If I haven’t mentioned it before, I need to tell you now. My mom is an incredible cook. She’s one of those talented people who can whip up dishes with any ingredients she has on hand, with no need to measure anything. I’ve tried writing down measurements while watching her cook, but alas, my meals never tastes as good. Mom claims it’s because her secret incredient is love, and I’m inclined to believe it.
One of our family’s favorite dinner requests is my mom’s fried rice. It’s easy to prepare, ingredients are accessible and most importantly, it always yields a ton of leftovers, which is very important. The following fried rice recipe is a hybrid of my mom’s and David Chang’s Momofuku recipe, which calls for the addition of kimchi. If you’ve not had kimchi, it’s fermented cabbage that’s pungent, spicy and recently named as one of the hot 2012 food trends. Don’t be turned off by the description – it’s a definite must-try. Since it’s crunchy, it also adds a great layer of texture to the fried rice. Another great thing about this dish is you can sub out any of the veggies/protein. I happened to have snap peas and carrots on hand, so I used those in this version, but I’ve made it in the past with regular peas, bean sprouts, red pepper – you get the picture:)
Kimchee Bacon Fried Rice
Serves 6 – 8
- 4 cups of cooked rice (it’s best to use rice that’s at least a day old – the rice is drier and can absorb more flavor)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup kimchee, chopped
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten (add some salt and pepper if desired)
- 8 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 cup snap peas
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (I used the light version; difficult to tell the taste difference)
- Optional: 2 Tbsp. Gochuchang (red pepper paste), can also sub sriracha for some added spice
- Oil (I like to use olive oil)
Heat some oil in a wok over high heat. When the oil is heated add the diced onions, stirring until cooked. Remove the onions from the wok and put in a separate dish.
Add some more oil and add in the lightly beatened eggs. Scramble the eggs until mostly set, but not overly cooked. The eggs will cook a bit more when you mix all the ingredients together later. Remove the eggs and add them to the bowl with the onions.
Can’t you just smell the bacon just from looking at this photo? I’m getting hungry as I type this. It’s one of the most fantastic smells in the world. Ok – back to the directions. Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess fat.
Now, herein lies the magic. You fry the rice in the rendered bacon fat. What, you say? Don’t question it – and don’t try to substitute. Because this is what makes this fried rice taste so good. Since much of the bacon renders off, I usually spoon out most, leaving about two tablespoons. Once done, add the rice and fry it, stirring occasionally until all the clumps are broken down and the rice is heated through. Add the soy sauce and gochuchang (or sriracha) and stir until everything is well incorporated.
Add the onions, eggs, bacon and kimchi and fry until all ingredients are mixed throughout the rice. Serve immediately. And expect compliments.
Are you still there? Hi! I had to include one more photo.Can you see the delicious carmelization? Just sayin’ you need to make the fried rice soon.