Kimchi Bokkeumbap – literally translates as Kimchi Fried Rice. This dish is easy to prepare and rather cost effective which explains why it’s a common favourite for Korean students on a budget. This recipe calls for over-ripe or well-fermented kimchi as the deep, spicy flavours is what gives the dish that rich, robust taste which fresh kimchi apparently does not produce. I wouldn’t know as my kimchi comes from a pack…and they’re always well-fermented.
Similar to the Chinese fried rice – leftover or overnight cooked rice is best for this dish. However, many claim that the Korean fried rice is healthier than the Chinese version. Only very little oil is used in cooking bokkeumbap as the kimchi liquids help to soften and lubricate the grains while frying. Apparently, kimchi is also low-calorie and has a high-level of anti-oxidants which aids in digestion and reduces cholesterol. I don’t know how true that is, but I love kimchi anyway so if it’s good for me, then double yay!
Other popular bokkeumbap include Gaeran Bokkeumba (egg fried rice), Dakgalbi Bokkeumbap (chicken) and Seawoo Bokkeumbap (shrimp) – all typically served with a sunny-side up fried egg on top. I love it when the runny yolk is mixed through with the spicy rice…drool.
(I do not have fixed quantities with this recipe, as it’s all about using leftovers and more importantly – using our God-given sense of taste…)
Leftover / overnight long grain rice
A bowl of kimchi, roughly chopped up
A couple cloves of garlic, finely diced
Some form of greens (I used frozen peas here)
Minced pork – marinated with some light and dark soy
Eggs (fried sunny side up – before cooking the rice – saves on washing another pan)
Fresh red chilli, finely sliced (optional – for those who like it SPICY)
Spring onion for garnishing
Heat up a little cooking oil in a wok, stir fry the minced pork, adding garlic and chilli halfway through. Cook the meat till it’s nicely coloured and cooked through. Add kimchi and some of the liquid, mix well and add frozen peas. Once the mixture bubbles up again, add the rice and stir fry till mixed through and all the grains are well coated with the kimchi and pork juices. Season with light soy if necessary (please taste first as some kimchi can be well seasoned already). Serve with a fried egg and spring onion garnish.