Kimchi Anyone?

I believe many of you have heard of kimchi, and if not, I hope that this post can entice you to give it a try.  I’ve come to find that it’s one of those foods that you either hate or love.  There’s no middle ground.

We, Koreans, eat kimchi with everything!  It’s serious business, folks!  A meal without it is unimaginable and considered incomplete!  This especially holds true for the 1st generation Korean Americans.  My parents eat it with pizza, tacos, burgers, spaghetti ( I know..it sounds rather disturbing, but it actually works!)… and just about anything else you can imagine :).  I guess they know what they’re doing, bc if you’re a fan of food trucks at all, you’ve probably seen a lot of Korean fusion trucks that offer kimchi tacos, burritos, burgers, etc.

There are so many varieties of this traditional fermented dish, depending on its main ingredients, the season, and the region in Korea.  Napa cabbage is the most popular and famous vegetable ingredient, but you can also easily find kimchi made with radishes, scallions, and cucumbers.

I’ve NEVER made it myself, and to be quite honest, I don’t think I ever will.  Why?  It’s a very tedious, time-consuming process that I’d rather not suffer through when I can easily find delicious, no msg, ready-to-go jars at the store :).

Oh bless you..Thank you for making my life so much easier!

The biggest benefit of eating kimchi is that it contains “lactobacilli,” the good bacteria found commonly in fermented foods and yogurt.  It also has high amounts of vitamins A and C and fiber.   Although it’s low in sugar and calories, I do have to mention its’ high sodium content.

So like I said, kimchi appears in every meal in the traditional Korean house.  On some days, rice drizzled in sesame oil with a side of kimchi is perfection.  You can count on it making its appearance many times in this blog from now on.  Although it’s commonly eaten as is, cooking it removes some of that pungent odor that you might find off-putting.   To kick start the kimchi party, here’s a popular recipe to peak your interest..

Kimchi Fried Rice

Serves 2 people | Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 15 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kimchi, chopped
  • 2 cups leftover  brown rice
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 can of canned salmon (or tuna)*
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 Tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tsp honey
  • 3 Tbs kimchi juice
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbs sesame seeds

* Pork belly is the traditional ingredient.  I’d rather not go that route ;).  I leave that decision up to you.

Directions 

* With each step, it’s important to keep stirring and mixing!

  1. Heat up oil in a nonstick pan over med-high heat.
  2. Cook onions and garlic until softened, approx 3 min.
  3. Add kimchi and cook for approx 3 min, until softened and starts to brown.  Add honey and kimchi juice.
  4. Add canned salmon and leftover rice and cook, approx 4 min.
  5. Make a hole in the middle of the pan.  Crack and drop egg.  Stir well until egg is cooked and evenly incorporated. *
  6. With spatula, press the rice evenly in one layer and cook for about a min.  Then flip it over. **
  7. Drizzle in sesame oil and sesame seeds.  Mix well.

* Traditionally, egg is not part of the rice.  It’s usually fried and served on top.

** This ensures quick and even cooking.

I love this one from Costco! Gotta love that place

Step #5. I do this with any fried rice.

I like to wrap it in seaweed sheets. Just a friendly suggestion ;).

Question:

Have you ever had kimchi before?   If so, what did you think?  Yay or nay?

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30 Responses to Kimchi Anyone?

  1. Looks delish! I’ve had kimchi at least once at a restaurant and I really liked it!

  2. I’m sure I’ve had kimchi when I’ve been out to eat before but I’ve never cooked with it. Do they sell it at the normal grocery store or do you have to go to an Asian specialty store? The fried rice looks really good!

    • Min says:

      I’ve been seeing it at the regular grocery stories lately. Costco and even HEB in my neighborhood had it! However, I think the ones you get at the Korean markets taste better. Cooking it def mellows out the pungent odor. You should try it!!

  3. Hmm I’ve never had kimchi before but it looks interesting! I’m a sucker for fried rice and it looks really good! Actually, anything with brown rice and sesame oil piques my interest haha! (I love using sesame oil.)

    • Min says:

      I know!! I just love sesame oil! Brown rice mixed with a lil’ bit of sesame oil and soy sauce, topped with fried egg…nom nom nom!

  4. Oh dear this recipe has me drooling! I love kimchi- so moreish! I definitely see how your parents eat it alongside spaghetti/burgers…my mom is the same with roasted papadams!

    • Min says:

      Oh, I’ve never had papadams. What is it? I don’t know about your parents, but mine always complain of stomach problems when they eat foods other than Korean. Somehow the addition of kimchi seems to make it ok. hmm…

  5. eatpraytri says:

    I don’t think I have ever had kimchi but I wouldn’t be opposed to trying it. That fried rice DOES look creamy and delicious!!

  6. Ellie says:

    Mmmm yes yes yes!!!!! Min 언니!!! can you believe that I started eating kimchi when I was 1 and a half?!!!!! lol–I couldn’t even pronounce it so I used to call it bbechee. 😛 I love that you’re spreading the kimchi love…and now that I’m married, I often find myself missing my momma’s food. Momma says kimchi is good for you (In Forrest Gump’s voice) ~lol. Even though I’m married, I still have it in my fridge! Greg loves it more than I do though. PS: I haven’t made it by myself but def. have helped my mom, but nowadays there’s just no time to make it from scratch is there?

    • Min says:

      Whoa! That’s crazy!!! Actually, come to think of it, I don’t know when I first started eating it..hmm..Must ask..
      I’m always missing my mom’s food. I should’ve taken advantage of it more when I was younger. At that time, all I wanted was to go out to eat and stuff myself with burgers and junk food. Sigh..
      Omygoodness! I don’t dare attempt to make it from scratch! Your mom still makes them herself?! Nice!

  7. I love kimchi! I get it from a local Asian market where they make it in-house. My favorite thing to do is soak tofu (also locally made) in it and eat it raw.

    Great recipe here – love all the added protein! 🙂

  8. Gabby says:

    Yum. Korean food is one of my very favorite types of food! Yay to kimchi. 🙂

  9. Corrie Anne says:

    I haven’t tried it! I’m a little intimidated, but you made it look really good!!

    • Min says:

      It’s definitely not for everyone, that’s for sure. But I think it’s always worth it to give everything a shot at least once. You never know…

  10. We love kimchi in this house 🙂 There’s a restaurant in Las Vegas that serves a hot dog, topped with bulgogi and kimchi…apparently it’s really good! I love your recipe for kim chee fried rice with the canned salmon, I’ll have to pick it up at Costco. I need lots of omega 3s in the third trimester 🙂

    • Min says:

      Ooh! That’s something I never had before! Endless possibilities! Love it 😉 Oh yes you do! I took a Lifespan course this past semester, and I learned that there’s a STRONG correlation between the mothers’ omega 3 intake to the babies’ IQ !! So eat up!! Trip to Costco ASAP hehe!! This one’s our favorite!! So flavorful!

  11. i have never had kimchi before. i don’t even know if i have seen it!

    • Min says:

      I don’t know about you, but whenever I see or learn something new, it all of a sudden seems to be everywhere! I think, “how did I not notice this before?” haha. I bet now that you’ve seen it here, you’ll come across it sometime in the future.

  12. I’ve seen kimchi in Japanese restaurants before but must confess that I’ve never tried it! I will definitely do so next time – you have inspired me 🙂

    • Min says:

      I can see how it can be quite intimidating to try. But it’s awesome that you want to give it a chance ;). I think it will shock your tastebuds…hopefully in a good way!

  13. squigglefloey says:

    I used to love kimchi when I was younger, but the older I get the less good I am at handling spicy foods…haha. But this looks sooo yummy 😛

  14. Min says:

    You know, it’s weird. I can only handle Korean spicy foods..Any other cuisines like Indian?..whew forget about it!

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