A promise for Kimchi Fried Rice (aka Kimchi-Bokkeumbap) was made earlier in the week and I finally got around fulfilling my promise. There’s a charm to simple, comfort foods like kimchi fried rice: delicious, hearty, and just the right amount of spices to get your sinuses going. It’s also a very straight forward dish to make, that is very forgiving about mistakes. I rarely follow a recipe with kimchi fried rice, because it’s really easy to adjust the taste of it, but I had made an effort this week to measure and document how much of each thing I used so that I have a recipe to share! Unlike most Chinese and Thai fried rice, we don’t aim for dry, separate grains of rice. Instead it’s meant to be a saucier, risotto-like dish. What this means is that you can use fresh or day-old rice. I still go for day old rice because I feel that drier rice grains tend to absorb the kimchi sauce better, but either way works well.
There are many versions of kimchi fried rice out there with various meats and veggies mixed in, but I often find adding extra “stuff” to it, dilutes the “kimchiness”. So I often do a separate meaty stir fry to put on top of the rice instead, as in this case. I used white and portabello mushrooms this time, because that was what I had on hand. Shiitake mushrooms can also be used. For Shiitake, I prefer dried ones over the fresh ones, because dried shiitake develops a very intense flavour that is not matched by its fresh counterpart. Dried shiitake, especially the ones that are fleshier, require soaking overnight. If using shiitake mushrooms, the shiitake stems (fresh and dried, both) should be removed.
So here you have it! Another Nommy Noms recipe, enjoy!
Kimchi Fried Rice (Vegetarian)
- 5 C Cooked Rice (Preferably unseasoned sushi rice, but jasmine is fine)
- 3 C Kimchi (Coarsely chopped and packed)
- 3 Stalks of Green Onions (chopped)
- 4 Tbs Gochujang* (Korean Chili Paste)
- 1/4 C Chicken or Beef Stock (water’s fine too)
- A dash of Soy Sauce (or to taste)
- A dash of sesame oil (optional)
- Seasoned seaweed* (served separately, to be mixed in with rice)
- Vegetable Oil
The Fun Part:
- Prepare the smoky green onion garnish: Place a third of the chopped green onions in a heat-proof ramekin, making sure the green onions are relatively dry. In a wok, heat 1/4C of oil until it just reaches it’s smoking point. Pour the hot oil into the ramekin of green onions (careful!), then mix and season with salt. (This gives the green onions a delightful smokiness).
- Moving on to the fried rice: Heat another 1/4 C of oil in a wok, add the chopped kimchi and fry for a minute or so, until fragrant. Add the rice to the wok and toss with the kimchi, stir for about 4-5 minutes. (If using day old rice, you may see large clumpy chunks of rice at first. Have no fear! As the rice heat ups, the clumps should break apart on its own, you can help it a bit with a pair of chopsticks or spatula, but take care not to mash the rice!)
- Add the Gochujang, stock, soy sauce and the remaining green onions to the wok and stir well.
- Once the rice is heated through and everything is well mixed (ie. all grains of rice should be red by now), add a dash of sesame oil if desired. Garnish with the smoky-green onions and add a fried egg (much better with a runny yolk) on top.
- Serve rice with a bowl of seasoned seaweed to be mixed in the rice.
Spicy Ground Turkey Mushroom Stir-fry
Serves 6 (as a kimchi rice side dish)
- 250g Ground Extra-Lean Turkey Meat
- ~150g White Mushrooms (Coarsely chopped)
- 1 Large Portabello Mushroom (Coarsely chopped)
- 1/2 Inch knob of Fresh Ginger (peeled and julienned)
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Tbsp of Light Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp of Dark Soy Sauce
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang* (Korean Chili Paste)
- 1/3 C Beef stock (or chicken stock)
- 1/2 Tbsp Cornstarch
- A dash of Sesame Oil
- Vegetable Oil
The fun part:
- Mix ground turkey meat with garlic powder, soy sauce, salt, pepper and a dash of sesame oil and let the seasoning and turkey sit for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the chopped mushrooms in a wok and heat at medium high heat with no oil for 5-10 minutes, or the natural juices of mushrooms are released, evaporated and they begin to caramelize. Set aside in a heat proof bowl. Meanwhile, julienne your ginger and mix *half* of the stock with cornstarch to form a slurry.
- Once mushrooms are done. Add vegetable oil to the wok until it thinly covers the bottom, on medium high heat, saute the julienned ginger until fragrant. Add the ground turkey to the wok, and break up the large patty into smaller clumps. Once the surface of the meat is caramelized, add the mushroom and stir well. Pour in the remaining beef stock and the Gochujang, and stir fry until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir in the cornstarch slurry bit by bit until a glossy glaze is formed over the dish. Plate, and serve.
- The Gochujang really brings in an authentic Korean flavour to this dish, so try to avoid substituting it with anything else! Gochujang is a sweet and spicy chili paste with a unique flavour that comes from its fermenting process. It’s made from glutinous rice, chilli and soy beans. You should be able to find Gochujang in most Asian grocery stores.
- Seasoned seaweed may either come as pieces of laver or is already chopped and scrunched up. For the pieces of laver, cut into short, thin strips with kitchen shears.