I love cabbage, as well as all things spicy, so I always figured I would love kimchi. Trouble was I couldn't seem to source it locally. This sourcing issue went on for some time until one day (years down the road) I wandered into a Whole Foods and in one of those hallelujah moments happened to spot a jar.
The first recipe I couldn't wait to try was Curtis Stone's Kimchi Fried Rice. I just knew I would absolutely love it! Visions of eating kimchi fried rice on the regular were running through my mind while I was prepping the ingredients. In fact, my mind must've ran away from me completely because I failed to drain the kimchi, producing less than desirable results.
The whole point to using leftover white rice is because the leftover rice is somewhat dried out and therefore stays nice and fluffy when fried. Being in LaLaLand and pouring kimchi juice over the rice really changes the overall texture of the dish. Acknowledging the texture of the dish was ruined, I was still feeling very positive that I would enjoy the flavor of the kimchi. Imagine my surprise when I did not. Don't you kinda hate that? Those times when you just know you're going to love something and then you just don't?
I'm not ready to say I don't like kimchi. In fact, I'm convinced I just had a bad experience and I'd like to give it another try one day. So please share your thoughts. Do you like kimchi? Is there a certain brand you buy? A certain recipe you follow?
Kimchi Fried Rice
Adapted from What's For Dinner?
by Curtis Stone
6 tablespoons canola oil
4 large eggs, beaten
4 cups cold Perfect Rice (see below)
3 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1-1/2 cups napa cabbage kimchi, drained and very coarsely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons black and/or white sesame seeds, toasted
Sriracha or other hot sauce, for serving
Cut the dark green tops of the scallions on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Finely chop the white and pale green parts. Reserve one-fourth of the dark green scallion tops for garnish.
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the canola oil and tilt to coat the cooking surface. Add the eggs and quickly stir for about 30 seconds, or until just cooked but still wet. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the rice and cook, allowing the rice to become slightly crisp on the bottom of the wok before stirring, for about 4 minutes, or until heated through. Add the carrots and stir for about 1 minute, or until beginning to soften. Stir in the kimchi, followed by the scallions (both tops and bottoms), and stir for about 2 minutes, or until heated through. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the eggs and season to taste with salt.
Transfer the rice to a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and the reserved scallions. Serve hot, with the hot sauce.