Over the past couple of years after moving to Clovis, New Mexico due to my husband’s military career I have been very fortunate to meet new friends here who also have kids, have similar life experiences, and others not so much (haha!). I started a play date group on Facebook so that our son, Rayden, would have the opportunity to make friends and interact with other kids around his age. I find this social interaction very important especially since we are not putting him in day care.
These play dates have let Rayden blossom so much. He started as the child that would cry from the beginning to the end of every play date. As a new mom, I was embarrassed, but the other moms kindly went out of their way to reassure me that there was nothing to be embarrassed about. That, eventually, Rayden would get use to having other people and different energies around him. After a few play dates I did notice Rayden becoming more social and friendly.
He has always been an observer, though. I use to say he was shy, but I have chosen to not describe him as such since he may start picking that up and then self-identifying himself as shy. If I say observer, then that allows him and others know that he prefers to just play alone at first and get to know others in his own time. It’s been months since his first play date and now Rayden enjoys being around other kids younger, same age, and older. He picks up so much from playing with so many different children. He also really loves babies! I didn’t see that coming, but some of my mom friends are now having their second or third child and bringing them to play dates, too. Rayden is so gentle and can’t help himself, but smile and to try to pick up the babies. He’s learning to not pick up babies (teehee).
While Rayden is being social and playful I, too, am getting more social and friendly as well. Before I became a military spouse I was very much a workaholic and could count the number of friends on one hand. Those friends I didn’t see often, but maybe once or twice a month or less. However, I did have friends that I was sure of and we always started right where we left off. I’m still like that today. If we haven’t spoken for like 3 years or so, but left on good terms then we’ll always be on good terms.
One of my new friends here at Clovis, New Mexico was someone I met through the play date group. She has two daughters a little younger and a little older than Rayden. We met for the first time while going to a “Mommy and Me Open Gym Class.” We clicked immediately because as we introduced ourselves to one another it was apparent we were both Korean. She grew up in California while I grew up in Arizona. She has her own business she is growing and so am I. She has a sense of humor and I do, too. Then, I peeked her interest when she found out I was adopted. She grew up with more Korean traditions, which peeked mine.
Several weeks after that, Rayden and I had a play date at her house. We entered the home and immediately took off our shoes. The kids played well with toy trucks, cars, dolls, puzzles, and things that make way too much noise. About half an hour before Rayden and I were going to leave to meet up with Jeff for lunch my friend kindly offered to make us kimchi fried rice. I remember her being hesitant when she asked, “I don’t want to assume that just because you are Korean that you like Korean food, but do you like kimchi?” I responded with, “Yes! I love it! My husband and I love kimchi and Rayden eats it, too.” She said, “Oh good because I know some people don’t like the smell and then don’t want to try it.” I said, “That’s my mom. She always said I could eat kimchi in the house when she wasn’t home.” Ha!
I continued by telling her how I got my husband, Jeff, to try kimchi years ago when we first moved in together. I remember telling him that he has to really try it and not just lick the cabbage on the fork. Take a fork full and eat it up! For him it was a new food experience. The fermented (or sourness) was new for him, but after he really tried a bite he said, “Hmm…that’s actually not as bad as thought it would be.” I was so happy he liked it.
While she was cooking and I was chatting away I was also watching her cook. The meeting of the hot sesame oil and white rice making a crispy sound, the smell of kimchi and turkey sausage combining together, and then the melted yellow cheese on top was making me excited for lunch. Now, usually, kimchi fried rice is made with spam, but my friend didn’t have any. Also, there’s usually a fried egg on top rather than cheese, but she didn’t have any eggs either. It didn’t matter really because my family gobbled it up! We loved it very much and then I had to thank her again.
Later that week, I made kimchi fried rice for the first time. It was mediocre in comparison to my friend’s because the quality of her kimchi was way better. The quality of the kimchi is very important in this dish. That weekend, my family went to Costco and we picked up a product called Roasted Chicken Base. The following week I went to the local Asian Market and bought some good quality kimchi. During that same week, there was a night I made white rice and added the roasted chicken base. The rice tasted SO good. Jeff then took the same rice and made fried rice by adding some oil, carrots, and enoki mushrooms. The next day, I took his leftover fried rice and added kimchi, sauteed broccoli leaves/stems, and a runny egg yolk. The combination of all these ingredients was so delicious! What a comforting flavor bomb in your mouth. So, here’s how you make these two dishes and combine them into one.
|2 in 1 Recipe – Roasted Chicken Based Fried Rice and Kimchi Fried Rice with Sautéed Greens|
|Roasted Chicken Based Fried Rice|
|1-2 tablespoons of Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base|
|2-4 cups of Jasmine Rice|
|For every cup of rice add 1 ½ cups of water|
|1-2 Carrots chopped|
|1 handful of Enoki Mushroom|
|Grapeseed, Sesame, or Coconut Oil|
|Kimchi Fried Rice with Sautéed Greens|
|Leftovers of Roasted Chicken Based Fried Rice|
|Chopped Greens (cook’s preference)|
|Grapeseed, Sesame, or Coconut Oil|
|Roasted Sesame Seeds (optional)|
|Egg Yolk (optional)|
For the Fried Rice use a rice cooker, or cooking pot, and follow the cooking instructions on the back of the package of JASMINE RICE (or any white rice of your choice):
- After you add the WATER, put in spoonfuls of the ROASTED CHICKEN BASE and mix
- While the rice is cooking chop up CARROTS
Once the rice is done cooking take out a frying pan and add GRAPESEED, SESAME, or COCONUT OIL to cover the bottom of the pan and bring it to a high heat:
- Gently add in the white rice and then carrots
- Mix all of the ingredients together
- Right before you turn off the heat add the ENOKI MUSHROOMS and mix gently
- Enoki mushrooms are very thin and do not require long to cook through
- Then add SOY SAUCE and mix again
Serve and enjoy.
For the next day, make Kimchi Fried Rice by heating up a flat pan with GRAPESEED, SESAME, or COCONUT OIL:
- Add as much KIMCHI as you want
- Then add GREENS
- Greens can be spinach, kale, cabbage, collard…any green that you like
- I used roughly chopped broccoli leaves/stems (the kind that look more like large spinach)
- Mix ingredients
- Finally, add the leftover FRIED RICE and cook until the rice is hot
Add ROASTED SESAME SEEDS and an EGG YOLK if you like. Serve immediately and enjoy!!
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