” I am Caitlin. I’m an Indiana transplant living in downtown Denver and loving every minute of it. I spend most of my free time skiing, climbing, and trying to put in a few miles on my bike here and there. I love brunch, good coffee, and good beer. I am a traveler, an observer, (definitely) a talker, a lover of everything unique. I am a firm believer that if you say yes to everything, it’s hard to miss anything. I squish as much as humanly possible into every single day. I am a workaholic, both for myself and for others. I’ve found that I really have got it all.”
This one’s easy, despite the title. I promise. You can find all these ingredients at your standard grocery store, you may just need to brave the ethnic foods aisles. This is also a great leftovers meal!
Kimchi Fried Rice with Crispy Chicken
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 5-10 minutes depending on how hot you can get the pan
1 C Della Brown Basmati, already cooked previously in pot or a rice cooker
¼ lb chicken breast or thigh meat
4 spring onions sliced and washed well
½ C left over or frozen veggies (really anything will work here, I used some frozen peas and corn I had)
1 egg, beaten
3 clove garlic, minced
½ onion, minced
1 Tbsp Gochujang
¼ C Kimchi
1Tbsp Miso paste
SO…the last 3 seem exotic. You can find them easily, and once you’ve tried them once you’ll want to add them to your cooking arsenal all the time. But let me help you with some tips, tricks, or replacements.
The Gochujang is a fermented red pepper paste. It’s earthy, sticky sweet, aromatic, and a very pleasant level of spiciness. I can think of only a few better ways to add umami to your dishes. It really goes with everything, and is slowly becoming the new Sriracha. The great stuff is fermented underground in pots for months. The big jar you see pictured is easily found in any Asian food store, but most standard grocery stores sell a smaller version in squeeze bottles. It lasts pretty much forever in the fridge, and you’ll find more and more reasons to use it once you’ve tried it. A good alternative is tomato paste, salt, with some cayenne to taste.
Now the Kimchi. Anyone who’s been to a Korean restaurant has tried this. It’s also a fermented product, full of probiotics and bright flavors. It adds a zesty, fresh, bite as a side or ingredient. The really good stuff is made by your Korean friend’s mom, but I’m finding more and more stores that carry this magical stuff. It always refrigerated, sometimes near pickled items. Again, this is easily found at any Asian grocery and most major chains nowadays. A good replacement is anything pickled… yes, even pickles!
Finally the Miso. It’s earthy, balanced, flavorful, and incredibly healthy. This is where the Koji is coming from. If you haven’t kept up on the latest food blog trends, Koji treated meat is all the rage. Koji is an inoculant, like what you find in cheese cultures. It’s typically used in Japan and South Korea for products like Miso, tempeh, and soy sauce. When added to meats like chicken and fried it creates a crispy coating. You can try it on steak and get that month long dry aged feel in hours. You can also simply use straight Koji grains in this dish, but those ARE hard to find in the US.
1. Cook your Della rice as directed. For this dish, and all fried rice, day old rice is best. So use some leftovers if you have it. Otherwise cook, and let it sit out.
2. Cut up the chicken and coat it in the Miso. Let it marinate for as long as you like, at least 30 minutes.
3. Dice your onion, garlic, and spring onions and put aside. Remember to wash those spring onions.
4. Fry your chicken as you like. I usually coat it in mixture of 2 tbsp cornstarch and 4 tbsp cold water and flash fry it in a shallow pan with some oil for around a minute. This makes it SO crispy! Now take that chicken out but keep the pan hot.
5. Add your onions with some salt, let them get golden.
6. Quickly scramble your egg in the pan with the onions.
7. Add the rice, Gochujang, kimchi, left over veggies, pre-fried chicken you just made, and the garlic. Stir fry it all up. It will take a few minutes to get the rice coated with the Gochujang, it’s pretty sticky, but as it heats up it’ll all come together.
8. Salt and pepper this bad boy to taste.
9. Keep frying it until you get a few crispy edges on the rice, that’s always nice. 5-10 minutes MAX. Near the end add the spring onions. I try to never overcook these guys. They always get so sad and wilted when you add them too early. However, if you’re not a fan of that onion bite, leave them out or add them earlier.
That’s it. You’re done. Maybe garnish with some chives; that makes it fancy. And serve with…hmmm…more Kimchi!