Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend and that traveling wasn’t too hectic for anyone. I just flew back from Chicago, after spending a whole week at home with my family and I’m still craving my mom’s home cooking. Whenever I’m in the mood for a little taste of home, I tend to make this simple dish. My mom normally makes this dish with leftover kimchi and pork belly stew, but I’ve made mine vegetarian (with the exception of the egg) this time around and with regular kimchi from the fridge. If you want this dish to be more hearty, by all means add some thinly sliced pork belly, it’s really good! The kimchi adds a nice unique and spicy flavor to the fried rice and its something that can be eaten by itself and still be nice and filling. This dish is also super simple to make and if you’re someone who regularly has kimchi in your fridge, you most likely already have the other ingredients lying around as well. If you don’t have kimchi (with 7 boxes of baking soda surrounding it) in your fridge everyday like me, then the nearest Korean market is your best bet to find the stuff and for the best quality. If kimchi is something you’re never tried then I urge you to go out and give this amazing Korean super food, filled with antioxidants, a shot!
I feel lucky to have grown up with family who loved to cook. I’ve been able to try so many different varieties of homemade kimchi throughout my life and it’s still one of my favorite things to eat today. I can seriously go through a huge jar of kimchi by myself in a week! lol
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a salted and fermented vegetable side dish that is an everyday staple in Korean cuisine. Although Napa cabbage and radishes are the most common and widely known vegetables used to make kimchi, there are hundreds of different types of kimchi, made from a variety of vegetables such as cucumbers, burdock, perilla leaves, lotus root, eggplant, green onions, just to name a handful . There are even dozens of different types and styles of kimchi made from just Napa cabbage and radishes alone.
Commonly Used Ingredients in Kimchi
Brining salt (which has a large grain size from table salt) is used to begin the salting and fermentation process of most kimchi. Other common ingredients are gochugaru (Korean chili powder), ginger, garlic, green onions, and salted seafood (such as tiny shrimp, oysters, and cod gills), which are all used to flavor different types of kimchi. The different types of kimchi made and ingredients used are often associated with different regions throughout Korea.
What makes fried rice fried?
Cooking rice in a wok or pan with high heat and oil fries the rice. You will notice when you cook the rice with heat and oil it gets a light brown color.
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a Korean fermented hot chili paste made from a Korean hot pepper. It can be found at Korean grocery stores or the international aisle of most grocery stores. I personally love this brand: Chung-Jung Won.
Napa Cabbage Kimchi
For this recipe of Kimchi and Pork Fried Rice I’m using the common and popular spicy fermented Napa cabbage variety that is precut (vs the whole leaves of quartered Napa cabbage). It caramelizes very well when sautéed, making it perfect for this type of dish. You can also find this type of kimchi at all Korean grocery stores, some international grocery stores as well as some local grocery stores. The kimchi itself has so much flavor to it that you don’t need much else to bring this dish together.
Why we like Pork Belly with Kimchi Fried Rice
The addition of spicy marinated pork belly adds a nice, rich and filling aspect to the overall dish, although you can omit it (and the egg) if you prefer a vegetarian style kimchi fried rice. Pork belly is different from bacon and it’s important not to interchange the two in this recipe. Pork belly is bacon before it’s cured and smoked, so the flavor is much more simple. If you use bacon the end result will be a little too salty and you won’t have the nice chunks of meat throughout the dish you get from pork belly.
If you love this recipe, we also used this fried rice recipe to make these Kimchi Fried Rice Balls!
Enjoy! xx, Jen
Kimchi Fried Rice
marinated pork belly
- 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean Chili Paste)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 1 garlic clove
- 8 oz dried pork belly
Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1½ tbsp Vegetable oil, divided
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1½ cups kimchi chopped, with juices
- 3 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
- 3 green onions thinly sliced and divided
- 2½ cups steamed rice
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- Place all pork marinade ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk together. Add pork and mix together. Set aside and allow pork to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Pour 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add pork and saute for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned and just cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Pour remaining vegetable oil into skillet followed by beaten eggs. As eggs cook, gently but quickly cook, stir and break apart into large pieces. Remove from heat and add to cooked pork belly.
- Pour sesame oil into skillet. Add kimchi (with its juices) and soy sauce and saute until kimchi begins to caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and stir together until rice is well coated. Add pork belly and eggs back to the skillet and toss together until evenly distributed through rice mixture. Continue to cook until rice begins to char around edges, about 4 to 5 minutes, then toss together again.
- Stir 2 sliced green onions and sesame seeds and remove from heat.
- Top with remaining green onion and serve hot.
- Place a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once skillet is hot add oil and swirl to coat.
- Crack egg into a small bowl or ramekin and pour into skillet. Fry egg for 4 to 5 minutes or until the white has set with crisp edges and yolk is still runny. Season with salt and pepper and slide over fried rice. Serve.