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.

Recipe: Kim Chi Fried Rice with Spam

Notes: Great for getting rid of leftovers, use whatever you have on hand. Just be sure to cut everything up into equally sized pieces to ensure even cooking. Other ingredients you can add to your fried rice: pork, chicken, shrimp, tofu, carrots, corn, peas—and that’s just a few ideas. Feel free to make it your own. Kim chi can be found at most Asian grocery stores like H-Mart.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup or hoisin sauce
  • 1 (12 ozs) can Spam luncheon meat, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 c finely chopped kim chi or to taste
  • 2-1/2 c day-old rice, chilled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stalk scallion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Cook rice: In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce and ketchup. In a wok or stir-fry pan over medium-high heat, cook Spam until just caramelized and slightly crispy, stirring occasionally; transfer to platter. Add 2 tbsp neutral oil, onion, and kim chi; saute until tender. Add rice, breaking any clumps up with your hands, and stir-fry until heated through, stirring constantly. Add sauce and stir-fry until evenly coated, stirring constantly. Push rice to the sides of the wok and add eggs to the center; season with salt and scramble. Return Spam to wok and add scallion; season with salt & pepper. Stir-fry until scallion is tender, tossing frequently.

Active time: 30m
Total time: 30m
Yields: 4 servings

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Rayane says:

    Christine, I loved the recipe. I will certainly do it. I'll add some bacon to it. I think it will be very good! hehehehe

  2. 999drugs.com says:

    Rice and veggies – MMM delicious! I like rice especially when it is combined with the mix of healthy veggies and meat.

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