A few days of hot weather and it feels like summer is in full swing here. It is.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with summer. Love the summer nights, garden produce, festivals, activities, mountain tops, and evening light (yes, a lot to love!). Hate the heat, the non-stop yardwork, traffic, and BUGS. It's a lesson for me in focusing on the positive because as the heat increases, my level of patience and typical up-beat attitude recede in direct correlation.
So, here I am focusing on the good. Summer produce. Summer herbs. Quick and light suppers. New flavors. Sunny skies!
One of these days, I'll make my own batch of Kimchi. Until then, Trader Joes is now carrying an almost tolerable rendition. I am sure homemade is so much better!
I usually have leftover cooked Jasmine rice somewhere in my refrigerator because if I make rice, I make extra. This time I did not have any extra and had to cook up a batch and cool it very quickly. I spread the freshly cooked rice out on a sheet pan and put it in my freezer for about an hour. I took it out 15 minutes before using it and stirred it.
Kimchi fried rice is all over the internet and fried rice in general doesn't really require a recipe. It's more of a technique. It's also a perfect last-minute dinner! If you have cold rice in your frig, veggies, eggs, and a protein, dinner is ready in minutes. In fact, I feel silly providing a recipe because it's so adaptable to what you have on hand---- but nonetheless, this is the technique I use for fried rice.
Kimchi Fried Rice
4- 5 C. cold, cooked Jasmine Rice
1 pckg firm tofu, drained & cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. frozen peas, rinsed
2 C. broccoli florets
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 C. thinly sliced green onions
2 T. tamari
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 T. oil for frying (I use coconut)
Siracha Mayonnaise to serve, optional
Sprinkle the tamari soy sauce and sesame oil over tofu in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
Preheat a seasoned wok or cast iron skillet. Add 1 T. oil (I use coconut) and toss in the broccoli and carrots. Add 2 T. water, cover and allow to steam just a bit--- less than five minutes. Remove lid and allow moisture to cook off. Remove carrots and broccoli to platter.
Allow wok to return to heat and add tofu. Stir-fry until browned--- approximately 5 minutes. Remove to platter.
Add 1 T. oil to wok, swirl or brush the surface, and add rice and peas, breaking apart rice clumps with fingers. Stir-fry rice, but also allowing it to brown a bit. Make a well in the center and crack eggs into it. Scramble eggs in this well while slowly mixing in rice from the exterior of the circle. Eventually, the eggs will cook and then stir the cooked eggs throughout the rice, adding the minced garlic at this point. Add Kimchi and stir.
Return previously cooked ingredients to wok and incorporate into entire mixture. Add green onions and serve.
Variations: I imagine adding chopped cilantro to this, a little lime juice, and serving with this peanut sauce for more of a Thai variation. I usually add mushrooms to my fried rice but didn't have any. Also, for those in my family that eat tomatoes, I usually add fresh, diced tomatoes to our fried rice just before serving.