For the past 11 months, 3 nights a week I've been eating dinner at about 9:30 but more like 10 o'clock at night and it's been a smorgasbord of terrible rice bowls, mystery frozen sauces on microwaved rice, potatoes and canned baked beans nooked and nutella from the jar. I am now done and in desperate need to cook. Something. Anything new - that does not involve a microwave or packet rice.
Ok ok I'm being a little dramatic - I had Thursday and Friday right? Wrong. I was mentally done and couldn't contemplate the thought of doing the dishes after eating so there was a lot of MonkeyKing Thai - they know us a little too well now. Saturday and Sunday you say? Filled with assignments, homework and horrific hangovers because at 27 I still do not know what moderation is. Maybe 28 year old me will be a little more sensible and not spend most Sundays wishing the food fairy would bring me a burger and painkillers. Hmmm we'll see in a few weeks I guess.
One recipe that I had planned to cook at least a month a go but never ended up getting around to it was Kimchi Fried Rice. I'd found the ingredients at the asian supermarket nearby where I had previously asked for help on other occasions and they just looked blankly at me as I was clearly butchering the pronunciation and they had no clue what I was after. gochujang (Korean red pepper paste). Most recipes say it's optional which I guess it is if you can't find it but it's like a challenge in a recipe when I see the word 'optional' in little brackets. Like a test. Giving up on the workers in the asian supermarket store and leaving Tristan sitting on the couches outside, I walked up and down the isles and looked at every kind of jar, sauce, dried mushroom and shrimp imaginable and ended up finding it in the back of the store with all the other Korean and Japanese ingredients. Ha - I win!
But like I said before, this was about a month a go, at least and the gochujang paste along with the kimchi stayed in my fridge, glaring at me every time I opened the door 'KIMCHI FRIED RICE! KIMCHI FRIED RICE!' until I finally made it the other night. It was everything I ever wanted and more. Topped with a soft fried egg and sesame spring onion salad the sweet, spicy and sour fried rice was out of this world delicious. Something happens to the kimchi when you fry it, it looses the nose scrunching cabbage smell and becomes sweet and sour but still spicy and moorish. I ended up merging two recipes to make my version below which I'd have to say will become a regular in our little apartment. I used the basic recipe from Julia Turshen's new Cookbook 'Small Victories' and put an Amelia Morris from Bon Appetempt & In the Kitchen with Amelia and Teddy spin on it with the additional gochujang paste and the fried egg. Perfection.
If anyone comes over next week for dinner, this is what I will serve them. Sorry not up for discussion.
What have you lot been cooking? What have I missed? Any genius recipes I need to know about? Please spill!... I've awoken from the night school slumber and I'm hungry.
kimchi fried with sesame spring onion salad and a fried eggadapted from Julia Turshen's Small Victories and Amelia Morris's In the Kitchen with Amelia and Teddy recipe.
for the kimchi fried rice (and soft fried egg):
2 tablespoons vegetable (or any neutral) oil
1 small brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon gochujang paste (optional)
4 cups cooked rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 eggs (1 per person)
for the sesame spring onion salad*:
4 spring onions, white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- If you don't have cooked rice, start there and cook your rice - I never have enough cooked rice so this works fine with freshly cooked rice.
- Next start your sesame spring onion salad. Slice up the spring onions into thin strips but cutting each spring onion into three then into two length ways then finely slice them to get skinny match stick like pieces. Stir in the sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and sesame seeds an season with salt. Set aside.
- Next, drain your kimchi reserving it's liquid and roughly dice.
- Heat a large saucepan (everything will end up in here so make sure it'll fir your rice) over medium heat and fry your onion and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Then add the diced kimchi and cook until the edges start going crispy or it start to stick to your pan. Add the reserved kimchi liquid and the gochujang paste and cook for 2 minute more.
- Right now is a good point to get your eggs frying in a skillet with a lid on low heat. Add a little oil to the pan and crack the eggs in once the pan is hot, turn the heat right down, cover with a lid and cook for about 4-5 minutes or how ever long long to your preferred yolk runniness.
- While your eggs are slowly cooking away, add the cooked rice to the kimchi pan and mix thoroughly until the rice is coated in the sauce, the kimchi is mixed through and everything is steaming hot. Add a good splash of soy sauce and taste - season if needed.
- Serve the kimchi fried rice topped with the sesame spring onion salad and soft fried egg.
* if you do not want to make the sesame salad I would advise stirring a teaspoon of sesame oil in with the soy at the end and sprinkling the rice with sesame seeds to serve.