Another Gwyneth recipe. What can I say? It’s just too easy. This one, especially so. I rarely cook Asian cuisine unless I’m making Ahi Tuna with Yuzu Ponzu. I love fried rice but was too intimidated to try and make it. I figured that ordering take away would be heaps better and easier. This recipe proved me wrong and even though I had it last night I would happily eat it all again today.

I’ve only had kimchi once, at a new ramen bar in town. I had it the untraditional way – over french fries – but I was hooked. Slightly crispy, tons of umami flavor but I never thought about cooking with it.  If fermented cabbage sounds terrible, well, ok maybe it does but it does not taste terrible. It can be super spicy or more on the mild side. The fermented cabbage is made with garlic, salt, vinegar, chile peppers and other spices. It can be eaten alone, with noodles, rice or apparently as a topping on french fries.  Besides tasting great, it has a lot of health benefits, too. It’s loaded with a “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli; which is also found in your yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show that fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.

kimchifriedrice

1 small head of cauliflower ( or 2 cups rice) 

10-12 lg shrimp (defrosted) 

2 tablespoons safflower oil

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1 small bunch of dinosaur (lacinto) kale, ribs removed, leaves sliced into ribbons

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped kimchi

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons tamari 

Gwyneth uses Cauliflower Rice which is tasty and delicious but my food processor broke so breaking my florets down was not an option. Instead I used regular rice and it was still wonderful. I also added shrimp because I love it.

If you go the cauliflower route: Use small florets of cauliflower, then add to the food processor until the pieces break down and are fairly small.

If you go the rice route: Boil your rice in water and try not to overcook to the point it gets too mushy. You’re looking for al dente. When ready, drain and add to the sauté pan to get crispy.

Heat the oils in a large non-stick pan over high heat. Toss in the kale and cauliflower and sauté until the kale is wilted and the cauliflower/rice is beginning to get dark and crispy (but not burnt). This takes about 3-5 minutes.  Add in your shrimp and mix until cooked. This part should only take 3-4 minutes. Mix in the scallions, kimchi, cilantro, and tamari.

My own addition was Furikake (振り掛け) on top. I am obsessed with this stuff! Gwyneth recommends tossing it on top of popcorn in her cookbook and I may have to try it. The seasoning is made up of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar, salt and monosodium glutamate. Sometimes katsuobushi (bonito) flakes are added, freeze-dried salmon particles, shish, egg, powdered miso and vegetables are added too. It seriously adds another level of texture and depth of flavor to this dish. Don’t let the exotic ingredients turn you off. In all reality, I don’t taste “dried fish” just this wonderful umami flavor with a crunch. 

This dish was so good that I may just make it again tonight and I think Kimchi has become my new favorite snack.

Ciao for now!