Dennis recently had to take antibiotics. I’m not a big fan of them, as they destroy the body’s essential beneficial bacteria as well as the bad stuff, but there are some instances when they’re necessary. I occasionally have to take them due to sinus infections, which never seem to go away with natural remedies, no matter how hard I try.
Now that he’s off of the medication, he’s taking probiotics to help rebuild his body’s beneficial bacteria. I’m feeding him lots of probiotic and prebiotic foods, too. We’ve been eating lots of fermented foods such as sauerkraut and drinking quite a bit of kombucha. Kimchi has been on sale on my local Whole Foods, so I’ve been stocking up. I’ve become hooked! I can’t get enough of the stuff.
Kimchi is a staple in Koren cuisine and it’s often served as a side dish. It’s basically just fermented vegetables, usually cabbage, but it can also be made with other vegetables such as Korean radishes, cucumber, or lotus root. It’s commonly seasoned with chili powder, scallions, garlic, and ginger.
Not all kimchi is vegan. In fact, most of what my local store has isn’t. It’s often made with shrimp, fish sauce, and even bone broth. There are vegan varieties, though, so make sure you read the labels. I’ve been enjoying Mother-In-Law’s Vegan Napa Cabbage Kimchi, which is nice and spicy. If heat’s not your thing, they also have a mild White Napa Cabbage Kimchi.
Cooking with Kimchi
At first, I was just throwing kimchi on top of our salads or serving it on the side of our meals. But then I started to experiment with different dishes. A few days ago, I made really tasty Korean-style tacos with kimchi, which I’ll be sharing with you in a few weeks. I’ve also been making lots of vegan kimchi fried rice, which is a super-easy and quite tasty.
Vegan Kimchi Fried Rice
A quick Google search for kimchi fried ricewill bring up lots of recipes that use eggs and very few vegetables. I’ve loaded my dish with lots of vegetables, because why not? I’ve used a mixture of carrots, peas, broccoli, and red pepper, but you can’t use pretty much any veggie you have on hand.
I’ve used baked tofu in the place of eggs in this recipe. I like to use my own baked tofu in recipes like this, but if you’re pressed for time, packaged premade baked tofu will work just as well.
Most kimchi fried rice recipes add the kimchi during the cooking process. I know that heat can kill beneficial bacteria, which kind of defeats the purpose of cooking with it. In this recipe, I’ve added it after the dish has been removed from the heat. You can also just serve it on the side, if you prefer.
Once you have your veggies chopped, this dish comes together super quickly, so it’s a terrific option for dinner on busy weeknights.
Kimchi Fried Rice
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored vegetable oil
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup cooked peas
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic chili paste or sriracha, plus extra for serving, optional
- 1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped, plus extra for serving, optional
- 16 ounces baked tofu, homemade or store-bought
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until they are fragrant.
Add the broccoli, peas, carrots, and bell pepper to the pan and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the broccoli turns bright green.
Add the rice to the pan. Stir in the tamari, rice vinegar, and garlic chili paste or sriracha.
Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. You want to make sure the vegetables are tender and everything is heated throughout. Remove from the heat and stir in the kimchi.*
Divide among 4 bowls and top with the baked tofu, scallions, and sesame seeds.
*Note: If you think you’re going to have leftovers, add the kimchi to the bowl as you’re serving it. That way, you’re not killing the probiotics in the kimchi when you reheat it.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like:
- Tofu and Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry
- Spicy Soy Curl Stir-Fry
- Spicy Orange-Sesame Stir-Fry
- What’s in the Fridge Vegan Stir-Fry