After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.
– Oscar Wilde
Kimchi. Kimchi. Kimchi. Korea loves kimchi. They even say “Kimchi” instead of “Cheese” when they smile. It’s eaten at every meal from breakfast to dinner and worms its way into lots of dishes. There is fishy kimchi, spicy kimchi, mild kimchi, vinegar-y kimchi and even a sweet-ish kimchi (made from cucumber, this is my favourite). In fact, in winter, there are several places that hold kimchi making days where expats and visitors can learn this important aspect of Korean culture. I was supposed to go one weekend in December but unfortunately I was sick. Thankfully, the company I went through let my friends bring me some home!
So here I was with 3 kilos of kimchi and trying to figure out how I would use it all. Luckily, when it comes to food, inspiration is never far away, and one meal that I really like is kimchi fried rice or kimchi bokkeumbap.
If you are ever stuck with a ton of kimchi, perhaps this recipe below, inspired by kimchi bokkeumbap, will whet your appetite to work your way through the volume!
Tuna and Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1 cup of rice, cooked*
- 1 cup of cabbage Kimchi, chopped
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 -3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 150g tuna, drained**
- Water from chopped kimchi
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce***
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp fish sauce**
- Heat a frying pan / wok on med-high heat.
- Add oil, heat for 20 seconds, then add pepper, celery, onion and a dash of salt.
- Stir fry until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
- Add Kimchi, kimchi water and a dash more salt and stir occasionally for up to 3 minutes until the kimchi is hot. This also gives the other vegetables time to be coated in the kimchi water.
- Add tuna and stir fry for up to 3 more minute until everything is hot.
- Stir in rice, and then add in the remaining ingredients.
- Pat the rice mixture so that it covers the base of the frying pan/wok. Leave for 1 minute.
- Stir and then repeat step 7, until the mixture is heated through and a little browned (be careful, you don’t want it to burn, just to brown).
- Serve with mandu (dumplings), green vegetables or a side of kimchi!
*You may cook the rice one day in advance if you desire.
**For a vegetarian option, leave out the tuna and fish sauce. You may also want to check that the kimchi you use is made without fish or fish bi-products.
***Use gluten free soy sauce.