As a little girl, Chef Hyunjoo learned to make Kimchi in the kitchen of her grandmother's small restaurant in South Korea. After moving to San Francisco in 2007, Hyunjoo worked at Aqua in the Financial District for two years before turning her grandmother's homemade recipe into her own company, Sinto Gourmet.
Now, Hyunjoo offers a whole line of homemade kimchi, including the classic Spicy Red Napa Cabbage Kimchi—made with Napa Cabbage, a little bit of Daikon radish, and seasoned with red pepper powder to provide a spicy kick—as well as her refreshing Soy Ginger Pickles. You can find then at BiRite, Rainbow Grocery, or Whole Foods.
And while you can always enjoy kimchi as a tasty snack on it's own, it's also a versatile cooking ingredient. We asked the chef for the recipe to her ultimate comfort food—Kimchi Stir Fried Rice. Enjoy!
Kimchi Stir Fried Rice
3 slices of bacon cut into ¼ inch strips.
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup Napa cabbage Kimchi, drained and chopped with juice saved
2 cups steamed white short grain rice, chilled in refrigerator
2 Tbsp Canola or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
½ Tbsp butter
2 eggs cooked sunny side up (optional)
2 Tbsp green onion, sliced thin (optional)
1. Cook bacon in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until golden brown. Take out bacon from the pan and set aside on a paper towel but leave bacon fat in the pan.
2. In the same pan, add the yellow onion and Kimchi.
3. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and Kimchi is somewhat sweated out for about 3-4 minutes.
4. Add rice in the pan and try to break the lump of rice with an up and down motion using a flat wooden spoon or spatula then stir for about 5 minutes. If the pan gets too dry from rice soaking up the oil, add canola oil or vegetable oil about one tablespoon at a time as you stir fry the mixture of rice, yellow onion, and Kimchi. If you like a stronger Kimchi flavor, add Kimchi juice a tablespoon at a time as you continue to stir fry.
5. Take pan off the heat, add bacon and butter, and mix well.
6. Transfer rice to a serving platter, put a cooked egg on top, and sprinkle with green onion before serving.
NOTE: Don’t try to make this dish with hot or warm rice. It will turn out incredibly mushy. Use only cold or at least slightly chilled rice.
Veggie Option: If you’re a vegetarian, skip the bacon and use tofu instead. Stir fry small pieces of tofu and rice with any type of oil you like. You may want to add other vegetables as well. Corns, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini, or peas are good choices.