All the kimchi eating (and writing about) that I’ve been doing reminds me of an obesity conference I attended a few years ago. There were a lot of presentations on the health benefits of kimchi. Kimchi is high in fiber and low in calories. It is rich in vitamins (e.g. A, B1, B2 and C), minerals (e.g. calcium and iron) and antioxidants. Because kimchi is fermented, it contains probiotics that aid in digestion. Kimchi consumption has been shown to be associated with decreased cholesterol, increased metabolism leading to decreased obesity, increased antimicrobial activity and inhibition of cancer growth and viral infections.
David liked it so much, the next morning he fried an egg and ate it with the leftovers for breakfast!
Now that the never-ending jar of kimchi is finished, we have to ask ourselves “where are we going to buy more kimchi?”. And so the cycle begins….
Recipe (adapted from eating and living):
- 2 cups cooked short grain rice*
- 3/4 cup diced kimchi
- 3-4 strips of bacon, diced
- 3-4 tbsp juice from kimchi
- 1/4 small onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil (you will need more if not using fatty meat)
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 scallion, chopped (optional)
* Day old rice is the best. If the rice is hard after being in the fridge, heat it up in the microwave to soften it a little. If you make fresh rice, use a little less water than called for to make the rice slightly drier than usual.
- Toss the bacon pieces into a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Cook just until the bacon is slightly browned but not crisp. If you don’t want all the rendered fat, remove the fat from the pan leaving about a tbsp.
- Add kimchi, onion, carrots and gochujang and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the kimchi turns soft and deep in color.
- Add the rice along with a tbsp of oil, if you have removed the bacon fat, and pour in the kimchi juice and soy sauce.
- Stir constantly until everything is well incorporated and the clumped up rice is broken up, ~5 minutes.
- Scrape up the brown bits from the pan while stirring.
- Mix in the sesame oil at the end.
- Garnish with the optional chopped scallion and serve.
Notes and Tips:
I didn’t have bacon, so I used spam, another staple in the Korean diet. I added 1 tbsp of oil to cook the veggies for 3 minutes and then added the spam and cooked for another 2 minutes. I also used 3 cups of rice because 2 cups just didn’t seem enough and we like our rice. The second time I made this, I used bacon and prawn and followed the recipe exactly. For the prawn, I removed the shell and tail, cut into smaller pieces and added it a couple of minutes just before adding the rice.