Leftover kimchi was cut into small pieces then stir fried with day-old rice. Topped with an egg, fried sunny side up, and garnished with nori, it makes a tasty and filling meatless meal.
Was the kimchi home made? No, but next time it probably will be. I’ve never really been a fan of food spiced with tons of chili and my first kimchi experience was a total disaster so kimchi was not a regular item in our grocery list. But Sam and Alex love kimchi, and the proliferation of Korean groceries has given us access to really good kimchi — not the muck made from Mars and stuffed in jars that used to dominate grocery shelves. Having tasted really good kimchi, I am now a fan.
This kimchi was bought at a Korean grocery in Malate. Sam discovered it during one of her many food adventures with her friends. They frequent a place called Erra’s, a sidewalk affair along Adriatico Street, where ramen is good and cheap. Within walking distance of Erra’s is a Korean grocery almost next door to Cafe Adriatico.
When Sam first discovered it, she took a lot of photos with her phone and sent them to me to show the variety of the items sold there. She said I should go there because I would really enjoy the food shopping.
The Korean grocery is open 24 hours so after our Oarhouse Pub adventure last weekend, we went shopping for Korean food. Just as Sam’s photos showed, the grocery was brimming with wonderful stuff and they even sell items nearing their expiry date at HUGE discounts. We went home with dumplings, seaweeds, noodles, sausages, marinated tofu and kimchi, among other things.
This kimchi fried rice was made with what remained of the kimchi. I did not invent the recipe. Kimchi bokkeumbap is popular in Korea as it is simple and very inexpensive to make. There are many variants of kimchi bokkeumbap; some include meat and seafood. This is the most basic kimchi bokkeumbap.
Start by cutting the kimchi into small pieces. I used kitchen shears. Then, squeeze to remove excess liquid to prevent the fried rice from getting soggy. Reserve the liquid though as you will need a bit to flavor the rice.
Next, fry an egg. This is optional but a fried egg is almost a universal topping for kimchi bokkeumbap. Skip the egg if you want a vegan kimchi bokkeumbap.
Kimchi fried rice (bokkeumbap)
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan.
- Saute the garlic and onion.
- Add the kimchi and cook until heated through.
- Throw in the rice.
- Drizzle in the kimchi juice. Sprinkle in a little salt.
- Stir fry until the rice is heated through.
- Ladle the kimchi fried rice into a bowl. Top with the fried egg, seaweeds and scallions.
- Serve hot.