Let’s Cook: Kimchi Bokkeumbop

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this at Berkeley Bowl and passed on buying it because I’m terrified they’ve added soy sauce. They add soy sauce to everything and anything that resembles Asian food. I mean honestly! I know it’s a staple ingredient, but does every piece of fish in your sushi need to be marinated in it? I think not. At any rate, here I am attempting to create Maangchi’s kimchi fried rice because I’m paranoid and I needed to use up a jar of kimchi that’s been chillen in my fridge for a while. I LOVE watching her cooking videos. She is incredibly sweet in them and the food always has an authenticity to it that comes with being cooked from the heart. So here we go!

Kimchi Bokkeumbap by Maanchi

3 Cups Steamed Rice
1 Cup Chopped Kimchi2014-08-03 16.00.57
¼ Cup Kimchi Juice
¼ Cup Water
2-3 Tablespoons Gochujang
3 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 Green Onion (Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Roasted Sesame Seeds
1 Sheet of Kim (Roasted and Shredded)

  1. Heat up a pan. Add the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute.

2014-08-03 16.27.20

  1. Add rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for about 7 minutes with a wooden spoon. Add sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  2. Sprinkle with chopped green onion, roasted gim, and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

2014-08-03 16.53.48

Alright, so I’m going to give my final thoughts on the dish a bit differently from the regular today. I’m starting with the things I didn’t have while cooking. The only ingredient I could not find was the gochujang or hot pepper paste. I was able to get a chili sauce, but I’m not sure if it even came close to replicating the taste of the hot pepper paste for two reasons. First because different peppers taste differently as well as have different heat intensities and I have no idea if chilis are the primary pepper used in hot pepper paste. Second, because the chili sauce was Chinese so additional spices in it may have been different than those used in the Korean hot pepper paste. Next run through I’m hoping I’ll be able to track down some gochujang to see if there were any differences. Alright next I would HIGHLY recommend you used a wok whilst making this. You may have noticed there are no pictures of me frying the rice with all the other ingredients, well that was because my entire stove top was a hot mess during that step. Okay, it wasn’t that crazy, but it was crazy enough that I was more focused on corralling ingredients than taking pictures. Now that I’ve wined a bit about the tiny hurdles I encountered let’s talk taste. I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little disappointed in how my bokkeumbop tasted. I think, though, that my disappointment was entirely subjective as I’m not the world’s biggest fan of flavored oils. When I say flavored oils I’m talking about sesame oil, truffle oil, olive oil… the types that have a distinctive taste to them. I find that it’s very easy to overpower more subtle flavors while cooking with these and I had a hard time getting past the amount of sesame oil in this recipe. Like I said, this is a me thing and may not apply to everyone. Now I know the next time I make kimchi bokkeumbop to add less sesame oil. Interestingly enough despite wanting less sesame oil I was wanting more sesame seeds because I really liked the crunch they gave to the fried rice. On that note I should mention I did mess up the directions a bit and thought I should be frying the green onion with the kimchi. Had my brain not farted out at that point, I think the onions would also have added a nice bit of crunch to the dish. I’d say that I was overall a fan of my kimchi bokkeumbop. I love the spicy, tangy flavor of kimchi (it’s one of those foods that leaves a bit of a tingle in your mouth) and that was definitely one of the stronger flavors in the rice. Not sure about you, but this is definitely one of those “s**t what am I making for dinner” dishes in my house because we always have kimchi on hand. Oh man, but I’m thinking I’ll make a point to make my kimchi fresh next time for added deliciousness. Ah but now I’m rambling so have a lovely day, I’m out!

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

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