Friday, May 23, 2014

Kimchi Oyster Fried Rice Mix-Up...

My recipe was inspired by two separate outstanding dishes I had with my young family at a neighbourhood Korean restaurant, Home of Hot Taste. One was kimchi oyster fried rice served on a sizzling hot plate and the other, a plain steamed rice with toppings of masago or tobiko (tiny orange fish eggs), nori (seaweed) shreds, thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds. This second dish was interesting as it was served in a good-sized shallow bowl with a disposable plastic glove on the side to put on to mix the contents. My kids love this part and we ask for an extra glove so both older kids could join in the fun. What a unique way of getting engaged with your food! Loving both concepts, I merged the two and came up with this one-of-a-kind fun recipe.

Kimchi Oyster Fried Rice Mix-Up
Makes 4 to 6 Servings

6 cups of cold cooked rice (preferably cooked the night before)
14 fresh oysters, or frozen and thawed in three rinses of cold water, cut into two pieces
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups kimchi, chopped with its brine
2 jalapenos, diced small
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. fish sauce, divided
1 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
2 tsp. light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced, divided
nori shreds or seaweed topping to taste
masago or tobiko eggs to taste
disposable plastic gloves (can typically buy at Korean supermarkets)

Let oysters sit in 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch and 2 tsp. table salt for 20 minutes
to clean. Rinse twice removing most water. Season with salt and white pepper.
I had a small piece of steak leftover, which I diced to use.
Cook the eggs thinly on a hot pan and slice into shreds.

TIP: If you find the crepe-like omelet hard to flip, slice it in half with the top of a spatula and slowly flip both pieces.

1) Heat skillet on medium-high heat; add oysters and cook for one minute then add 1 tsp. fish sauce. Stir and cook for one minute more. Remove onto plate.

2) Return skillet to stove. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and toss in garlic, onions and 1/2 green onions; cook until fragrant about two minutes. Add kimchi and fry another minute while stirring. Next add cooking wine, let simmer and then add the cooked rice. Once the rice has soften with no more clumps, add remaining 1/2 tsp. fish sauce, soy sauce, kimchi brine and sugar and toss well to coat.
You can add the jalapenos here if you want it spicy.
Press down rice clumps with a rice paddle or spatula to loosen.

TIP: Do not stab at the rice clumps as that will break the rice rather than nicely separate the kernels.

3) Lastly, add the partially cooked oysters and in my case, the steak; toss to mix for two minutes. Drizzle sesame oil and get ready to serve it.

4) Set the condiments at the table- shredded seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, chopped jalapenos, egg strips, sliced green onions and fish eggs. Scoop everyone some rice and place it into a large bowl to give room for mixing and tossing with hand. Give everyone one plastic glove.

The best part right kids.... make it as you like it...

Yum yum in the tum tum....

My son Sebastien's mixed up bowl!

Pre-mixed! Absolutely gorgeous in appearance and in taste! All the different flavours and textures create a complex layer of tastes, enjoyed one bite at a time...

Research have shown time and time again, that when children help prepare the meals or when they get involved by customizing their own plate, they are more likely to eat and enjoy it. Often they are reluctant or become picky because they don't know and does not trust what's in it. These results should be encouraging for parents to involve their children in the preparation of healthy and balanced meals which could be a valuable intervention strategy to improve the diet and vegetable intake of our children. When you and your child cook together, you also give a gift that keeps on giving. You teach your child skills for life while sharing quality time and fostering social skills, such as patience and support.

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