite in Korea, this recipe is very quick and easy to knock up at home. If you can get your hands on some kimchi, you are halfway there.  The rest of the ingredients can be kept on hand in the pantry, they will get used I assure you. I seem to find eternal uses for gochujang paste…. as you do!

Recipe

Serves 2

Long grain white rice, like basmati
1 finely chopped small onion (use half an onion if they are large)
1/2 cup kimchi, chopped
2 tsp gochujang paste (a common Korean red paste, found at Asian shops and good supermarkets)
A large knob of butter
Chopped Chives
Sesame oil
Black sesame seeds to garnish (or regular sesame seeds, toasted for flavour)
A fried egg  (x2)

Method

First cook the rice. As is always the case with fried rice, it’s best to use pre-cooked white rice that you have cooled. I often freeze leftover takeaway rice for this exact purpose. However in the interests of time, this is not always possible. To cook from scratch, pour two generous handfuls of rice into a pot, then pour cold water over the rice until you have enough to cover the rice by the distance from the end of your finger to your first knuckle. I have used this method for years to steam rice and it seems to work a treat.  Cook on high heat until the water boils, then immediately turn it down to the lowest possible setting and cook until all the water has evaporated, around 10 minutes. Do not take the lid off until it’s done. Once cooked, fluff the rice with a fork and pour it out of the pot, into a shallow layer on a plate. The aim is to cool the rice as quickly as possible so the more surface area the rice covers, the better.  Pop the plate into the fridge.

Next chop the onion, chives and the kimchi.

Over medium heat, pour a small amount of regular oil in a pan and add the finely chopped onions. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes, until they start to soften. Add the chopped kimchi and the gochujang paste and stir until the paste incorporates into the mix.  Drop in the knob of butter.  Now it is time to tip the cooked rice into the mix. Stir until everything is well blended then add a few drops of sesame oil. Be careful, it’s easy to over-sesame here.  Stir in the chives and set aside.

In a separate pan, fry the eggs until the edges are crispy and the yolk is still runny, if you like your eggs this way. Which most of us do.

Divide the rice into two bowls, top  each with a fried egg and sprinkle the black sesame seeds over the top.

Very good.

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