Monday, April 18, 2016

Quick and Tasty Dinner from the Pantry (with one superhero ingredient)

What with the prospective buyers viewing, and the family guests visiting, and now the packing and furniture-selling and moving-truck booking, et cetera, et cetera and, emphatically, et cetera, it's been a wee bit busy here. Meals, however, must still be eaten and, before that, prepared, and we're trying to be
mindful, as we prepare them, that cupboards and freezers and refrigerators will all need to be emptied before keys get handed to their new owners. 

Last spring, we put in an order for a side of pork--an ex-colleague of mine raises pigs, turkeys, and chickens, and we've been very happy with the meat she provides from pigs who've led happy lives with room to roam and organic food to munch. But the order was late to the butcher this year, and we didn't get ours until almost Christmas. And let me tell you, a side of pork is a few chops and roasts and hams too many for two people to eat between Christmas and May. We're doing our best, though, and we seized the opportunity of the visiting kids to cook up a large pork roast. Still, after we'd enjoyed it warm, with scalloped potatoes, and cold in sandwiches (with Branston pickle and finely chopped red cabbage), there were leftovers enough for me to make up a big dish of kimchi chahan.

In fact, this dish has become a new staple around here, and as long as my latest batch of kimchi lasts, it's probably going to be kimchi chahan for dinner two or three nights a week. It's a one-pot dinner that relies on rice and eggs and accommodates any leftovers. When my homemade kimchi runs out, I might even pick up a jar of commercial product and do a comparison.


And in case you're interested in a new twist on Fried Rice with Leftovers, I took a few pics last time I stirred up dinner for the crew. For two people, begin with two or three cups of cooked long-grain white rice, still warm (I'm going to try this with brown eventually as well, as we empty the larder...)
When the rice is almost cooked, fry a clove or two of finely chopped garlic in two tablespoonfuls of sesame oil for about 30 seconds, or just until fragrant. Stir in the rice, forking it until rice is separated, coated with the oil. Now stir in two beaten eggs -- keep your fork moving through the mixture so that the egg coats the rice without clumping.
Into this you can now stir in whatever leftovers you want. I actually made three different versions when I made it for family--one with no meat for the vegetarian, one with meat and frozen peas but no spicy kimchi for the little ones, and one with the works for the rest of us. Here's the version with the leftover pork being stirred in

 Now add about half a cup of chopped kimchi -- I'm sure a food photographer could make this look more appealing, but really, I tried a few shots and this is as good as it got!
Even my photos of the kimchi in its jar aren't aesthetically convincing, but for a quick way to spice up an otherwise ho-hum combo and get some fermented goodness, I recommend trying this out yourself. Let me know if you do

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a stack of boxes to fill...






23 comments:

  1. That sounds yummy. I like a good leftover fry-up. We had lovely wine sauerkraut last nightand I will think about adding some to my next 'whatever's in the fridge meal'.
    Good luck with the packing!

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    1. Where do you find the sauerkraut? Do you make it yourself or is there a good supplier near you?
      And thanks for the packing luck -- I'll need it! ;-)

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    2. I bought it a a Deli in Oak Bay. No time for making it myself these days. Could you share your kimchi recipe just in case I carve out some time? I love kimchi and haven't found a commercial one that I like.

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  2. Delicious stuff. My son, fresh from Seoul, has been reintroducing us to it. We had a delicious Korean lunch in Nottingham on Saturday. I may even make my own, like you. Enjoy the sorting and packing. Drop those shoulders!

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    1. Lucky you, with someone to introduce you to all kinds of new culinary delights.
      The way I make it, at least, kimchi is surprisingly easy and very satisfying to make (whoops! I actually typed "to eat" first by mistake). Just keep it in a well-ventilated room while it's fermenting!

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  3. I love kimchi. Most Korean food, in fact. So healthy too. I have a different technique for fried rice, but, that doesn't really matter, mine I am sure would benefit from some kimchi inclusion.

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    1. This is a new technique to me, one I discovered after googling "Kimchi chahan" which is a favourite dish at a Japanese-fusion-y restaurant in Vancouver (that makes The. Best. Gyoza!!). Kimchi is Korean, but the chahan part seems to be Japanese. The eggs coat the rice brilliantly and are scarcely discernible except for an overall colour and taste. And, of course, the hit of protein. I've gotten myself addicted to kimchi, I must say, and I think I'm justifying meals around its inclusion ;-)

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  4. A Korean lady sells a variety of her homemade kimchi at our Farmers' Market. You have to be there early to get some. It's worth it.

    Good luck with your packing. It's a big job.

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    1. That would definitely be worth being an early bird -- the daughter who taught me to make kimchi hasn't had time lately to make her own, and she's been disappointed with some of the commercial versions she's found (she's pretty fussy though -- her first career was cooking).
      And my oh my, is it ever a big job! Thanks for wishing me more luck -- I'm collecting all I can get!

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  5. I love Korean dishes,too.
    The rice dish is great,I make it slightly different,depends on inspiration (but there are so many variations....,also with different kind of noodles).
    This is healthy,tasty and easy way to prepare and enjoy food,especially in an special situation like packing! There is no kimchi to buy here (yet! Korean is very popular lately in London,too),so I have to use sauerkraut or pickled turnip (or make my own kimchi :-))
    I wish you good luck with packing, too
    Dottoressa

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    1. I think sauerkraut or pickled turnip would be a great substitute, although it's not as spicy, of course. Tonight I added red cabbage (chopped and sauteed first) and I like that variation.

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  6. I love fried rice so I'm going to look up Kimchi, it's a new one on me. The daunting prospect of packing boxes. Spring is a very positive time time to move and just think of all that decluttering you can do. Good luck :) B X

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    1. It's true -- an intense version of spring cleaning!

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  7. Yes! Anyone moving (or even launching into a spring de-cluttering spree) needs comfort-giving one dish supper recipes. Now I am wondering how-given you live on a small island-you are sourcing boxes, and how you'll divest larger items you no longer want.

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    1. Next post is set to answer your question -- a perceptive one!

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  8. I love kimchi. I love kimchi and pork together, and I'm sure I'd love it in fried rice. Yummy.

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    1. They do make a good combo, don't they? Pork and cabbage. . .

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  9. I bought some kimchi and made your recipe for supper tonight...it was delicious! I used brown rice and turkey bacon (so cooked that then added the garlic); meant to throw in some peas just before the end but forgot.

    Maybe one day when things settle down you can share your kimchi recipe/instructions with us. It sounds like a good project!

    Your attempts to 'quickly' eat your way through a side of pork made me think of Dorothy Parker...

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    1. I'm on my own a few days this week, and it's been kimchi chahan on the repeat. Last night I made it with brown rice too -- it's good that way, isn't it?! Turkey bacon, good idea!
      I'll be happy to share my kimchi process, even if I've only made it three times and a bit differently each time.
      But I'm not so up on my Dorothy Parker that I catch the allusion. Care to help me out?

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    2. The definition of eternity: two people and a ham! :)

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    3. Ha! She did it again! (and again and again, obviously)

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  10. Those big freezer orders of meat can be a challenge!
    I've never tasted 'real' kimchi. Korean hasn't really hit Scotland as far as I'm aware. But my university has a large international student population, and the student union shop nearest my office sells dehydrated noodles including kimchi 'flavour'. It is my go-to lunch on a tough day - never mind the salads and yoghurt-with-wheatgerm-and-ground-flax-seed that is my norm. Probably bears no resemblance to the real thing, but it's tasty. Adapting George Orwell and The Road to Wigan Pier wildly, "When you are [having a tough day at work/moving house], which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don't want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit 'tasty'."

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    1. Yes, I suspect we'll be giving gifts of pork sausage before we leave the island. Anybody want a pound of bacon? ;-)
      Good old Orwell, he knew what he was talking about -- dull and wholesome just doesn't do it when you're having a tough day. . .

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