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!


Delicious Korean Food AKA Anniversary Feast!!

I first tried Korean food my freshman year of college and man is it just obscenely delicious. It’s right up there with my mom’s food (number one forever and always) and Indian on the list of foods I will completely stuff myself with to the point of sickness. Seriously, Korean’s know their way around flavors. So why am I going on about Korean food and how fantastic it is? This past Wednesday was Eric and my seventh year dating anniversary. So of course we had to celebrate with tons of delicious food and the only place we could think to provide that service was Downtown Oakland’s OHGANE Korean BBQ Restaurant.


Incredible mural outside the OHGANE restaurant

I feel that a little bit of history is in order here, I didn’t find out about my gluten issues until my junior year of college and had not been to a Korean restaurant since then. I’m generally skeptical of any Asian food that relies heavily on soy sauce because that shit is snuck into everything and I’ve been bitten in the butt several times by it before. Because of this I asked my server to check that everything I ordered was gluten free and he assured us all of our food was safe. I am going to add the disclaimer though that ingredients can depend on food brands and food prep varies in every kitchen so if you have celiac please for the love of god proceed in eating any of the shown dishes with extreme caution.

We ordered mung bean jun and kimchi kimbop as appetizers. If I had to compare jun to anything it would probably be potato pancakes, but with a bit more of an earthy taste. Kimbop is similar to sushi in the way it’s presented, but the taste (I would argue) is completely different. Ours had this incredible spicy, pickled flavor from the kimchi. Not going to lie I ate the majority of the kimbop… but I had no choice they were too delicious to leave on the plate!

Mung Bean Jun    Kimbop

Oh, maybe I should also mention the ABSURD array of side dishes that came
with our food. I mean holy guacamole were there a ton, sixteen in all. There was an array of different kimchis, several vegetables prepared in various ways, and ones So Many Side Disheswe had absolutely no idea about. We tried them all and the only one we weren’t overly fond of was the dried fish, which by their size I would guess were anchovies.

We ordered two main courses, kimchi stew for Eric and beef short rib stew for me. These came out literally boiling hot in their bowls, which was just way too cool. Eric’s soup was super kimchi-y and spicy. In fact, it was such a mouth burning, hiccup inducing spicy we were only able to finish about one cup each. My soup on the other and was quite mild. It had this incredible garlic-y, onion-y, beef flavor. I’m not talking about an out of the box beef broth flavor. Oh no, no, no, no I’m talking about the flavor of my mom’s homemade ox tail soup that could only be gotten by braising meat still on the bone for hours on end. Oh man, nothing can compare.

Beef Short Rib Stew

BOILING HOT beef short rib stew

So to say the least dinner was delicious and we had an abundance of leftovers packed up for us. To top everything off at the end of our meal they unexpectedly brought us yogurt drinks (yakult I believe) which had a tangy, sweet taste to them. I loved them, Eric wasn’t thrilled so I drank both. Oops.

Well I hope you enjoyed this post, now go out and have your own Korean food adventure!

7th Year Anniversary Photo