Kimchi Fried rice (Vegan)
If you like kimchi, this is an easy delicious dish you can make in less than 15 minutes as long as you have cooked rice.
I've posted a recipe for vegan kimchi and mentioned how versatile kimchi is. Kimchi is a staple food in Korea that has been around for thousands of years and has recently become very popular all over the world including here in the United States. I was pleasantly surprised when Costco started stocking Kimchi for their customers. It was about time and for a good reason. Not only is kimchi delicious but it's also very healthy. It's mostly made with fresh vegetables such as cabbage, cucumbers, daikon radish, green onions and hot pepper, but keep in mind if you're a vegan, the traditional kimchi recipes include fish sauce as one of the ingredients. Even though my mother says it doesn't taste the same, I think it comes pretty close and I have no problem not using the fish sauce.
It's known that there are over 100 different kinds of kimchi but one of the most well known is cabbage kimchi. Cabbage kimchi is the most popular since you can make many different cooked dishes using fermented cabbage kimchi, and one of them happens to be kimchi fried rice. Just be sure to use fermented kimchi and not the fresh ones. Trust me, it won't taste the same. Never ever use fresh kimchi when cooking with it.
Usually when I can't think of anything to cook and I have sour kimchi in the refrigerator, kimchi fried rice is one of those dishes I can whip up in a very short time. It's super easy to make, and it's one of my favorites that my whole family enjoys.
Before I became plant-based almost three years ago, I used to add calamari and shrimp to this dish and my kids used to love it. My girls still prefer it that way but they still enjoy it even without seafood, but if you're not vegan and want to add some seafood, I highly recommend going with either calamari or shrimp or both!
This is a vegan recipe so I'll be using totally fermented kimchi (at least about 10 days old), corn and peas. The only other ingredients you'll need are sesame oil and sesame seed and a little bit of soy sauce depending on how much kimchi you're using. Since kimchi is already full of spices, you won't need any other spices or ingredients.
There are only two ways to mess up this dish. One is using unfermented kimchi and the other is using sticky rice. Unfermented kimchi is not to be cooked with. It's usually eaten fresh as a side dish and using sticky rice can make the fried rice too wet and will be too "sticky" and that's not what you want. You want the rice to be fluffy, not mushy.
2 cups of cooked white or brown rice (I like to use half and half)
1 cup of fermented cabbage kimchi, finely chopped with a little bit of kimchi juice (too much juice will make the fried rice sticky so don't go overboard with the juice)
1/2 cup of corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
1/2 cup of peas (frozen or fresh)
1 Tbs of soy sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp of sesame seed
1/2 chopped onions (optional)
Cook rice according to instructions with a little bit of less water than normal so the rice turns out a little more dry. It's a good idea to make the rice ahead of time and let it cool before using since just cooked rice tends to be more sticky. Leftover rice cooked the night before is ideal.
Heat a large wok or skillet on a medium heat (I like using the wok since it gives me more space to work with).
Once the wok is hot, add chopped kimchi with juice (you have the option to use any kind of oil if you wish but I like to use no oil for health reasons)
Keep stir frying the kimchi until the juice almost disappears
Add chopped onion if using at this time and stir fry for another 2 - 3minutes.
Add corn & peas. Stir fry for another few minutes until everything is well mixed.
Add rice & mix well
Add the soy sauce and mix well
Do a taste test and add more soy sauce if needed
When everything is mixed well, turn off the heat
Add the sesame oil and seed right before serving.
Tip: Even though this is kimchi fried rice, uncooked cabbage or radish kimchi (kkakdugi) goes well with this dish when serving.