A quick, easy way to jazz up that boring old rice and get a whole lot more fun and flavorful with this Korean-inspired Kimchi and Bacon Fried Rice.
Do you remember your earliest memory of food? Mine was as a toddler, when I stole a bagel from the kitchen table and hid in a closet, hoping no one would find me until I was finished devouring my doughy contraband. That’s right, I was a bit of a rebel. Once my bagel bandit days were over, new food traditions slowly came about. My mom’s weekly batch of her killer chocolate chip muffins (ones that to this day, even with the recipe, don’t taste like hers… I swear she left something out on the recipe card so that we have to rely on her for all eternity). Her chicken fajitas for life’s most celebrated events. And yes, although I’m not proud to say it, Dunkin’ Donuts for every birthday breakfast.
We all have some sort of traditions or early memories tied to food, don’t we? It especially rings true when it comes to holiday dinners. Anyone else need to make those mashed potatoes precisely like Grandma used to or make darn well sure that Aunt Edna’s famous sweet potato casserole makes an appearance every year for Thanksgiving ?
Well as we are all gearing up for Thanksgiving and obsessing about getting those mashed potatoes perfect this year, something totally different and awesome is happening on the other side of the globe. In Korea, November is all about kimchi.
It’s the month when people all around Korea join together to prepare for winter by making and preserving their favorite staple side dish. Making kimchi is such a long valued cultural tradition (dating back a thousand years), that it even has it’s own name. Kimjang.
Imagine this. You live in Korea. It’s November. Kimchi is on your mind like Thanksgiving is on ours. Forget the Thanksgiving Day Parade. You grew up watching your closest relatives and neighbors preparing kimchi every year as far back as you can remember. And now that you’re old enough, you can join up with the whole family (and many times the whole community) to help with the two to three day process of making the spicy fermented stuff. And as much as the actual kimchi is valued (it’s pretty much finds its way into every meal), the process of making it is a deeply rooted cultural tradition.
And good news. Besides kimchi packing a flavor punch like nothing else you’ve ever experienced, it’s also ridiculously good for you. We’re talking some serious vitamins and a crazy amount of that good bacteria stuff. Talking about being healthy, this Kimchi & Bacon Fried Rice is also loaded with a bunch of nutritious sauteed greens, which in my opinion, helps offset the nutritional impact of the whole bacon thing.
I’m totally in love with Mother in Law’s Kimchi. It’s local. It’s made in small batches. And most importantly, it’s so good. When I ordered a few jars a month or two ago, I knew I had to share this wholesome goodness with all of you. And the generous people at Mother In Law’s Kimchi are hooking us up with a pretty sweet giveaway.
Two Free Jars of Mother In Law’s Kimchi
Winner can choose any two of the following:
Napa Cabbage Kimchi has long strips of whole leaf napa cabbage with great depth of flavor and a long spicy finish. The most popular flavor and the one I used in this recipe.
Muu Daikon Radish has the crunch and texture of turnips, but with great flavor and complexity. Comes in refreshing bite size snack cubes.
Vegan Napa Cabbage has all the punch of spice, flavor and zest of the Napa Cabbage Kimchi, but is made without any shellfish in an all vegan recipe.
No purchase necessary. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only and ends November 30. Winner will be selected on December 2 and be notified through email. This giveaway is sponsored by Mother In Law’s Kimchi and kimchi will be shipped directly from their NY Office.
Here are four ways to enter the giveaway (one entry per method, with a total of 4 possible entries per person):
Kimchi & Bacon Fried Rice
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the Rice
- 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
- 3/4 cup kimchi, chopped
- 1 tablespoon gochujang
- 2 cups thinly sliced greens, such as bok choy or swiss chard
- 2 cups cooked white or brown rice (preferably leftover from day before*)
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
For the Eggs
- 2 tablespoons oil, butter, or bacon drippings
- 4 eggs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- *Apparently from what I’ve read it’s best to use leftover cooked rice from the day before. Freshly cooked rice can be used but will be a bit mushier in the finished product.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until golden brown and fat is rendered. Remove bacon and all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings (keep rest of drippings to fry the eggs if desired). Add kimchi and gochujang, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add greens and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Raise heat to high and add rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, until hot, stirring frequently. Add scallions and soy sauce, and cook until greens are fully wilted, stirring frequently. Taste and add a little more soy sauce if needed.
- Meanwhile, in a separate large nonstick fry pan or skillet, heat two tablespoons of oil, butter, or bacon drippings over medium-low heat. Crack open eggs and add them, one at a time, into the heated skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid. This will help the tops of the whites to set before overcooking the bottom of the eggs. The eggs are done cooking once the whites are just set (the yolk will still be runny).
- Divide the fried rice among four bowls and top each with a fried egg.
- Note: some rice may stick to bottom of the pan while cooking and that’s totally okay. Just keep going. To easily remove stuck on rice from the skillet when cleaning up, boil some water in the pan and scrape rice up with wooden spoon.
Mmm love kimchi! I’ll eat it however you want to make it for me 🙂
Kitchen Ninja (Julianne)
I’m just getting into kimchi, so this fried rice looks like the perfect thing for me!
It’s totally a gentle way to ease into the world of kimchi 🙂
More bacon…geeze!!! Ok so I’m with you on the Kimchi…we use it all the time in our house. I’ve never tried Mother-in-law’s before but I’ll be on the lookout for it now. We normally get kimchi from a local Asian market but I’m really interested to see if a vegan version is just as good. Have you tried the vegan one Chris?
Oh…and is that a fake egg…it looks way to perfect to be real. But I have read about a way to make them look like that 😉 You must be the master at it!!!
Haha you know you secretly love bacon Sandra. Come on, just admit it. Admit it! Definitely be on the lookout for Mother In Law’s Kimchi. It’s made right here in NY. I’ve never tried the vegan one but when I was talking with the people over at Mother In Law’s Kimchi they said it’s really good.
I was waiting for someone to ask if that was a fake egg… it totally looks like it could be, right?! No, I honestly 100% just got super lucky with getting an egg that cooked well for the camera. Not a master at it at all… so many of my eggs come out nowhere near that good!
Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
I have never had Kimchi before! Can you believe that? I must end this insanity, and fried rice is the perfect solution. Yum.
You totally need to try kimchi Nicole! It’s so good and bring such a new, exciting flavor into the mix. Loving your blog, Cooking for Keeps, by the way!
I absolutely love kimchee, but have never tried cooking with it. Can’t wait to try this!
High five for a fellow kimchi lover! Totally try cooking with it! It’s bring on a whole new level of kimchi flavor greatness 🙂
Kimjang is so much fun! There’s nothing that brings women (sorry..I’ve never done it with males now that I think about it) together than gathering around big bowls with the infamous pink gloves on and giving the cabbage lots of love while swapping stories. Oh how I miss it..My mom’s in Korea right now so looks like we are having turkey and the usual Thanksgiving fixings. Bacon and kimchi were def meant for each other..oh and runny eggs! Looks delicious, Chris!
I’m so jealous that you’ve got to experience Kimjang! It sounds like such a beautiful tradition… I’ll even wear the pink gloves 🙂 I’m having a lot of fun checking out your blog right now… great stuff! Thanks so much for stopping by Min!
I would want to make this recipe! Orrrr I guess if I had to come up with something (although nothing could top bacon fried rice), I’d make some kind of salad! 🙂
Haha anything with bacon in it is pretty good, ain’t it?! I love the idea of making some sort of salad with kimchi. You should totally go for it and post it on that amazing food blog you have going on over at Emerging Foodie 🙂
This looks so good! I’ve seen this brand stocked in my local grocery store and have been coveting, waiting for a good opportunity to buy and use. I think I’d want to taste the kimchi as much as possible so maybe on some bibimbap, which is one of my favorite lunches!
Mmmm bibimbap sounds glorious right about now! I’m so jealous that you can get MIL Kimchi anytime you want at your local grocery store! That’s awesome!
James Felton Jr.
I would give it to my kids on thanksgiving. I believe in broadening my kids pallet at this young age, so they get to enjoy foods from around the world!
What a great idea James! I love that you want to introduce your kids to new foods and flavors as early as possible!
Randi from Louisville
I love kimchi, I could eat it all day. I grew up in Asia and love Korean food.. Kimchi rocks
Straight outta the jar! :^)
I’d probably just eat it right out of the jar! Or I’d eat it with a fried egg, a delicious simple dinner.
You can never go wrong with a fried egg 🙂
I’d eat it with eggs!
Eggs + Kimchi = Delicious!
MIL’s is the best. Besides homemade, of course.
Kimchi fried rice with an egg on top and baby bok choy is my comfort food! It always makes me feel better when I’m sick. 🙂
I would probably sauté this kimchi with some pork belly or to put it in a grilled cheese sandwich (don’t knock it ’til you try it!). This fried rice recipe looks amazing!
Mmmm Kimchi and Pork Belly sounds pretty amazing… and hey, I think sneaking some in between two slices of bread and mixed up with gooey melty cheese is a darn great idea! Love it!
I would love to try your stir fried rice recipe with MIL kimchi.
I would go fiber max. MIL kimchi/baby bok choy/Chinese broccolli saute with garlic and oil. mmmmmmmmm…
Sounds great, Steve! When’s dinner? 🙂
Anne ~ Uni Homemaker
I would totally make Bibim Gooksu, Kimchi Jjigae, Kimchi Fried Rice, etc… the possibilities are endless! Love your Kimchi and Bacon Fried Rice. You certainly can’t go wrong with bacon –yum! 🙂
When’s dinner at your house?! I’m there. All those sound so good! And you’re so right… adding bacon to a dish is kind of cheating, isn’t it? It pretty much makes everything taste better. 🙂
It’s hard to find kimchi in a jar that’s any good. I’ll have to try Mother-in-Laws with this recipe. Yumm.
I love kimchi! I grew up eating this in so many dishes. I would make bibingooksu, kimchi bokum, kimchi chigae & definitely in the recipe shown above along with many more!!!! Oh goodness! I’m so excited & hungry talking about this haha!
Wow Jane, when’s dinner?! All those dishes sound fabulous! Would love to eat at your house 🙂