When kimchi passes its prime, it turns too sour for us to enjoy it as a side dish. Don't despair. Home-made kimchi never goes wasted. With old kimchi, you can make savory pancakes, soup, or a stir-fried rice.
Stir-fried rice that features kimchi is one of the easiest recipes one can try. A simple and popular version only calls for rice, old kimchi, scallions, fried eggs, or meat. I wanted to give this good old recipe a makeover, turning this everyday dish into a gourmet food that is also nutritionally more balanced. You can think of it as bibimbap that makes the best use of kimchi's unique savory flavor profile.
In this recipe, Kimchi's sourness is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of onions, carrots, bell peppers, and asparagus. If you like kimchi, I encourage you to try this dish. You will discover distinct flavors that only cooked kimchi can provide.
Ingredients (4-5 servings)
One small sweet onion (thinly sliced)
One small potato (julienned and soaked in cold water)
One medium carrot (julienned)
Old kimchi that tastes sour
One Chinese eggplant (thinly sliced)
Two sticks of celery (thinly sliced)
One pound of asparagus (cut into 2-inch sticks)
Half pound of baby portobello mushrooms (thinly sliced)
One red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
A quarter-pound of seafood mixture*
Freshly minced garlic (one clove)
Freshly minced ginger or ginger powder (1/4 tsp)
*You can buy a package of uncooked, snap-frozen seafood mixture (chopped squid, chopped octopus, scallops, mussels, and shrimps) at any Asian grocery market.
First, you need to defrost the seafood mixture by taking a portion out of the package and immersing it in water. Now it is time to cut all the other vegetables as specified above. Cut potatoes need to be soaked in cold water to remove the starches on their surface and to prevent them from turning brown. Residual starches on cut potatoes tend to be burned easily when you stir-fry them. So it is better to wash them out as much as you can before cooking potatoes.
If you are done with chopping and slicing, you are ready to roll now. Heat up a stir-fry pan over medium-high heat with two teaspoons of your favorite oil on the pan.
Once the pan is hot enough, stir-fry the sliced onion first. When they become somewhat translucent, add the washed and drained potatoes to the pan. Stir-fry them for a minute with a quarter teaspoon of salt. Then, add the julienned carrots to the pan. Stir-fry them for another minute. Add kimchi to the pan and stir-fry it for a minute or so. Now add the sliced Chinese eggplants. Stir-fry them with a quarter teaspoon of salt until they become cooked down a little. Next, add celery and asparagus to the pan. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of salt over the vegetable mixture, mix everything well, and cover the pan. Lower the heat to the medium level and let the water coming out of the vegetables steam them for two minutes.
While steaming the vegetables in the pan, rinse and drain the seafood mixture.
When the time is up, open the lid and raise the heat to the medium-high level. Add the sliced mushrooms, red bell peppers, and a quarter teaspoon of salt to the vegetable mixture in the pan. Stir-fry it until the mushrooms become cooked down and add the seafood mixture to the pan. Continue to stir-fry everything for one or two minutes until shrimps turn pink. Turn off the heat. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and freshly ground pepper to the pan. Mix everything well and check the final taste of the dish to see if you need more salt.
Put a portion of cooked rice in a deep serving bowl and serve the vegetable/seafood mixture over rice. This dish will taste better if you add some seaweed strips on top, as shown in the picture above. Mix rice and everything else in the serving bowl.
You have just made a gourmet dish with old kimchi. If you enjoyed this recipe, please share it with your friends who love kimchi! For other one-pot meal ideas, you can check out the following recipes: bibimbap (Korean or Mexican style), spicy cauliflower over rice, sweet potato noodles, savory rice cakes, Pad Thai, and curry.