Now that you’ve made White Kimchi, it’s time to spice up your fried rice with it. Ubiquitous throughout South Korea, Kimchi Fried Rice translates well across the oceans. If like me you love the ease and comfort of one-bowl meals, you’ll enjoy the flavors, heat, nurturing and nutritious qualities of this fried rice, especially with the addition of the greens and poached eggs. Kimchi Fried Rice has quickly become a favorite in our house for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A very filling and satisfying meal-in-a-bowl.
A fun bit of trivia I just read: South Koreans have made kimchi such an important part of their lives and diet, that when it’s time to take a picture, they say “kimchi” just as we in the West say “cheese” to get the perfect smile.
Last week’s recipe for White Kimchi made without fish sauce and lots of chile paste, tastes much fresher and milder than the typical kimchi. Because of its mildness, I used a full tablespoon of chili sauce in the Kimchi Fried Rice recipe to create a balance of clean flavors and heat. Depending upon the heat of your kimchi, adjust the amount of hot sauce to your taste.
When to add the kimchi
Surprising to me that in many recipes the kimchi gets added to the wok in the very beginning and cooked over very hot heat till crispy. If you remember, the lactobacilli bacteria in cultured foods are heat sensitive. So to preserve their benefits, I combine all the fried rice ingredients except the kimchi. I then turn off the heat under the wok and stir in the kimchi. Thus the good bacteria with their probiotic benefits remain active.
Mise en place
Having “everything in place” makes all the difference when stir-frying. You just don’t have the time to stop and prepare something or measure out an ingredient. The solution? Place everything you’ll need in bowls. Then put the bowls on the counter right next to your stove and wok.
You’ll be so happy for taking the time to set everything up in advance. This includes measuring out and putting the liquids and hot chile sauce together in their own bowl. And, for this recipe, in order to quickly begin poaching the eggs, crack each of the eggs in advance into individual small bowls.
An additional tip
Everything moves very quickly when stir-frying. Before beginning, take a moment to read the entire recipe through a couple of times so you thoroughly understand the steps and are ready to switch into high gear.
Ready, set, action!
Take out your wok. Gather and chop your ingredients. Cook up a delicious Kimchi Fried Rice with Greens and Poached Eggs. Be prepared for a super nutritious and very delicious one bowl meal.
Inspired by and adapted from a recipe by David Chang. The best texture for fried rice depends upon using cold, day-old rice. Choose your favorite color of rice—white, brown, red or black. Poached eggs with runny yolks make this dish especially beautiful and tasty. Feel free to scramble the eggs and mix them into the rice along with the cooked vegetables. Alternatively, fry the eggs instead of poaching them. Or omit the eggs completely for a vegan dish.
For the chile sauce, I used sambal olek from Indonesia as I always have it on hand for making Spicy Peanut Sauce. Go ahead and substitute and/or adjust the amount to taste of sambal olek or your favorite chili sauce such as traditional Korean gochujang or Thai sriracha.
I do as David Chang’s mother does. In order to perfectly cook each ingredient, I stir-fry the ingredients separately then transfer them to a waiting bowl. Then I toss everything together once the rice has heated through.
Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
½ medium onion sliced pole-to-pole
½ bunch Swiss chard; stems sliced, leaves cut in ½-inch wide strips
1 cup frozen green peas
4 cups day or more old, cold cooked black or any color rice
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, divided
1 tablespoon sambal olek or other hot chile sauce to taste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup white kimchi with liquid
1 tablespoon vinegar
3-4 eggs for poaching
- Prepare your mise en place. Arrange all of your ingredients in bowls and set them next to the stove for easy access.
- Heat a non-stick 10-inch skillet with just over 1-inch of water and a tablespoon of vinegar over medium heat. When the water comes to the boil, cover the pan and lower the heat to medium-low.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. When hot stir in the sliced onion. Stir-fry until cooked and slightly brown. Transfer the sliced onion from the wok to a bowl.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok. When hot stir in the chard stems. Cook one minute. Add the chard leaves and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. After one minute stir in the frozen peas.
- Stir fry until the chard is just tender. Transfer the chard and peas to the bowl with the cooked onion.
- Add the final tablespoon of oil to the wok. When hot add the rice. Stir it occasionally for about 5 minutes. You want the clumps broken down and the rice heated through.
- While the rice is heating, begin poaching the eggs: Uncover the pan with the water and raise the heat to bring the water back to the boil. Gently slide the eggs one at a time into the water. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Put the timer on for 5 minutes.
- Stir into the rice two-thirds of the sliced scallion, the cooked vegetables, hot sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. Sprinkle with the salt. Stir-fry until all the ingredients are evenly mixed into the rice.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the kimchi with its liquid.
- Taste and adjust the amount of hot sauce and salt to taste.
- Serve immediately in individual bowls. Top each serving of kimchi fried rice with a poached egg.
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