Recipe: Bacon and Kimchi Fried Rice Frittata
Both fried rice and frittatas are known as perfect dishes for cleaning out the refrigerator. Perhaps it’s because both cold rice and eggs act as a blank slate for whatever you wish to throw at them. In addition to being versatile, fried rice and frittatas are fairly simple to make — coming together quickly using whatever vegetables, meats, cheeses, or sauces you have on hand. This recipes combines the two dishes and adds in kimchi and bacon for maximum flavor with minimal effort.
From the salty bacon and rich shiitakes, to the spicy ginger and pungent kimchi, this frittata is truly a tangle of delicious flavors. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi, but the most common version is made with Napa cabbage; that’s the version we used here.
To really tie in all the Korean flavors, a bit of gochujang is added. Gochujang is a fermented Korean condiment consisting of red chili, fermented soybeans, salt, and glutinous rice. It is an indispensable flavoring agent used in many of the most commonly eaten dishes in the cuisine; bibimbap and bulgogi would not be the same without this hot sauce.
This frittata tastes wonderful the next day, as the flavors actually grow in intensity; you can heat it up in the microwave or serve it room temp. Feel free to customize this recipe any way you like. Asparagus could be a nice addition, or instead of bacon, maybe try some Chinese sausages.
Bacon and Kimchi Fried Rice Frittata
Serves 61/2 pound thick bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cus shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2-inch knob ginger, minced (about 1/2 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons gochujang
1 cup kimchi
1 cup leftover (medium-grain) cooked rice, at least a day old
1 tablespoon kimchi liquid
1 cup packed pea shoots, plus additional for garnish
2 tablespoons milk
Grapeseed or olive oil
Heat a 10-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon, and allow to render and crisp up. Once the bacon is lightly crisp, add the shiitake mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add in the garlic, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and gochujang; cook until everything is fragrant.
Firmly squeeze the kimchi to remove any liquid and reserve. Coarsely chop kimchi and add to the skillet. Sauté for one minute; the kimchi should still be crunchy. Turn the heat up to high, add the rice, and stir constantly, making sure that each grain of rice separates, 5 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the kimchi liquid and pea shoots. Gently stir until pea shoots begin to wilt. Transfer to a separate bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, eggs, and the milk. Beat until combined. Stir in the cooled bacon and vegetable mixture.
Heat the oven to 400°F. In the same pan that the rice was cooked in, heat a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat until a drop of egg sizzles and sets within seconds of being added to the pan. Mix the frittata mixture and pour into the pan. Shake the pan gently to get everything to settle in. Cook for a minute undisturbed. Tilt the pan slightly and use a rubber spatula to gently lift up the sides of the frittata, allowing the uncooked eggs to run underneath. After 2 to 3 minutes, a few layers of the eggs will have cooked and the edges will have begun to set; turn the stove off.
Place the pan into the middle of the oven. Bake 10 to 12 more minutes, or until the eggs are just set, rotating the pan halfway through.
Heat the broiler. Broil the frittata for 1 to 3 minutes. Make sure that the eggs aren’t too close to the broiler or else they will burn. The frittata should brown slightly and puff up. Remove from the oven, and let stand 5 minutes. Cut and serve directly from the pan or slide onto a large serving plate. Top with additional fresh pea shoots.