I was thinking about doing a Super Bowl-related recipe today but what I really wanted was my ultimate comfort food: Kimchi fried rice. This is one of those simple, easy-to-make foods that are incredibly delicious and impossible to describe. Well, the reason it’s “easy” and yet deeply complex is that its main ingredient, kimchi, is super hard to make. But once you have some kimchi on hand–either your mom’s homemade (because *you* can’t make your own…only Korean matrons know how, duh*) or store-bought–you’re good to go! Prepare to have the most amazing and comforting dinner on your hands in about 15 minutes. Even if you are not into spicy foods, do give this a try: sauteing the kimchi mellows out the heat and adds deep umami flavor. What you get is the flavor of the kimchi minus the spiciness.
Instead of using cold leftover rice as is customary, I used a quick cauliflower “rice” to add more nutrients and keep things light. If you want to use regular rice, just use the same amount of rice for cauliflower. I also pan fried some golden tofu cubes, and garnished with nori flakes, toasted sesame seeds, and a bit of green onions–so amazing! 🙂
Cauliflower Kimchi Fried Rice
1/2 head cauliflower (or about 2 cups rice)
1 cup kimchi
1/4 cup kimchi juice
1/2 tbsp vegan butter (important, don’t skip it)
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 block tofu, cubed
sea salt (for tofu)
nori flakes (for garnish)
toasted sesame seeds (garnish)
chopped green onions (garnish)
1. Chop cauliflower into chunks and pulse in a blender or food processor (about 6-8 quick pulses) until they turn into “rice.”
2. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add EVOO. When the oil is hot, add tofu cubes and leave them alone for about 4 minutes. Seriously, just go do something and come back. This is how you get a nice golden crust. Check a few pieces to see the color, and then flip them over onto the other side, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.
3. In the same pan, add vegan butter. Over medium heat, add kimchi and kimchi juice, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, lightly stirring. Add cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Cook for another 5 or so minutes, until cauliflower is completely cooked.
4. To serve, top rice with tofu cubes. Garnish the fried rice with nori flakes, sesame seeds, and green onions, and serve.
*Kimchi traditionally is made by the matriarch of a large Korean family, but if you don’t fit that profile and still want to make your own kimchi, of course go for it! 😀
More vegan Korean recipes: Tofu Dumpling Soup
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling