Kimchi, a traditional South Korean side dish made with fermented cabbage, is a staple in Korean cuisine. The taste of kimchi differs from province to province. The kinds of kimchi found in the southern provinces are generally saltier and spicier than the ones found in the northern provinces.
Because the southern provinces experiences higher temperatures in the summer than the northern provinces, people living in the southern parts of the country put more salt in their kimchi (to prevent spoilage) than their northern neighbors. They are also likely to add salted seaweed as an additional ingredient to their kimchi.
Thanks to the Korean Wave (Hanryu), kimchi has gained an international following. Kimchi is great by itself, but it is even better when incorporated into a recipe. A popular dish that makes use of kimchi is kimchi bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice). It is especially popular among younger Koreans because it is easy to make. Kimchi bokkeumbap is a great dish for someone who is looking for something quick and easy to make.
Recipe for Cheese Kimchi Bokkeumbap (recipe courtesy of a University of Utah Asia Campus student)
Ingredients (for one serving): 2 sheets of seaweeds, 1 bowl of kimchi, 1 bowl of rice, 1 egg, 1 pack of bacon, 1 scallion, gochujang (hot pepper paste), mozzarella cheese, sesame oil.
Chop and fry the scallion with the bacon in a pan.
Put kimchi with one spoon of sesame oil and then put a bowl of rice when the kimchi turns pinkish.
Put one spoon of gochujang and fry everything together.
Add the seaweed to the pan.
Fry the egg and put it on top of the fried rice.
Put mozzarella cheese on the fried rice and cook for a few minutes until the cheese melts.
Written by Yu-Jin Kim | Edited by Sky Waite