Sasami teaches us how to make her grandmother’s fried rice.
This article originally appeared in print in AdHoc 28.
Here at AdHoc, we believe in building the world you want to see using the materials at your disposal—and it’s a philosophy that applies as much to the world of music as it does to food. In AdHoc Recipes, we ask artists we love to share a jumble of ingredients that tastes delicious and brings them back to a special time and place. This month, Los Angeles rock musician Sasami Ashworth teaches readers how to make her favorite kimchi fried rice, inspired by her grandmother.
Halmoni’s Kimchi Fried Rice
My halmoni (grandma) owns a kimchi shop in Los Angeles, so I always have more kimchi in my fridge than anyone could ever consume without burning a hole in their stomach. This recipe was born out of me always having old, sour kimchi left over from when I left on tour and the very Korean side of me that hates to waste food.
Kimchi bokkeum-bap, or fried rice, is a classic Korean dish that uses the extremely fermented, sour kimchi that some people might just throw away to make something truly dank as fuck. I typically make this dish when I have a bunch of leftover rice, or even just one serving of day-old rice from takeout. Koreans usually use white steamed rice, but I often use brown rice and have even made it with (Koreans in the room gasp) QUINOA! I also change the ingredients based on whatever in my refrigerator needs to be used up, so you can be creative and flexible with your bokkeum-bap accoutrements.
Modern Korean foodies add shredded cheese and crazy shit to all of the traditional dishes now, so don’t be afraid to get weird. But today I am going to share a more conservative, tried-and-true version. My halmoni’s kimchi is very flavorful, gingery, garlicky, and sweet! If you are using a more traditional or less intensely flavored kimchi, you can always use gochujang sauce, sautéed onions, or some minced ginger to kick it up a bit.
3 cups leftover rice. If making fresh, use less water so that your bokkeum-bap doesn’t become soggy.
1 cup sour kimchi, roughly chopped
Kimchi juice to taste (usually 2 or more tablespoons)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken (or any leftover protein)
1 bunch broccoli (or any leftover vegetable), chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 green onion stalks, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
1. Warm a frying pan over medium-high heat and add sesame oil. Toss in your minced garlic and sauté your broccoli or other veg. Add shredded chicken and stir occasionally until everything is cooked through. Add chopped kimchi and continue cooking for another couple minutes, stirring often.
2. Add in the leftover rice. Stir in soy sauce and kimchi sauce. Once all of the rice is sleekly coated in sauce and cooked on medium high for a couple minutes, reduce the pan to medium heat.
3. Move the rice to one side of the pan and crack the eggs into the empty side. (You can scramble them separately or make a sunny-side up egg for each portion if you want, but I hate washing dishes, so I usually don’t.) Roughly scramble to your heart’s content, then mix everything together.
4. Turn off the heat and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion on top. Serve and enjoy! Serves four.