Adam’s Korean Kimchi Fried Rice
My husband spent two years of his life serving the people of South Korea. During that time he was introduced to a variety of foods that Westerners have never eaten, seen or even heard of. My favorite story is that of his introduction to eating live squid. These are his words:
“For New Year’s Eve one year some friends took me and my friend to a high-end seafood restaurant. One delicacy was specially prepared squid. Right before serving the squid, the chef briefly boiled it live–just long enough to get the adrenaline pumping through its tentacles. Then the chef pulled it out of the water, quickly chopped the tentacles into quarter-inch-long cross-sections, put them on a plate, and brought them to our table. The cross-sections of tentacles were still wriggling and squirming on the plate as we grabbed at them with our chopsticks. Because our chopsticks were metal, the slippery, writhing tentacle pieces actually slid up and down between my chopsticks. When I put a cross-section in my mouth, I made sure to chomp it vigorously with my teeth to make sure it wouldn’t turn around and end up eating me instead. My friend was not so strategic. After popping the half-alive tentacle in his mouth, he tried to swallow it right away, but one of the suction cups stuck to the back of his throat on its way down. He gagged on it for a half-second while we sat and laughed at him. It was a great dining experience.”
One dish that’s one of our mutual Korean favorites is kimchi fried rice. It’s full of flavor, color and vegetables. And it just so happens that kimchi fried rice is the dish that my husband makes the best (he says it’s the only dish he makes, but I doubt anyone can cook that great of a meal without being able to make more miracles in the kitchen)!
Korean Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 300g jar of Kimchi (10 oz), drained and chopped
- 1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil
- 2 potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 squash
- 300g ham (10 oz), cubed in 1 cm thick cubes
- 250ml dry rice (1 cup), cooked (preferably a day in advance)
- Eggs, one per person
- Seaweed (dol kim)
- Prepare the vegetables: Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cut the potatoes 1-1,5 cm thick cubes. Dice the carrots, and cut each piece in 4 smaller pieces. Cut the squash in two lengthwise and slice in 1 cm thick pieces.
- Cut the ham in cubes.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the kimchi. Stir occasionally.
- In a big pot, add 1 tbsp butter and when melted, add the potatoes. When “edible” (think Italian “al dente”), add the carrots, garlic and onions. Cook until “edible.” Add the kimchi, ham and rice. Stir. If anything tends to stick to the bottom of the pot, add vegetable oil or butter.
- Add squash and cook until the flesh has a slightly “milky” color.
- Fry an egg in a pan and when cooked, place on top of each bowl of kimchi fried rice. Serve with seaweed.