Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kimchee Fried Rice to the Rescue

Kimchee fried rice is my go to meal when I can’t figure out what I want to eat. It’s also a good way to use up stuff in the fridge. I have yet to throw out rice that’s a few days old... and it’s not like there’s ever been a kimchee shortage in this house. This Korean brunch includes leftover fermented stem garlic, stewed eggplant and a fried egg. Toasted black sesame seeds, onions and bonito flakes add flavor but there are basics to getting the right texture.

Short grain rice works the best and it should be a day old. Long grain rice tends to break easily, where as shorter grain rice will reheat and hold its shape and has a better distribution of moisture. As cooked rice cools, it tends to clump. Wet your hands and run your fingers through the rice to break up the clumps and then lightly salt. Season with lightly with garlic powder and coriander, or ketchup, soy sauce and chili paste.

Fried rice is actually seared in an open pan. Use a high-heat oil with a well seasoned stainless steel pan or one that has a non-stick surface. Too much oil will make it greasy, use just enough to coat the entire surface of the pan.

The best way to sear rice is to firmly press it into the pan and listen for a popping-squeaking sound. Wait for a minute, then break the rice up and press into the pan again. Now add ingredients like chopped scrambled egg, onion, bell pepper, shrimp, ham., etc. Mix well and sear again until the rice is evenly cooked.

Most of all, serve it while it’s hot. There aren’t many things worse than cold fried rice.

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