Fried rice is given a Korean kick by the authors of the new book Koreatown: Kimchi adds a bright tang to the dish, while richness and spice are courtesy of gochujang butter. Though it may seem like the recipe calls for a lot of bacon, Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard stand by the quantity in order to maintain its flavor among the strong power of kimchi and gochujang. And a fried egg is the perfect garnish, allowing a warm, runny yolk to coat the rice.
Patience is key when it comes to fried rice. You want to cook the rice low and slow for a good crust, much like a Spanish paella. But don't walk away from the pan, because the fried rice can quickly go from caramelized crust to burnt. Day old-rice works best for this, but don't fret if you have to make fresh. Just be sure to spread the rice out on a baking sheet and refrigerate until cooled completely.
To learn more, read "K-Town Funk."
Kimchi Fried Rice
Recipe adapted from "Koreatown," by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard (Clarkson Potter)
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
8 ounces slab bacon, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups cooked long-grain white rice (preferably day-old rice)
1½ cups chopped napa cabbage kimchi
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon gochujang
4 eggs, fried sunny-side up, for serving
Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
1. In a large wok, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, 8 minutes. Add the garlic, onion and ginger, and cook until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Add the rice and kimchi, and cook, tossing frequently until heated through, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and flatten the rice with your spatula. Cook until the rice forms a crust on the bottom of the pan, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the butter and gochujang until smooth. Spoon the gochujang butter over the rice and top with fried eggs and sliced scallions, then serve.