Do you have kimchi leftovers from last year? I love new kimchi. My husband does not. Every fall, I sometimes regret telling my Korean friends that I like it because I usually end up with at least two or three buckets. And none of them ever come with a bucket of ribs – go figure. The first few months, it’s delicious as a side, with white rice or anything else. But by spring, I look for creative ways to eat the fermented vegetable before it gets too sour. Here are seven ways to get the most from your kimchi leftovers.
My Favorite Kimchi Leftovers
For this article, I am referring to cabbage kimchi leftovers. You can substitute other kinds of kimchi in many of the following recipes. Keep in mind; that the older kimchi gets, the sourer it gets. And kimchi is already rather salty, so you may not want to add additional salt. In addition, new kimchi is very mild; old kimchi will make you cry. I prefer it somewhere in the middle when it has a lot of spicy flavors and makes you smile.
Don’t forget. You don’t have to wait until you have Korean food to eat your kimchi. I eat it whenever I feel like it. And remember, a little goes a long way when incorporating this healthy Korean staple food into your diet.
Kimchi Fried Rice
This is one of my favorite uses for kimchi leftovers. I am no chef, but the easiest way to make kimchi fried rice is to drain the kimchi. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Add the leftover kimchi to your fried rice and top with an egg sunny-side up and chopped green onions.
Who doesn’t love ramen? I have been eating ramen for as long as I can remember. It was a staple comfort food in my household. But I don’t eat it often because it is chock full of sodium. As a result, I don’t use the seasoning packet in my kimchi leftover ramen recipes. I chop up some kimchi leftovers, green onion, and whatever protein (tofu, chicken, or cheese) I have in the fridge.
Kimchi Pancake (Jeon)
Kimchi pancakes are too easy. Add egg, soy sauce, and all-purpose flour to chopped green onions and leftover kimchi into a thick pancake batter and pan-fry until golden brown and a little crispy. I have added chopped peppers, broccoli, and cheese too. You can add other vegetables to taste.
When I drain the kimchi, I do not throw out the broth. I like to use it in soups, as a vegetable seasoning, and as a broth when I have a sore throat because it has more flavor than beef or chicken broth. It also acts as a natural diuretic when I feel bloated or constipated. And the jury is out as to whether it has other qualities related to ageless skin and digestive health.
Kimchi Stirfry can clean your refrigerator from all your leftovers. You don’t even have to chop the kimchi into small pieces. Add kimchi to green, red peppers, bean sprouts, onions, carrots, broccoli, celery, collard greens, or any favorite vegetables. Make sure you don’t make the mistake of adding additional salt. Add herbs, green onions, grated lemon, or olive oil instead. You can keep it vegetarian or add a protein like chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
Boil some spaghetti! This may sound strange, but it’s delicious and looks much fancier than it is to prepare. I prefer it a little al dente (still firm when bitten). Finely chop mushroom, spinach, protein (of your choice), and onion and stir fry them together. Add soy sauce and gochujang sauce. Once it’s thoroughly mixed, add to spaghetti and top with grated mozzarella cheese and green onions.
This is a recipe where any kimchi version will work well. Kimchi pairs very well with lean beef, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I’m not the only one that has used chopped, cold kimchi in a taco. Add a little mango for a sweet tang.
Want to make your own Kimchi? New to Korean cooking? Click Here for the most basic kimchi recipe out there!