Mia Hungry Long Time!

Fridge Clean-Up: Kimchi Fried Rice

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I made this recipe on the day of the Superbowl. I had a super delicious brunch that morning and had a few hours before I had to leave to watch the game at a friend’s house (hi Alex!). I was getting hungry again and I didn’t really feel like eating Superbowl food for dinner. While I appreciate a good slice of pizza, this Asian soul was craving something that tastes a little closer to home.

I only had an hour before I had to leave for the game and looking at the contents my nearly empty fridge, only one recipe came to mind: kimchi fried rice! Fast, delicious, spicy, and easy, oh so easy.

In general, you can make fried rice with pretty much anything. Trust me, I’ve tried it. Spam fried rice, hot dog fried rice, even bacon and apple fried rice (not for the faint-hearted). As long as you have the basic ingredients (rice, soy sauce, etc.), you can have this hearty dish in twenty minutes. This particular afternoon, I also had a half empty container of kimchi(most delicious friekin thing ever), a handful of frozen shrimp, and leftover crab meat.

Here we go, cast of characters:
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Day old white rice (please don’t attempt to make fried rice with freshly cooked warm rice, it’ll turn out gross, TRUST), shrimp (peeled and deveined), lump crab meat, scallions, onion, garlic (minced, fresh is better but I had the organic jarred one, it’s just as good), sesame oil, soy sauce, and chili paste.

A little note on the chili paste: you can use any kind you like. I recommend the Sambel Oelek brand, or Sriracha, or the Chili Garlic brand, whatever floats your boat really. If you’re not into spicy stuff, well, maybe you should get the hell out of here! How can you not like spicy stuff? What’s wrong with you?
I’m kidding of course (kind of). Anyways, you don’t even have to add chili paste, since the kimchi will provide spice on their own.

As for me, I’m a complete freak when it comes to chili sauce. I have five different kinds in my fridge at all times, and replenish them often. I put chili sauce on everything. It’s terrible really. But good for the metabolism! Anyways, I’m using a very, very special chili sauce this time:
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But Mia! That’s the regular, boring chili garlic kind! Not special at all!

Oh babes, let me tell you. It is not. To the untrained eye, yes it looks like the regular jarred chili garlic paste. But let’s take a closer look:
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What do you think now?

The chili garlic jar is actually only a decoy jar, hiding the most fabulous, most sought-after chili paste in the world: my aunt Elsie’s homemade chili sauce, aka INDONESIAN GOLD.

Babes, oh babes, this stuff is out of control amazing. My aunt Elsie makes a huge batch of this stuff a few times a year, and we each get a tiny little bottle/jar. I use it very very sparingly, obsessively portioning each use to make sure it lasts until her next batch comes my way.
It is very similar to sambal terasi, which is chili paste made with an obscene amount of Thai red and green chilies, shrimp paste, and lime an lemon juice among other ingredients. My aunt also adds shredded young mangos in there. In other words: it is absolutely fucking awesome. It takes hours to make, long, tear-inducing hours. I feel very bad for you to not have an Aunt Elsie in your life, but I promise, if we ever become friends and you come over, I will let you have a tiny teensy taste. But of course, this stuff is not for the amateur chili connoisseur. It is ridiculously hot. Your nose will run, your lips will burn, and your taste buds on frieking fire. In other words: heaven.

Anyways, as I have said before, any ol’ chili sauce/paste will do though. Pfft (looking down at you condescendingly). Thank you Aunt Elsie, I love your sambal!

Okay let’s move on.

Here’s the kimchi:
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This one was from the uber amazing Foodtown by my house.
When I moved into my neighborhood some three years ago, the Foodtown was old and gross. Then a whole bunch of white people from Park Slope started moving into the neighborhood and formed a community board and before I knew it, the Foodtown closed for renovation and opened with a fabulous seafood counter (with fresh rolled sushi, natch), an olive bar, a make-your-own-peanut-butter counter, an organic and vegan section, and of course, higher price tags. I happily pay a little more for my groceries. So thank you ex-Park Slopians! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anyways, the kimchi is pretty good. However, if you have the time and energy, get your kimchi from a Korean-owned deli, or even better, from K-town. The stuff there is just absolutely delicious.
Also, the more kimchi you put in the fried rice, the better. I only got this container of kimchi a few days before I made this recipe, but I am a heffer, so at this point there was only a third of a container left. Oh well.

Let’s start witch chopping up the stuff needed chopping:
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I rough chopped the onions pretty fine, same with the scallions (throw out the bottom white stuff, chop the remaining white and pale green parts, and separate the super green stuff – the super green stuff doesn’t really need cooking and I like to put them in when everything else is done). I also cut the kimchi into manageable bite-sized pieces.

Oh, remember to save the kimchi juices, that stuff is liquid gold! We’re totally using that in this recipe.

Next, we’re going to make some scramble eggs.
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Okay, about the egg, you don’t need to do this part if you’re going to eat the kimchi fried rice in one sitting. It’s better to fry one egg, over easy, and top the rice with it. Then you break the yolk and start eating… bliss… aah. The only reason why I’m making mine scramble is because I’m saving half of the fried rice for the next day’s lunch, and this is the most convenient way of incorporating the egg part of this recipe.

Heat up your work (or big skillet) with a little bit of vegetable oil and break two eggs.
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Tell me this doesn’t totally look like a smiley face! Hello, little eggies. You’re gonna be so NOM-able when I’m done with you!

Quickly scramble the eggs:
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Don’t overcook them. They’re going to be folded into the hot fried rice later.

Put them away.
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In the same work/skillet, heat up more vegetable oil and a bit of sesame oil (I like to add in more sesame oil when I’m tasting later, because I find it burns too easily to saute the veggies in).
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Throw the garlic in:
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Let it cook for a while but don’t burn them.

Throw the rest of your veggies in, minus the kimchi:
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Cook them for a few minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Now add your “meats”:
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Again, I’m using shrimp and crab here but you don’t have to.
I think most people like using ham, but anything will work. You don’t have to put any protein in if you don’t want to.

Mix ’em up, cook them till they’re hot.
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Then you add in the seasonings: a small pinch of sugar (yes, sugar, trust me), soy sauce, a little more sesame oil, and salt and pepper:
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And you sautee everything until the meats are cooked through.
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Now we add in the kimchi and the kimchi juice:
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Dudes, let me take a brief moment here and apologize for these pictures.
In person, the color of this dish is so fabulous. It’s a gorgeous red.
But when you make fried rice in a hot wok, you have to move really quickly, so taking pictures of the process, by yourself, is a very, very difficult task to do. Especially when you have a crappy point and shoot camera.

Look at what happened here:
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All I got was hot steam. Ouch.

Then I turned on the flash, which is pretty much a no-no when you’re taking pictures of food:
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Actually, I kinda like this one.

Anyways, whatever. I’m just making excuses for my lame photo skills.

You mix everything up:
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Then you add the rice:
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Now you want to mix everything nice and even, and break apart the rice so it’s coated nicely with everything. But you also don’t want to break the crab meat into nothingness, so be gentle.
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My friends, at this point my kitchen was smelling so wonderful.

Now you can add the eggs. You want to add the eggs now instead of early on because you don’t want to overcook them.
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And of course, the chili paste:
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Hello, boys.
You didn’t think I’ve forgotten you, did you?

NOM.

Now you mix everything up and then go into major tasting mode.
Taste everything, adding more salt, pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili paste if needed.
Fold in the green scallions.
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You can’t really see them here, but that’s because I only have a tiny bit.
I wish I had more, I really love scallions. The more the merrier!

Anyways, we’re done!

So easy, right?

Plate your masterpiece.
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Take a sexy close-up…
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Get disappointed by your photography skills (AGAIN) and blame the lack of light in your kitchen and move the plate to a different table in a different room and take another picture:
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And convince yourself that this one is much, much better, while really deep down you know it’s not but you’re so friekin hungry at this point so whatever.

It tasted so delicious. Love, pure love.

Kimchi rocks.
Team kimchi.
Kimcheech and Chong.
Kimche Gueverra.
Kimchi for president.

KIMCHI FO’ LIFE.

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Filed under: Mia Attempts to Cook (Recipes), , , , , , ,

9 Responses

  1. Donnie says:

    Looks really good! Spare me some next time you make it. Make me hungry now (still at work).

  2. Andrew S says:

    Geezzee that looks Glorious.. killing me sitting at work with 4 hours till dinner… Good read šŸ™‚

    Andrew.

  3. Andrew S says:

    HAHA yea uv got a fan in Australia šŸ™‚

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