I’ve always been a little slow to food trends and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m oblivious to them or just because I tend to shy away from things that are trendy. Except brown butter and salted caramel. I’m all over those no matter how trendy they are. Either way, Kimchi has been all over the food scene for awhile now, and I’m just now trying it.
I actually came upon it randomly as I was wandering around the farmers market last weekend. Some friends had told me about this awesome sauerkraut they had tried from a local company called Kiss My Cabbage, which is what I had intended to buy when I stopped by their stand. While the sauerkraut was definitely stellar, it was the Kimchi that I was smitten with. How had I resisted this spicy, sour, pickled veggie deliciousness for all this time?!
I definitely see that Kimchi isn’t something that is going to make everyone’s taste buds do a little happy dance like mine, kind of like anything that is pickled. Either ya love it or ya hate it. I’ve seen Kimchi in salads, dumplings, on pizza, in pasta, in soup, on tacos, and even in pancakes (!!!) so it’s pretty obvious Kimchi can be used in a lot of different ways. I decided to use my jar of Kimchi in fried rice, like a local restaurant in Minneapolis does. With a runny fried egg on top, of course. You can never go wrong with runny eggs, ya know.
This fried rice really could not be easier. Ideally, you’ll use day-old rice as it will be drier to soak up the flavor of the Kimchi and in the end, will have that chewier texture of fried rice as opposed to being mushy like it might be if you use fresh cooked rice. The Kimchi does all of the work in terms of adding flavor, and you just saute it with the cold rice and a little bit of soy sauce. Once it’s all warmed up you just top it with green onions and the fried egg (don’t even think about skipping th egg!) and you’re ready to go.
While I kept my fried rice pretty simple, you could definitely jazz it up with chicken, shrimp, beef, tofu, and any of your favorite veggies. I think next time I might throw in some traditional fried rice veggies like peas and carrots.
So tell me, have you tried Kimchi? Love it? Hate it?