It's so easy to order fried rice as a take-out treat that you might overlook the possibility of making it at home. But if you do decide to, kimchi fried rice is something you might want to try. It's easy to buy (or order online) the flavor ingredients from your favorite Korean grocery store. It takes only a few ingredients, and when you make it with good technique, it's a comfort food dish your family will ask for again and again. The flavor burst provided by the kimchi is an excellent addition to the rice and makes it much more flavorful than other versions. It explains why kimchi fried rice is so popular.
The ideal combination is leftover kimchi and leftover rice; each one being aged makes the dish tasty and come out better. As the kimchi ages, sugar's natural fermentation into lactic acid spikes up its sour flavor – a perfect taste-boost for rice. Slightly aged rice dries out, making it fry up better as individual kernels that don't get clumpy. Vegans like to skip the fried egg on top at the end, but it's a great accent if you like eggs. If you want to go the non-vegetarian route, chefs recommend even going as far as adding crumbled-up bacon or sausage to your homemade kimchi fried rice.
When you use kimchi to flavor a dish like fried rice, you don't need much else because it is so flavorful. It's a given you'll find recipes online that have other flavor ingredients, and you may choose to try them, but if you don't, you'll still have a tasty dish. It's a chef technique to squeeze the liquid out of the kimchi and re-add liquid later. It allows you to control how much you add, and that's an excellent way to avoid getting things too soggy. It might sound fun to dump in the kimchi at the right time, but the amount of remaining liquid will vary, and it's not the best technique. When you follow the recipe proportions, it's better.
If you want to add some deliciously nutty flavor to the rice, drizzle a bit of sesame oil over it before frying. It'll also help separate the kernels. Clumpy fried rice is a no-no, and you always want it fluffy. Fry the kimchi first to release its flavor into the pan. Then when you add the liquid ingredients, toss the rice through them until the liquid evaporates or is fully absorbed. Kimchi fried rice looks best when it is dark brown and evenly cooked. The darkness lets you know the rice kernels have absorbed all of the flavors from the pan. Don't forget the previously mentioned fried egg on top at the end unless you're a vegan.