All you can eat barbecues in Koreatown are fantastic, if you want to eat as much meat as possible. But at some restaurants, one of the best tastes comes after the meat is gone and the grill is empty. Then the server brings the makings for kimchi fried rice.
In the photo at the top, you can see how it's put together at Hae Jang Chon on West 6th Street.
If you don't eat a lot of kimchi, you may not want to purchase the large jars stocked in Korean markets. However, those same markets have delis where you can buy any amount you need.
The version in the photo above gets added flavor from bacon, but you could saute with butter or oil instead and leave the rice meatless. Or you could put in a small amount of meat for richer flavor.
The rice in the photo is topped with a seasoned dry seaweed snack from a Korean market. Crisp, lightly sweetened and sprinkled with sesame seeds, it's great for garnishing and also for snacking, either by itself or as an accompaniment to beer--Korean beer, of course.
KIMCHI FRIED RICE
1/3 cup chopped bacon
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green onions, including some of the tops, chopped
1 heaping cup cabbage kimchi, chopped
2 1/2 cups previously cooked rice
Salt if needed
Korean seasoned dry seaweed, optional
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned and the fat has melted. Add the garlic and green onions and cook until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the kimchi and cook until heated through.
Add the rice and toss until heated through and evenly mixed with the kimchi so that no white grains remain. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve sprinkled with the seaweed, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.