When I was a poor college kid, I used to go to this cluster of Asian restaurants near the Berkeley campus called Asian Ghetto. One of my go-to places here was called Bear Ramen, but I would rarely get ramen here. I would normally get their kimchi fried rice. No I wasn’t crazy. The fried rice was just better in my opinion! It was the ultimate comfort food especially when I had mountains of school work on the horizon. Their fried rice had kimchi stir fried together with rice, spam, and some mixed veggies. Thinking about those moments right now brings back so many wonderful memories. Since then, I’ve never made kimchi fried rice myself, so this recipe is my first attempt at making it from scratch.
My search for good Korean food
Since moving to San Francisco, I’ve searched the city for the best Korean food and unfortunately, have come up short. There are a few solid options near downtown like Zzan, 707 Sutter, and Cocobang but nothing compared to the East Bay or Koreatown in LA. One of my goals this year is to learn how to cook more Korean dishes, so I can enjoy them at home.
A simple kimchi fried rice recipe
I really didn’t want to do anything too complicated with this recipe because the beauty in this dish comes from its simplicity. I first stir fried the spam and kimchi together in a teaspoon of oil. After a minute or 2, I add in day old rice, sesame oil, a dash of dark soy sauce, and frozen veggies. I stir it around for another minute or two and it’s done! Finally, sometimes I top it all off with a fried egg which I didn’t do here.
Kimchi Fried Rice
- ½ cup spam cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup kimchi cut into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup frozen vegetables
- ⅔ cup cooked rice
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Using a large pan, saute spam and kimchi for about 1 minute.
- Add in the rice, vegetables, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir and cook for another minute.
- Season with pepper to taste and serve.