Spinach Kimchi Fried Rice
Spinach…………as much as I want to include it in my diet (because of the health benefits), it is so difficult to actually do it. Spinach tastes muddy to me and has a weird after taste. There are ways to hide it in dips etc. but the quantity of spinach that goes into a dip and the amount of dip a person can eat is hardly substantial. This recipe is so brilliant and is packed with so much Iron because you land up using a large amount of spinach and it tastes so yum! I have made this kimchi fried rice recipe a few times already and its delicious!
For those who are not familiar with it – Kimchi is a fermented Korean pickle like side dish. It has very strong sour and spicy flavors with an underlying sweetness. Its usually made with a combination of napa cabbage, carrot, radish and cucumber but I experimented with spinach and it turned out great. Also its packed with iron. The pickling and fermentation process took away the muddy flavor from the spinach and instead made it very flavorful.
Its always good to have kimchi in your fridge because if you do then you can whip this fried rice anytime in no time. It literally took me 15 minutes to make this recipe. Just chop up few veggies, some kimchi, a day old or fresh steamed rice and the juice/sauce from the kimchi stir fried together. Serve with a drizzle of sesame oil and sriracha.
Just a a little heads up though – don’t get alarmed by the amount of chili paste listed in the ingredients. It IS slightly on the spicier side…but not something that will kill you. If you can eat kimchi then you can definitely eat this fried rice. It is such a treat for sriracha lovers because you can replace the chili paste with sriracha sauce. The sugar and the sourness from the vinegar balances the spices out in this recipe. If you are not a vegan and eat eggs, serve the fried rice with a half fried egg and there you have it a complete and delicious meal for busy evenings.
Serving 3 to 4 people
Cooking time 20 minutes + time for fermenting kimchi
Spinach, 2 bunches roughly chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp red chili paste
2 tsp salt
- Wash and pat dry chopped spinach leaves. Place the leaves in a large bowl and sprinkle salt over it. Using your hands mix the salt well with spinach. Cover and let sit for 3 to 4 hours.
- After 4 hours the spinach will release a lot of water. Using your hands press all the water out (as much as you can) and place the spinach in a large mixing bowl.
- In a separate bowl add all the other ingredients. Stir to mix well – the sugar should dissolve completely.
- Add the sauce into the spinach and stir to mix well.
- Transfer the spinach mixture in clean jars with a lid.
- Keep the jars on the counter for 24 hours or in the fridge if living in a hot climate.
The Kimchi will stay in you fridge for up to a week.
For Kimchi Fried Rice
1 cup kimchi
1/2 cup kimchi sauce (liquid that collects in the kimchi jar)
1/4 cup water
3 cups cooked steamed rice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil to drizzle on top (optional)
2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
- In a wok or a large pan big enough for stir frying, heat up vegetable oil on high.
- Add onions and cook for a few minutes.
- Add bell peppers and continue to cook. Add a little bit of salt (be careful as the kimchi is already seasoned) and continue to stir till the veggies start sweating.
- Add mushrooms and cook till they are slightly golden.
- Add kimchi and cook for another minute or two.
- Add rice and stir to mix well.
- Add kimchi juice and water. Stir till all the rice is coated with kimchi sauce. Add a few squirts of sriracha for extra flavor and kick.
- Turn the heat off and serve in individual bowls with extra drizzle of sriracha, sesame oil and sesame seeds.