Just look at that egg yolk, baby.
This dish is speaking my love language. That is, the language of bacon and eggs. Hearts upon hearts would be doodled on this recipe if it were written down in my 8th grade spiral notebook. Lots of “Molly + Bacon + Eggs 4—>” happening. Remember that funny shorthand we all used to use? Do kids still do that today? Am I completely dating myself?
Anyway. I digress. This dinner (or breakfast!) is calling (no, screaming) your name. And I’m going to scream along with it. You MUST try this deliciously wonderful and easy meal. It has something for everyone.
First, there is bacon. The start of all good things. Followed shortly by some pickly, slightly spicy kimchi and tender, beautifully green bok choy. All tossed together in the magic of fried rice. AND THEN TOPPED WITH AN EGG (or four). This dish ranks off the charts on the flavor scale. There is so much goodness going on.
Fried rice is such humble but soul-serving food. It is comfort food at its finest, and I adore it as an easy but satisfying weeknight meal. Usually, I make it as a quickie meal with whatever we have leftover in the fridge. Veggies, meat, you name it. It can go in fried rice. More often than not, when I make a stir fry or a curry at home, we have leftover rice. Fried rice is the perfect way to use it up!
Not only do I feel good about not wasting leftovers, but fried rice actually requires that your rice be cooked and cooled (cold is actually best) before frying it up. It’s a texture thing. If your rice is too fresh, it will have too much moisture and will lead to a texture somewhere in the mushy department. No one wants that. No, to achieve perfect fried rice, it’s best if the rice is left over from another meal and chilled in the fridge. I almost always plan to make a fried rice dish a day or two after I’m planning stir fry.
It works out perfectly. Two birds, one stone!
This particular fried rice is made special with the addition of kimchi. You can find it in your produce section of the grocery store. Kimchi, if you’re not familiar, is pickled/fermented vegetables. Usually cabbage. And it has the most incredible tangy spice to it. I love it as a condiment on a sandwich, in particular. Think of it as a Korean pickle. Instead of cucumbers, they use cabbage. And spice it up! It is deeeeelicious and I highly recommend you pick up a jar to try, if you haven’t already.
The kimchi is warmed up in some bacon drippings (swoon!) along with some fresh bok choy cabbage (for texture and color) and jazzed up with some brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Then, the rice comes in and absorbs all the lovely flavors of the kimchi and sauce. It gets crisped and golden and heavenly. Double swoon.
And then, because I can’t leave anything well enough alone, I top the whole situation with fried eggs and an assortment of fresh garnishes. My favorite being thinly sliced cucumbers, scallions, cilantro, and loads of lime juice. Sesame seeds and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil seal the deal on this one.
The resulting meal is a flavor and texture explosion. The crispy, savory rice and spicy kimchi are coated in silky egg yolk and brightened up with the crunch of fresh veggies. Like I said, it has something for everyone.
The best part? It comes together in about 30 minutes.
You see now why I want to doodle hearts all over the place?
4 strips of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup kimchi, plus a drizzle of the kimchi liquid
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 cups cooked rice, cooled completely (important for texture reasons)
1 head of bok choy cabbage, sliced or chopped
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil
Thinly sliced cucumber
Fresh scallions, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Fresh lime wedges
Toasted sesame seeds
Additional toasted sesame oil
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until rendered and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve for serving.
To the drippings in the pan, add the butter and oil. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
If the kimchi is in large pieces, chop into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pan, along with a drizzle of the kimchi juice from the jar and the brown sugar.
Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Increase the heat to medium-high and add the chilled rice and bok choy to the pan. Cook, stirring until everything is well incorporated, for about 5 minutes.
Decrease the heat to medium-low and add in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Allow the rice to cook over medium-low heat, undisturbed, for about 5-7 minutes. It should crisp up slightly and lightly brown.
While your rice is crisping, heat another skillet over medium heat and fry your eggs to desired doneness, seasoning with salt and pepper. Alternatively, you can poach the eggs.
Spoon the fried rice into bowls and top each bowl with a fried egg, reserved crispy bacon, thinly sliced cucumber, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve immediately with hot sauce and additional sesame oil on the side.