kimchee fried rice
Not suprising, but not immediately obvious, Korean food is quite popular in Japan. I often like to compare its prevelance to Mexican food in the US; Not absolutely everywhere, but definately something that is frequentl eaten and very easy to find.
It's not suprising I suppose. Korean is just over the Japan Sea (or the Korean sea, depending on who you're talking to).
I love Korean food. One of the complaints I have about Japanese food is that, when not made well, it can taste somewhat anesthetic. Mirin is the main culprit I like to think. It's sweet/saltyness drowns out the flavor of foods.
Korean uses ground red pepper (in just about everything), and it's mild (despite what some people may think) spice really brings out the savory flavor in foods.
One of those things would be Kimchee. Kimchee is essentially pickled chinese cabbage. Japanese are also known for their pickles. They tend to simply use salt and vinegar, and I don't really like it. Koreans also pickle daikon, something I put in fried eggs on the very rare occasion that I eat them. Japanese pickled variations just aren't as tasty to me.
Here's a simple recipe for kimchee chahan (fried rice). The recipe calls for butter, as I've heard from some Koreans that it brings out a smoky flavor or something, but feel free to use seseme oil instead):
1-2 tbsp butter
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cube of tofu, drained and crumbled
OR 1 egg (optional)
1/2-1 cup kimchee
1/2 bundle of Nira onions, cut in 1 inch strips
2 cups rice
1 tsp Gochujang
soy sauce (or oyster sauce)
melt butter and saute garlic and white parts of the nira onion until light brown (about 2 minutes) add the kimchee and (egg or tofu this point if being used) and remainder of nira onions, sauteeing until the nira are cooked and lose their rigidity. Add the rice, pouring the soy sauce and gochujang over the top. Continue to saute until their are no liquids in the pan.
optional: In some korean cooking it is typical to lightle burn the rice, making it crispy and chewy. I love this, and leave the rice in the pan until the rice is browned.
I saw a recipe for Galettes de Riz over at my favorite food blog, and, seeing as how burning the rice a little is so tasty, I thought these ingredients would also be perfect for this.
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