Okay y’all. I did it. I made kimchi bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice) in the Instant Pot. John asked, “Why would you do that?!”
1. It frees up the nonstick pan (what I normally use to make the fried rice) to make the FRIED EGGS. Yolky, oozy, fried eggs with crispy brown edges is what makes 50% of this recipe.
2. I can make more fried rice than in a medium pan because of the pot’s shape and we always wish there were more leftovers. It freezes well, too!
3. Since the pot is stainless steel, the rice on the bottom crisps up and gets all crunchy!! The best part. Save it for yourself (because you deserve it) and dig it out with a metal spoon when no one is looking.
Few other things that are important about making the BEST kimchi fried rice:
1. The kimchi. Our favorite is Jonggajip (Chonggajip). See photo – it comes in a bucket or a foil pouch. It has a green lid/design and they claim to be the #1 kimchi brand in Korea, haha. We’re lucky enough to buy it at Costco here in Hawaii and you have to make sure it’s really sour and old (as in 2-3 weeks). It should nearly offend you when you smell it and taste so sour that it practically fizzes in your mouth.
2. SESAME OIL! I learned this from my mother-in-law. Game changer. I love the Japanese Kadoya brand, but any one is fine.
3. The rice. Use leftover sticky white rice that’s been in the fridge. It hardens up but this is the important part: you have to heat it back up in the microwave. If you use fresh rice, your fried rice will be soggy and mushy. But it’s fine if you’re desperate.
Here’s the recipe my kimchi-obsessed husband says is the best in all the world:
• Set the pot to “Saute.” Wait until display reads, “Hot.”
• Cut up one can of spam into ½” cubes and brown in the pot with some cooking oil. The spam will stick somewhat to the bottom of the pan but it’ll get soaked up into the kimchi juices. Don’t worry.
• Cut up about 1.5-2 cups of kimchi with kitchen shears (HA!) into small pieces. Dump into the pot and drizzle about 2-3 TBSP of sesame oil all over it.
• Stir the spam and kimchi for about 5 minutes until the kimchi starts to darken in color. It should look a bit orange.
• Dump in your heated rice, about 2-3 cups depending on your preferred level of spicy. If you want it less spicy, add more rice. If you want it spicier, add some kimchi juice Quick tip: I give my kids about ½ cup more white rice in their bowl to mix in so it’s not so spicy.
• Mix it all together, turn off the instant pot, and let it sit while you fry up some eggs, over-easy.
• Serve the fried rice in a bowl, topped with an egg and for extra umami flavor, sprinkle some furikake over it!! You can buy furikake at any Asian store or Japanese grocer. So good! The entire meal is 15 minutes from start to finish!