I liked kimchi at once, the first time I tasted it. Sure, the funky smell is a bit off-putting at first whiff, and the spice hit can be devastating to the tongue, but after a while you get used to all this. After a while you start craving it.
Kimchi is a palate cleanser, it provides counterpoint to savory dishes. I imagine in Korea they must use it in a lot of dishes. I always have a bottle or foil pouch of kimchi in the fridge. Even our house help have developed a liking for it, because we have kimchi on the table fairly often.
This kimchi rice recipe first came about after one particularly hung over early morning raid on the kitchen. It will surely wipe out the alcohol in your system.
2 cups pre-cooked rice (cold rice works well)
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
chili garlic sauce (optional)
fresh ground black pepper
dash or two of fish sauce (nam pla)
salt to taste
If working with newly-cooked rice, place it in the fridge for a few minutes. Cold rice works better in this recipe as it is not too mushy.
In a wok over medium high heat put in about 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Swirl in the sesame oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, but do not brown. Put in the chopped kimchi and stir-fry to combine. Add the chili garlic sauce and let boil briefly.
Put in the cooked rice and stir to mix with the kimchi. Add a dash or two of fish sauce, then salt and pepper to taste. You may omit the salt if desired.
Transfer to a serving dish. You can garnish this dish with a poached egg or some shredded nori.