Saturday, July 20, 2024

Kimchi can be more than a side dish

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Kimchi can be more than a side dish

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I have a love-hate relationship with kimchi. On the one hand, I don’t like the smell … at all.  At the same time, I do admit it is a good side dish for grilled meat.

During the pandemic, my family and I would occasionally have samgyupsal kits delivered to the house and, of course, kimchi is included among the side dishes. Consequently, since only my daughter really eats kimchi we end up with several small containers of kimchi in the ref.

Breakfast time comes and I open the ref scrounging for something to cook and I see one of the kimchi containers.  It has, probably 1 to 2 tablespoons of kimchi left in it and I had an idea. I looked around the ref to check if there is cold rice. Jackpot! Now off to the kitchen to cook and assemble my breakfast.

Prepping my ingredients

Prepping the ingredients for my Kimchi fried rice is simple.  All I need are garlic, kimchi, and 1 cup of rice. I mince the garlic then I chop up the kimchi into tiny pieces, setting aside the sauce. For the rice, I just scoop up 1 cup of cooked rice and set it aside.

Choosing a pan

I have a few pots and pans, most of which I bought over the years. I usually rotate between these brands (in no particular order): Chef’s Classics, Masflex, Hosh, and Tramontina.

Lately, I’ve been using my Tramontina non-stick pan for pan-frying. I was able to buy it on sale at S&R a few months ago. I love using these non-stick pans because:

  1. I use less oil, sometimes no oil, when frying food
  2. They are easy to clean, you don’t even need to scrub
  3. They are just so pretty! And red! I LOVE red cookware. 😍

For what I intend to cook I will use the bigger pan because I will need space to mix the ingredients properly.

Time to cook

We don’t have an electric stove so I take the large frying pan and place it on the infrared burner of my gas stove. Since my pan is so pretty and red, I don’t want to mar it with flame marks.

  1. Turn on the heat and without needing to wait for the pan to heat up place a little oil or butter on the pan. Again, there is no need to wait for it to get really hot.  I only really do that when I am using a wok, not a non-stick pan.
  2. Place the minced garlic in the pan and saute until slightly browned.
  3. Add the chopped-up kimchi (sauce and all), and mix with the garlic. The goal here is really just to heat up the kimchi.
  4. Add 1 cup of cooked rice and mix, mix, and mix until all the ingredients are properly mixed together.
  5. Add salt and pepper or any other seasonings and spices you want, to taste.  My personal favorite is Badia Harlem Garlic Pepper which I buy at Landers. One bottle could last me several months.

Note: If you want to make bigger servings just multiply the ingredients accordingly.

Time to plate!

When it comes to fried rice I prefer using a bowl so that all I need to eat it with is a spoon. To complete my breakfast menu I added a fried egg (sunny side up!) and two pieces of luncheon meat I found in the ref.  In this picture I used Tulip.

To be honest, when it comes to luncheon meat I am indifferent about the brand but as soon as Unmeat Luncheon Meat reaches the local market, I am switching ASAP. 😁

I don’t like throwing away food so I don’t allow leftovers to stay in the ref for long. Although kimchi will keep, if the container is not properly sealed, it will stink up the whole ref. The solution was either to throw it or find a way to eat it. Thank goodness I know how to cook!  Soon I will come up with other ways to cook with kimchi, just you wait! ☺

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