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An easy meal (with a kick) from leftovers

  • PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK TIMES

Not the high-heat stir-fry you might expect, this recipe relies on a very simple technique: A flavorful kimchi sauce is mellowed out with butter, then used to sauté leftover rice.

The resulting dish is easily scaled up, as adaptable as it is brilliant, and a great way to use up leftovers (not just rice). Spam, ham or any leftover meat you have around would work well here, and vegetarians, of course, can just leave the meat out altogether.

Kimchi fried rice

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1/2 small onion, medium-diced

• 1 cup kimchi (6 ounces), roughly chopped

• 2 tablespoons kimchi juice, or to taste

• 1/2 cup small-diced Spam, ham or leftover cooked meat

• 2 cups rice, cooked and cooled

• 2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste

• 1 teaspoon sesame oil, or to taste

• 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

• 2 eggs

Salt, to taste

Nori (roasted seaweed), crumbled or slivered for garnish

Sesame seeds for garnish

Directions:

In a nonstick sauté pan or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat, and add onions. Cook, stirring, until the onions start to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add kimchi and kimchi juice, and stir until it comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Add Spam, and cook until sauce is nearly dried out, about 5 minutes.

Break up the rice in the pan with a spatula, and stir it to incorporate. Turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the sauce and is very hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil. Taste, and adjust with more soy sauce, sesame oil or kimchi juice. Turn heat down slightly, but let the rice continue to cook, untouched, to lightly brown while you cook the eggs.

Place a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat, and add the vegetable oil. When it is hot, add eggs, season with salt and fry to your desired doneness. Serve rice topped with fried eggs, nori and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Total time: 30 minutes, serves 2.

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