It was a quarter to five on a Wednesday afternoon. I was sitting at my desk at work, not wanting to start a new task, because I am ready to end my day. While getting ready to leave work, hunger strikes. I stumbled upon a Korean food blog and a Kimchi fried rice recipe caught my eyes. I clicked into the recipe and the brownish rice with colorful red and green vegetable picture made me salivate. My stomach was making noises and I wanted that Kimchi fried rice. Kimchi friend rice would be the perfect dinner because it looks delicious and the instructions were very simple.
Quick and easy was my growling stomach’s best solution. I made Kimchi Fried Rice for the first time. I purchased the ingredients from a Korean supermarket in Irvine on my way home. The Korean supermarket was called H-Mart, and it was located inside the Jamboree Diamond Plaza. The supermarket has a variety of Korean food. The ingredients in the dish were: Kimchi, beef, rice, sesame oil, carrot, spinach, soy sauce, scallions and sesame. The main ingredients were rice, beef and Kimchi; all the other ingredients are optional.
You could always add or take out ingredients according to your taste. I always have rice, sesame oil and soy sauce at home so I skipped the three items. I grabbed a shopping cart and walked to the right hand side to the fresh produce department. I picked up some Asian spinach and scallions. Asian spinach is similar to baby spinach used in salad, but it has a bit more texture to it and it does not melt when cooked. Since I planned to make a quick and simple meal, I picked up a packet of shredded carrots which would save me some preparation time when I get home.
I moved to the fridge, where the Korean side dishes are located for the Kimchi. Kimchi is a pickled vegetable, spiced with Chili powder and scallions. If you like Kimchi, you can always buy a big tub for later use. Then, I walked to the meat section for some marinated thin cut sirloin. I stopped by the sauce isle for sesame seeds before checking out at the register. The ingredients all together cost me about tweleve dollars which made me a happy customer. I drove home ready to make some delicious Kimchi Fried Rice. Second, I prepared the ingredients for cooking.
I added water to the rice and set the rice cooker for thirty minutes rice cooking time. I put less water than usual so the rice will be less sticky and it will be easier to toss around when making the fried rice. Once the rice is cooked, take it out of the rice cooker and place the pot in cold water to cool the rice down. The main purpose is to harden the rice so it will not stick to the wok when we start cooking it. The ideal fried rice is made with left over rice but if you don’t have that at home, best way is to cook the rice down right after cooking.
Since the beef is marinated and the carrot is shredded, I set them aside. I brought out the Kimchi and rinse them in water. Kimchi is pickled vegetable so it has a vinegar taste to it. I dipped it in water briefly to rinse out the vinegar taste without losing all the chilli powder. I then chopped the Kimchi into small pieces. I filled up my sink to clean the Asian spinach. Unlike salad spinach, Asian spinach usually have dirt on the roots so make sure you wash it thoroughly. After cleaning, I cut them into small chuck for about an inch each.
Moving onto the scallions, I washed and diced them. A tip for making fried rice is to add about one thin slice of butter to bring out the taste. Lastly, I heated the wok and cooked the fried rice. After the wok is heated, add about a table spoon of oil, then throw the beef in. The beef is so thin and it will break into small chucks once you start tossing it around. I added the carrot, Kimchi and spinach one after the other. I keep it on high heat so all the ingredients will have a bit of a burn, but be careful not to over cook the vegetables.
Once done, set aside the the mixture. Keep the high heat on and add two table spoon of oil with the thin slice of butter. Throw the rice in and stir it constantly to avoid it sticking to the bottom. Add some soy sauce for taste and color. I do not measure the amount of soy sauce, instead, I add and try until it fits my taste. I drizzle a little bit of sesame oil before adding the mixture into my fried rice. The toss everything around for a few minutes until you smell this aroma surrounding your kitchen then you know the meal is ready.
My boyfriend and dogs gather around the kitchen because they smelt my tasty meal. He quickly prepped the table, bring out some chopsticks, crack open a beer and get ready to eat. In order to impress him, I attempted to serve it like the Japanese restaurant we went to in Orange. I filled a bowl with rice and flipped it over on a plate. The rice sit nicely in the middle of the plate. I added some scallion and sesame seed on top as finishing touch with some Kimchi on the side. He had three bowls of rice that nice which prove my success in the dish.