From leftovers to lunch

Okay, I’ve tried to find some unifying theme for this post.  I’ve been typing and then deleting cute, smart-alecky intros for the past twenty minutes.  But you know what?  Here’s the upshot:

I made kimchi fried rice.  And it’s freaking delicious.

Sometimes cooking is a deliberate art.  You find a mouthwatering description of a dish that you must. make. like, tomorrow.  You go chase down every necessary ingredient, and maybe throw a hissy fit if all you can find is green lentils when the recipe calls for red ones.  (I mean, not that I’ve ever done that.  I deny everything.)

And then sometimes it’s just kismet.  Like this weekend, when I opened the fridge to find a box of leftover brown rice from the Thai restaurant we went to the previous night…

…plus an unexpected little cache of homemade kimchi

…plus a couple of eggs…

…and said, all right.  It’s on.

Nothing more to say, really, except that the marriage of rice and spicy pickled cabbage and egg is wildly more delicious than it has any right to be.  And now I’m craving more.  Damn.

Kimchi Fried Rice (In theory, this should serve two. In reality, I ate all of it by myself.)

Inspired by Orangette

1 cup kimchi (storebought or homemade, gluten-free if you swing that way)

2 cups leftover cooked rice

2 eggs per person

Peanut oil for frying

Sesame oil for drizzling

Salt and pepper to taste

Special equipment: a well-seasoned wok or cast iron skillet, plus a nonstick frying pan

Heat about 3 tbsp of peanut oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the kimchi–watch out, it might spatter–and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes, until all the excess liquid in the pan is gone and the kimchi is starting to brown. Add the rice, and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes more, until everything is nice and hot and starting to get crispy.

The rice will stick to the pan. There’s just no way around it. Trust me, this is worth the cleanup.

While the rice is cooking, heat a little more peanut oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Crack in the eggs, two at a time, and season with salt and pepper. Fry the eggs until the yolks are golden and runny, and the whites are a little brown and crispy around the edges. (Om nom nom.) If you accidentally overcook your eggs a little bit, like I did, don’t worry–deliciousness will still ensue.

When everything is ready, stir a drizzle of sesame oil into the rice, pour it onto a plate and slide the eggs on top. (To make cleanup go faster, immediately pour a glassful of hot tap water into the rice pan and let it sit while you chow down.)

Use your fork to mash the eggs into the rice, and dig in. A little splash of soy sauce or wheat-free tamari would not be amiss, but I was so busy nomming I forgot to try it. Guess I’ll just have to make more…

1 Comment

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One response to “From leftovers to lunch

  1. Jess Chung

    All you need to make this more “authentic” is some sort of pork meat/fat — which doesn’t really work if you’re trying to keep kosher, I suppose — and some scallions. 🙂

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