Watermelon Rind Kimchi? Well, I love watermelon. We eat an embarrassing amount in our house. We even used to have watermelon eating contests…and not even as a fun thing to do with our kids. Just me and my husband, don’t judge. But with copious amounts read more
As a restaurant family, we frequently eat quite late at night. And there’s nothing more comforting after a looong day than a big bowl of Kimchi Rice. Carbs, delicious carbs! It’s also super quick to pull together, especially if you have leftover rice in the fridge. Just a few ingredients create unbelievable layers of flavor, and topped with a perfectly fried egg, it is heaven. My husband and I usually make this together-one of us making the rice while the other fries the eggs. That way we have our yummy comforting meal even faster.
Korean staple. Condiment. Spicy, funky side dish. Probiotic superstar, kimchi is all that and more. And it is easy to make, even for beginning fermenters. If you’ve made my Real Deal Kimchi, it will be amazing in this dish. But there are plenty of commercially produced kimchis that are good. Even my neighborhood grocery store now carries several brands. Of course, a Korean grocer would have even more, and likely make their own. While kimchi can be made from everything from radishes to carrots, I use a more traditional Napa cabbage for Kimchi Rice. The tender leaves soak up so much flavor and also add a nice contrasting texture.
If you are familiar with kimchi, you may know that it has several different “stages”. You can eat kimchi fresh, right after you mix in the seasonings, and it’s like a spicy salad where the vegetables are crunchy and the flavors bright. After a couple of days, it begins to ferment and the vegetables start to soften a little. Over time, the kimchi continues to ferment, getting more pungent and sour.
Kimchi almost never goes bad if stored properly, and there are so many uses for ripe kimchee: soups, stews, pancakes, etc. But this is one of the easiest! All of that flavor goes right into the dish giving it zing and oomph. So when you feel like that kimchi sitting in your fridge may be too pungent as a condiment, save it for this rice to make a quick meal or snack.
Cold, leftover rice makes the best fried rice. That’s because chilled rice will separate when it is cooked, making those distinct chewy grains. Warm, just cooked rice, on the other hand, will tend to be a bit mushy. Whenever I make a pot of rice, I make double so that I can whip up a fried rice dish quickly. Cook once, eat twice! Kimchi Rice is eaten in households all over Korea to use up both leftover rice and kimchi.
You won’t believe how quickly this comes together. A handful of ingredients stir fried for a few minutes, another couple minutes to fry eggs, and you’re done!
Now it’s time for the eggs. I go into more detail about how to make perfectly fried eggs here. You definitely want to have your yolk game levelled up here, because it makes a luscious sauce when you mix it in to the kimchi rice.
When your eggs are done, slide them on top of a bowl of the Kimchi Rice, and dig in! This super fast and soul satisfying meal is on constant repeat in my house; I hope it becomes a favorite in yours too. If you try it, let us know. Rate the recipe, leave a comment, and tag us in your your glorious yolk porn photos @funkyasiankitchen.
Kimchi Rice is life!
- 1 ½ tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 cup napa cabbage kimchi roughly chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon gochujang
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 3 cups cooked rice, preferably cold leftovers
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- 2 eggs
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add the oil, garlic, and kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the rice, gochujang paste, oyster sauce, and half of the scallions. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the rice, tossing and stirring the mixture.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes until the rice is hot. Add the remaining scallions, sesame seeds, and the sesame oil. Then stir the rice to incorporate. Taste the rice and season with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside while you fry the eggs.
- Heat a small pan over medium high heat for 3 minutes. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon neutral oil into the pan and swirl to coat.
- Gently pour the eggs into the pan and cook for 1 and 30 seconds. Cover with a lid and continue to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the whites are just set but the yolks are still soft and liquid.
- Top rice with fried eggs and serve immediately.
I love interactive meals, where I set out an assortment of yummy things and let everyone assemble their own. Korea has an entire food culture built around this concept, known as ssam. Ssam basically means wrapped, and the wrapper of choice is usually some type of lettuce. read more
Korean staple. Condiment. Spicy, funky side dish. Probiotic superstar. Tasty filling for dumplings and omelets. Fermented health food. Base for countless stews, soups, and braises. Kimchi is all of these things. It can be an acquired taste, but once you acquire it, this Real Deal Kimchi will become an addiction. This is the recipe that we make at the restaurants, and we incorporate it into all sorts of dishes. Our kimchi ramen even won an award!
Real Deal Kimchi isn’t hard to make. There’s hardly any cooking time, as the fermenting provides all the flavor. (It does help to have a properly sharpened knife. Subscribe to Funky Asian Kitchen and get our knife sharpening video tutorial!) There is quite a lot of chopping, not gonna lie, but you are rewarded with a gut-healing super food that will rock your taste buds and can star in countless meals.
Real Deal Kimchi begins with Napa cabbage. Napa is traditional and is really the best because of its tender leaves, which soften quickly and readily absorbs flavor. Look for heavy heads, with firm, light yellow-green leaves that are free of bruises. Also they should feel pretty dense. I have found light loose heads to taste stringy and fibrous.
Can’t Make Kimchi Without Korean Chili Flakes
Korean chili flakes, or gochugaru, are the basis for any authentic kimchi, and my Real Deal Kimchi uses one and a half cups! This is spicy stuff, and the heat also encourages the fermentation process. I go into detail on how to select a good gochugaru here.
Making the kimchi sauce is quick and easy. You start with sweet rice flour (mochiko) to make a gluey paste. Then the other seasonings are added. This thick paste clings to the veggies, giving it flavor, and the fermenting sauce some body. Fair warning though, once you add the fish sauce it is really….fragrant. We’ll go with that. Some might even say pungent. (You can easily make a vegan Real Deal Kimchi by substituting the fish sauce for a mix of soy sauce and coconut aminos. It will be less funky but no less delicious.)
I like to round out my Real Deal Kimchi with a mix of veggies-carrots, Korean radish, and scallions. These add-ins give nice color, extra flavor, and some crunch.
Holy Trinity of Kimchi
And Real Deal Kimchi wouldn’t be complete without a generous measure of ginger, garlic, and onion. They get tossed in a food processor because no one wants to eat big chunks of raw ginger and garlic. Not even I am that funky…
Ready to Mix
Once you have a nice thick garlicky puree, it’s time to mix everything up and pack your Real Deal Kimchi into jars! You definitely want to wear disposable gloves for this, or your hands will be stained red for the foreseeable future. Plus if you have any little nicks on your hands or accidentally touch your eyes, you’re going to be feeling it for hours. Any jar with a lid can be used to ferment the kimchi. I prefer glass though because plastic will absorb the smell and color and never wash out.
Fill your container, making sure to pack in the kimchi and being careful to eliminate any air pockets. Keep pushing down as you add more kimchi to the container. Air exposure can cause the kimchi to spoil. Leave an inch or two at the top of the container so that there is space for the liquid that is produced as the kimchee ferments. Wipe down your containers (I usually make a mess and just rinse off my jars in the sink), top with a lid, and you’re done! Put your kimchee container in the fridge where it will start a slow fermentation.
Kimchi For the Ages
Thankfully, kimchi has many different stages, all of which taste a little different, so you can try it immediately if you like! Fresh kimchi has a bright fresh flavor and crunchy texture. Over time, it will get more pungent and tart. Older kimchi is often used for soup and stews where that fully fermented flavor is needed. And it only gets better with age, just like us.
Your kimchi will last for weeks if stored in the fridge. Make sure you always use a clean utensil when taking some out. Once you’ve taken your kimchi, press down on the cabbage so that there is some liquid (kimchi juice) covering the kimchi.
There are countless ways to enjoy Real Deal Kimchi. Use some to top a fried egg. Add to a grain bowl. Serve alongside gyoza for a fun snack. Top some instant ramen with your homemade kimchi for a gourmet touch. Let us know in the comments how you like to use kimchi, don’t forget to tag us in your beautiful insta pics @funkyasiankitchen, and show us the beautifully fermented goods!
Our award winning kimchi, broken down step by step!
- 5 pounds napa cabbage
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup of sweet rice flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup fish sauce*
- 1½ cups Korean chili flakes (½ cup less for milder taste)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- ½ cup garlic (about 12 cloves)
- ½ onion roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 small korean radish (about 1 pound)
- 2 carrots
- 1 bunch scallions
Prep the Cabbage:
- Cut into the cabbage from the middle of the cabbage through the core lengthwise. Then using your hands, pull the cabbage apart. Then again, cut through the middle of each half through the core. Again pull apart the cabbage. You now have 4 quarters.
- Take the core out by cutting it off at an angle. Cut the cabbage again vertically and then cut it into bite size pieces about 1” big.
- Put the cabbage into a big bowl and wash the cabbage with running water. Then drain the cabbage and put it back into the bowl. Add the salt and toss the cabbage.
- Continue tossing the cabbage every 30 minutes for the next hour. The cabbage will shrink and get pliant as it absorbs the salty water.
Make the Kimchi Sauce:
- Put 1 cup of water in a saucepan and add the sweet rice flour. Mix to combine and then bring to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring to keep the rice flour from burning.
- Simmer for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Add the sugar and cook a few more minutes until the mixture is thick and looks like glue.
- Take the pot off the heat, add the fish sauce and chile flakes to the pot and stir to combine. Set the pot aside and let it cool to room temperature.
Prep the Vegetables:
- Peel the carrots and cut into julienne by slicing thin on the diagonal, then stacking the slices and cutting through them again to create thin strips. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Peel the radish and cut into julienne by slicing thin on the diagonal, then stacking the slices and cutting through them again to create thin strips. Add the radish to the carrots.
- Wash the scallions and then trim the top and bottom. Cut the scallions into 1 ½ inch pieces. If the white stems are very thick cut them in half. Add them to the other vegetables.
- Put the garlic, ginger, and onion into a food processor and puree until it is thick and smooth. Add it to the bowl with the julienned vegetables. Add the fish sauce mixture. Mix everything together.
Mix and Pack:
- Drain the cabbage by putting it in a colander. Rinse the cabbage in the sink under running water. Then drain the cabbage very well (let it sit over the sink or elevated in the big bowl so it’s not sitting in the water), and once it’s no longer dripping water, put it back into the big bowl.
- Pour the sauced vegetables over the cabbage. Put on a pair of disposable gloves and mix everything together. Make sure to get to the bottom of the bowl and the center. You want all of the cabbage coated with the sauce and the vegetables evenly mixed in.
- Use a glass container (If you use a plastic one, just know that it will absorb the smell and color and you will never get it out.) and scoop the kimchi into the container (or you can use multiple small containers), making sure to push down on the kimchi to eliminate any air pockets.
- Fill up your container, leaving a good inch at the top for the fermenting liquid to expand. Wipe down the bottle and add the lid. Continue filling up another container or two in the same way until you have all of your kimchi packed away.
- You can eat the fresh kimchi as is or let it ferment. Put your container in the fridge to start a slow fermentation. Or set your kimchi on the kitchen counter to kick start the fermentation process. It will be a little bubbly the next day. Then put it into the fridge and it will continue to ferment slowly.
*use soy sauce or a combination of soy sauce and coconut aminos to make vegan kimchi
*Make sure you always scoop kimchi out of the container with a clean utensil. Do not use your hand. Also make sure to push down on the kimchi every time you take some, ensuring that the kimchi is covered and protected by liquid. Kept this way, the kimchi will be good for months. The longer it sits, the more sour and pungent it will become.
Keywords: kimchi, cabbage, korean, condiment