Kimchi fried wild rice with tofu and lotus root

It’s been almost one month since I wrote my last post for the Vegan MoFo. In this period I ate a lot of raw vegetables and I fell in love with kimchi. Again.
Kimchi is the most important dish in Korean cuisine and it’s basically made with fermented vegetables. The most popular is the one I used for this recipe, made with napa cabbage. As all the fermented vegetables it is very healthy and rich in vitamins. I used it in many dishes, to fill Korean dumplings (mandu) and into soups. In other words, I’m eating kimchi almost every day and I’ll make it by myself soon. I just need to find the time because the procedure requires an entire day of work.
If you want to buy it read carefully the list of the ingredients because it’s mostly made with anchovies and shrimp paste, but it is not hard to find out a vegan kimchi in the Asian supermarket.

October has been a very busy month and the next days are going to be even busier. On the 7th of November I’m going to cook two vegan dishes for the cooking battle in Restaurante Alfandega.
If you are in Lisbon just drop by, you can write me in private for more information or visit the restaurant facebook page.

Last but not the least, I’m working ton a gastronomic project with two friends of mine. I’ll tell you some news in the next posts, so… fingers crossed!

fried kimchi wild rice
Ingredients (serves four)

For the kimchi wild rice
2 cups boiled wild rice
1 1/2 cup kimchi well squeezed
5 Shiitake mushrooms
1 clove garlic grated
1 cm ginger grated
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Shiitake mushrooms liquid
1 cup kimchi liquid

For the tofu
3 slices of soft tofu
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For the lotus root
6 slices of lotus root
vegetable oil for deep frying

For the decoration
1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds toasted
1/2 tbsp black sesame seeds toasted
1 green chili pepper sliced
4 tbsp spring onion chopped

If you’re not using leftover boiled rice start by washing the rice carefully. Bring a pan of water to a boil, add the wild rice and cook according to pack directions. The rice I usually eat takes 20 minutes to be ready. When it is al dente drain it with a colander. Rinse with cold water in order to stop the cooking and set aside.

For the lotus root heat a pot of vegetable oil and slice the root in 3 mm thick. When the oil reaches 320 degrees add the lotus slices and deep fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden coloured. Remove the slices with a spatula, drain on paper towels and set aside.

For the tofu cut soft tofu into 1 cm slices and drain carefully on paper towels. When totally drained cut the tofu slices into triangles. Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a pan and gently fry the tofu slices for 4-5 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the kimchi rice soak Shiitake mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes.
Squeeze the kimchi very carefully with the hands and save the liquid. Cut kimchi into irregular pieces.
Squeeze Shiitake mushrooms, save the liquid and cut into thin slices.
Heat sesame and extra-virgin olive oil in a wok. Add garlic and ginger grated and gently sizzle for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add boiled wild rice, Shiitake mushrooms and turn high the heat. Stir well for about 5 minutes to combine. Pour Shiitake mushrooms and kimchi liquid and constantly stir until all the liquids are evaporated. Remove the wok from the heat.
Serve the rice with the tofu triangles and garnish with the lotus root slices. Sprinkle toasted white and black sesame seeds, green chili pepper slices and chopped spring onions.

23 comments
  1. Abby's Kitchen said:

    First off, welcome back :D We missed your lovely posts! And oh wow, nice comeback with this awesome recipe. I love kimchi. It’s so good for your gut and overall health. What a great idea to use it in your recipe like that. Have to give this one a try. Knock em out in your cooking battle at Restaurante Alfandega! Keep us posted.

    • Thank you Abby, the cooking battle was an amazing experience and my dish won the second place! The recipe will be posted soon.
      Do you have any suggestion tu use kimchi? I’m cusrious.

      • Abby's Kitchen said:

        Wow! Congratulations!! Can’t wait for your recipe :D I wish I can help you with the kimchi though. I must admit I buy mine already made. Maybe one day, I’ll get it down, thanks to you ;)

  2. Welcome back, Dr. Caligari! Kimchi is pretty tasty, I love it in fried rice, too and on its own. The crispy lotus roots look really pretty in your dish. Such a gorgeous dish!

    • Thank you very much. Yes, kimchi and radish root are delicious and extremely versatile. The only problem is that I cannot give up eating them!

  3. narf77 said:

    This ticks ALL the right boxes in the bucket list of foods I must eat before next week. I love the look of this, I love the possibilities to customise it. Off to kim me a bit of chi to ensure I have something other than lotus roots and tofu on my plate ;)

      • narf77 said:

        Not yet…we are at the pointy end of our study year here and snowed under with studies and every day is bleeding into the next in a mass of trying to stuff it all into the relevant slots in order to pass our course ;). Next monday is the due date for it all to finish and I will be SO happy to stop cramming things into my brain and start cramming them into my mouth…I am off to my Korean food loving daughter’s house next friday night and Madeline has a HUGE selection of homemade kimchi so guess what I am going to make :)

      • First I want to wish you good luck with your final assestment.
        I wish I had Madeline as a neighbour :) Just planned a kimchi day with some friends making homemade kimchi like a Korean family. I’ll post some pic when we make it!

      • narf77 said:

        Excellent! Madeline and Bethany (my daughters) live together in the city and are true gourmands. Beth used to be vegan but her sister lured her with prawns. They now live on homemade gorgeousness from all cultures but have centred on Korean for the moment and when they “do” a culture they do it in culinary style. Even their leftover pizza has caviar on it ;). Can’t wait to see the kimchi you guys produce :). Cheers for the good luck I will need as much of it as I can get. Its the (disgusting) OH&S “dry” side of Media Design and is slowly forcing my brain to drizzle out the side of my head but I should recover by Christmas time ;)

  4. Lindsay said:

    Ohhhh yum, this sounds EXACTLY like what I’ve been craving lately. I just opened a new (vegan) jar of kimchi and was wondering what to do with it all other than eat it plain. This looks PERFECT.

  5. creativespin said:

    This looks great. I’m so curious about lotus root; I haven’t use it yet, I guess because I don’t know how it’s supposed to taste and so won’t know if I’ve cooked it “right” or not…?

    • I usually cut lotus root in thin slices and deep fry it, but a friend of mine usually bleach it in water with turmeric and add it to many dishes. The taste is rather neutral and for this reason is extremely versatile.
      I’m pretty sure you’ll find a way to use it. Give it a chance and let me know about your experience!

  6. I love lotus root, this looks delicious and the presentation is beautiful.

  7. Ahila said:

    This looks delicious! I love kimchi and the combination of lotus root is divine. When you make kimchi, how do you make the kimchi sauce? I make mine with soy sauce, chilli powder, onion, spring onion, garlic, ginger, apple, salt and sugar and while it turned out quite good, I still felt it lacked something. So, interested in knowing your kimchi recipe. Do post it on your blog.

  8. It’s been way too long since I’ve visited your site Dr Caligari! Wow… I’ve been reading back through your cupcake posts and you have created some amazing variations. Love this kimchi recipe too!!! Love the addition of the crisp-fried lotus root, makes it a very special dish. CONGRATULATIONS on the second place win in the cook-off too!! Wow. Cannot wait to read the recipe!

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