With the school year starting up, I've been feeling in need of inspiration for more quick weeknight dinners. A while ago I'd bookmarked a recipe for kimchi fried rice from the food blog Orangette, but hadn't had any kimchi on hand. Luckily the newest addition to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, Sweetwater Farm, sells an assortment of homemade fermented cabbages, including sauerkraut and kimchi. I picked up a pint of kimchi, along with some fresh eggs, hefty scallions, and Swiss chard from Songbird Farm. To accompany the fried rice, I sauteed the Swiss chard with fresh ginger and Chinese black bean and chili paste.
The fried rice recipe started with chopped bacon into which the kimchi is fried, along with cooked rice, which is then topped with fried eggs, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions. The final dish was a delicious mixture of salty pork and spicy pickled cabbage, a sort of Asian choucroute garnie, and it was also easily modified for kimchi-averse family members because who doesn't like eggs and bacon for dinner? It met all the criteria for a weeknight meal: quick, satisfying, and easy to pull together now that we have a good local source of fresh kimchi from Sweetwater Farm.
Kimchi Fried Rice
1 half pint kimchi
2 cups cooked rice
2 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large or 2 regular scallions, sliced into 1/4 inch disks
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
1. Cook the bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon has started to crisp.
2. Add the white parts of the scallions and saute for a minute. Then add the kimchi and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has softened and most of the liquid has reduced. Add the rice, stir well, and cook until the rice starts to brown.
3. Meanwhile heat a small skillet. Toast the sesame seeds for a minute and remove to a bowl. Add the canola and sesame oil and when hot, crack in the desired number of eggs. Cook until the whites are set but the yoke is still runny.
4. Scoop the kimchi rice onto two plates. Top with the fried eggs and sprinkle with toasted sesame seed and the green parts of the scallions.
Ginger Chard Stir Fry
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems chopped finely and leaves sliced
1 inch ginger root, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 heaping tsp Chinese black bean and chili paste
1 glug (~3 Tbsp) rice wine
Heat a skillet or wok over medium high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the chard stems and ginger and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the black bean and chili paste and cook another minute. Add the chard leaves and saute until they start to cook down. Add the rice wine and cook for a couple more minutes until the rice wine boils off. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.