[The Oatmeal Project, Day 25: Kimchi Bokkeum Oats]
This is the one we were waiting for, the best savory oatmeal we were going to save for last, but we couldn’t hold out until the end.
Because we had nothing left in the house to eat except oats, a half bottle of kimchi, and a can of Spam that we bought more years ago than we’d care to ponder since we did end up adding the possibly expired protein to our saute pan of Kimchi Bokkeum Bap Oats.
(We will address the Spam as a complete and separate issue in a future post; this post is dedicated to kimchi bokkeum bap.)
We don’t need to do a lesson on Kimchi Bokkeum Bap, or “kimchi fried rice” for the Korean-ly uninitiated, as there is plenty of information out there in the world wild web about the original reason why this dish is cooked (use up leftover rice or over-ripe kimchi) and how to cook it.
We do want to say, though, that kimchi fried rice is a Korean comfort food. The dish is convenient in terms of ingredients because a single ingredient, kimchi, is actually a whole lot of ingredients in one, is quick to cook in a single pan, is spicy and warm and utterly unfussy. And since oatmeal is also a comfort food, the combination of kimchi fried rice (minus the rice) and oats makes it the perfect dish for a girl who can barely handle a partially cloudy sky, let alone a torrential downpour on a day where the all-around stress-level is already just below the point of explosion.
Kimchi Fried Rice Oats
The recipe for Kimchi Bokeeum Bap is fairly loose, and can be used with the standard white rice, brown rice, or in our case, steel cut oats. We’ve also made kimchi fried rice with barley.
serves 2, can be doubled, tripled, etc.
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ – 1 cup kimchi, drained and chopped
½ cup diced Spam (substitute: crumbled tofu, diced chicken, pork, or beef, chopped bacon, or nothing for a vegetarian version)
2 cups cooked steel cut oats, cold or room temperature
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste
optional toppings for each bowl: fried egg, sliced scallions, nori komi furikake
Heat canola oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add chopped kimchi and Spam and stir fry until kimchi has browned slightly at the edges, about 5 minutes.
Add oats and stir until oats are separated and mixed evenly with kimchi and Spam. Add soy sauce and stir fry until oats are heated through, about 5 minutes. If the Kimchi Fried Rice Oats are not spicy enough, add some of the red pepper liquid “juice” from the kimchi container.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and drizzle in sesame oil.
Serve hot, along with any of the optional toppings.