Kimchi (김치) is a Korean side dish made from a variety of fermented vegetables which dates back thousands of years. Health magazine named it one of the world’s healthiest foods due to its high fibre/low fat/vitamin loaded composition. The kimchi I purchase is made with cabbage in a firey sauce found in our local Asian shop.

Zhang Daqian (張大千), Radish and Cabbage, 1978
ink and colour on paper, 34 x 67cm, Private collection

Zhang Daqian was one of the preeminent Chinese artists of the twentieth century. Prior to the 1960’s, Daqian worked predominantly as a guohua (traditionalist) painter. He was so skilled in the traditional arts that he became an incredibly gifted forager with some of his forgeries making their way into public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1953, Daqian met Picasso at a summit Antibes and eight years later, he begin experimenting with impressionism and expressionism in his work. Radish and Cabbage was painted later in his career, five years before his death in 1983.

{Kimchi Fried Rice (김치볶음밥) with Egg and Seaweed}

Adapted from: Orangette
Yield: Serves 4

2 rashers smokey bacon, chopped
1 cup kimchi
3 cups rice
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 eggs, fried
sprinkling of Korean salted laver (seaweed)

In a large skillet, fry the chopped bacon over medium-high heat until the fat has been rendered and it has become crispy – around 10 minutes. Add the kimchi and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a final 10 minutes. With 2 minutes or so left to cook the rice, stir in the butter. Remove the rice from the heat.

Divide the rice into bowls, top with a fried egg and a sprinkling of the seasoned seaweed (Korean salted laver). Add a dash of chili sauce if desired. Serve immediately.

Extra fried rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for an additional 3-4 days.