Kimchi fried rice (bokumbap or bokkeumbap) makes for a simple meal that helps you use two items commonly found in Korean pantries and refrigerators—rice and kimchi. This recipe is humble food that is mostly enjoyed at home, but you might also see it in some casual Korean eateries.
At home, making kimchi fried rice is a great way to use leftover kimchi that's a bit past its prime. Leftover kimchi that's been hanging around your refrigerator for a little too long may be sourer than fresh kimchi, and that actually helps make this dish special.
You can use Canadian bacon as a protein if you have it handy. However, the bacon is optional, and you just as easily can use thinly sliced beef, pork, ham, or even Spam.
Some recipes use chicken or baby shrimp as the protein source, so don't be afraid to experiment once you've got the basic recipe mastered. Finally, kimchi fried rice can be made vegetarian by substituting tofu squares for the pork, beef, chicken or shrimp.
Kimchi is rich in vitamins and minerals and makes for an extremely healthy food choice. Most Koreans enjoy kimchi every day of the year. Using kimchi that's made with Napa cabbage is a good choice for this kimchi fried rice recipe. Quick, easy, and cheap to make, kimchi bokumbap is simple Korean home cooking at its best.
- 1 cup kimchi (drained and chopped), preferably the kind made with Napa cabbage
- 1/2 sweet onion (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter (divided)
- 1/3 cup beef (thinly sliced), or Spam, pork, bacon, or ham
- 3 cups rice (cooked)
- Salt, to taste
- 4 eggs (fried)
- If using American bacon, saute briefly on a large ungreased pan and omit oil from next step. With any other meat or a vegetarian version, start with step 2.
- Saute kimchi and onion in a lightly greased large pan over medium heat for a few minutes.
- When vegetables begin to look transparent, garlic, soy sauce, and 1/2 tablespoon of the butter and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add meat or pork and continue to saute until meat is cooked.
- Turn heat off but keep the pan on the burner.
- Add rice and the rest of the butter, mixing to combine.
- Salt to taste and top each serving with a fried egg to serve.