Recipe: Kim chi fried rice with Spam
Following my L.A. Visit when I spent a lot of meals in Koreatown, I thought I’d share a Korean comfort food favorite: kim chi fried rice! And to make it even better, I cook it with Spam.
Now I know not everyone is into the luncheon meat in a can, but did you know that in Korea, Spam is a prized food? It’s relatively expensive, and there exists such a thing as the Spam gift basket..
The photo above of my fried rice doesn’t actually have any kim chi in it since we didn’t have any in the fridge at the time, but that’s the beauty of fried rice—it’s one of those dishes that’s easy to throw together with whatever you have on hand. Perfect for getting rid of leftovers, you can virtually throw whatever you have in your fridge or pantry into the wok or stir-fry pan and have a delicious concoction at the end. But the added bonus of sour, spicy, mildly crunchy kim chi elevates the fried rice, so I suggest adding it per my recipe.
The two tips to good fried rice are: (1) using old rice that’s been chilled in the fridge—the dehydrated, dried rice won’t turn into a steamed mush once it hits the pan; and (2) stir-frying the rice over very high heat so you get that restaurant-style wok hei (or signature smokiness). Of course, it’s difficult to achieve that level of hei on a home burner (which is why fried rice at the restaurant tends to be better than our home-cooked versions), but you can achieve something close if you follow those two tips.
I like to make a big batch of the stuff and store it in the fridge for whenever a hankering for comfort food arises. But then again, fried rice never lasts long in our house.