When I was staying in Montauk, on the farthest tip of Long Island, New York, I went to a seafood store and found it was full of fresh seafood. The large sea scallops especially got my attention. The fishmonger said they are so fresh that I could even eat them raw. So I decided on the spot to make haemul-kimchi-bokkeumbap, kimchi fried rice with seafood.
Does the look of the kimchi fried rice topped with seafood remind you of another dish? It looks like seafood paella, right? When I traveled to Spain years ago, I tasted paella for the first time and totally fell in love with it! It might be because the dish is full of my favorites: rice and seafood! : ) I met a Korean-American businessman who grew up in Spain, raised by his mom’s Korean cooking. He said: “My mom always thinks paella is similar to Korean fried rice!” I couldn’t agree more!
I used to make seafood kimchi fried rice without any shells at all, but ever since I started going to Montauk I started to make it with the half-shells as you see it here in this recipe. It looks great and is fun to eat, especially with the wasabi soy sauce for dipping.
Enjoy the recipe!
Serves 2 to 3
- 6 large shrimp, shelled, deveined, rinsed, and pat-dry
- 6 large sea scallops, rinsed and drained
- 4 to 6 cleaned little neck clams
- 12 cleaned mussels
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- A pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- ½ cup fermented kimchi, chopped into small pieces
- ¼ cup kimchi brine or water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2½ cups white fluffy rice (made with 1 cup rice)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (home toasted sesame seeds)
For wasabi soy dipping sauce, optional
- 1 tablespoon wasabi powder
- 2 teaspoons water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
Prepare shrimp and scallops:
- Place shrimp and scallops in a bowl and sprinkle salt and ground black pepper. Mix well by hand.
- Add the potato starch and mix well. Set aside.
Make garlic mixture:
- Heat a thick pan over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add garlic, onion, and green onion and stir them with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture turns a little crispy and light brown.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to a large 12 inch skillet, leaving about 1 tablespoon of infused oil left in the pan.
- Heat the pan over medium high heat and add the shrimp and scallops one by one and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until the bottoms turns light golden brown. Turn them over and cook another 2 to 3 minutes until all sides are nicely cooked and look opaque.
- Transfer them to a large platter.
- Using the same pan over medium high heat, add mussels and clams with ¼ cup water. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes until they are open and cooked. Remove from the heat.
- Put the clams and mussels on the platter next to the shrimp and scallops. If some are not opened yet, cook them a little longer and then let them cool down a bit until you can handle them with your hands.
- Split the shells of the clams and mussels with your hands, leaving the half-shell with meat on the platter and discarding the empty half-shell. Now all the seafood is ready on the platter.
Make kimchi fried rice:
- Heat the skillet with the garlic mixture in it over medium high heat. Add the kimchi and stir with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute until the kimchi is slightly withered.
- Stir in the rice, kimchi brine (or water), gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), and 1 teaspoon soy sauce.
- Stir all together until well incorporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and tuck all the cooked seafood into the top of the rice. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the bottom turns a little crunchy. You can tell when it’s ready when the crispy rice makes a “ticking” sound in the pan.
- Remove from the heat and drizzle sesame oil over top and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
- Serve right away with wasabi soy sauce (if used).
Make wasabi soy sauce:
- Combine 1 tablespoon wasabi powder and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Mix it well with a spoon.
- Gather all the mixture together with the spoon and roll it into a ball with your hands.
- Put the wasabi ball back into the bowl (or another clean bowl). Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce.
- Serve in the skillet on the table with individual bowls and plates so that everybody can take what they like into their bowl and enjoy it.
- Mix the wasabi in with the soy sauce in the bowl. Everybody can dip their seafood into it as they eat.
If you like to make soup, I suggest choosing a non-spicy soup such as honghap- miyeokguk (seaweed soup with mussels) or baechu-doenjangguk (cabbage and soybean paste soup).