First, I made a few batches of cucumber kimchi. Easy. (Undeniably delicious, too.) Then, I branched out to the more traditional kimchi, using locally-grown cabbage from Square Roots Farm, and kohlrabi and garlic chives from our CSA. My recipe was a sort of hybrid of Tigress’s, and David Lebovitz’s. It seems nearly impossible to really mess it up. It sat on the counter for about a week, and has that fermented, sharp, spicy, crunchy kimchi thing going on — you know what I mean if you love kimchi. If I had the capacity, and stamina, to make the 20 or so pounds Tigress makes, well, I’d be a happy (and garlicky) woman.
In the meantime, I dump great crimson piles of kimchi on just about everything, and I prepare this, the ultimate hangover lunch: kimchi fried rice.
Actually, scratch the hangover modifier. This is just a really good lunch. Top it with a fried egg, and feel free to swap in other vegetables or even meat. The original recipe calls for 4 ounces of pork loin to be browned with the onion in a little bit of vegetable oil, before adding everything else. Also, although I used white rice, brown works, too — and it really is best with leftovers (though that hasn’t stopped me from making a pot of rice in the morning to fry later that afternoon). However you do it, it’s fantastic, and it’ll take all the willpower you can muster not to eat both servings straight out of the pan as you hover over the stovetop, chopsticks — or fork — in hand.
Kimchi Fried Rice Recipe
Adapted from Quick & Easy Korean Cooking by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
- 1 tbs. butter
- 1 tbs. Asian sesame oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
- 3 c. cooked rice, chilled
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 c. kimchi and its liquid, coarsely chopped if in large pieces
- 2 eggs
- toasted sesame seeds
Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and zucchini and cook, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and the zucchini begins to brown. Add the rice, breaking it up with your spoon or spatula, and cook, stirring, until the grains are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and kimchi and cook for a few minutes more to warm everything through. Season with salt to taste and put the rice in a serving dish.
Return the skillet to heat, and add a bit more sesame oil. Fry the eggs in the sesame oil until they’re cooked to your liking. Dole out individual portions of the rice, topping each with an egg, and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Serve immediately.