Oakland Kimchi Fried Rice | Wine Enthusiast
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Courtesy Kyle Itani, chef, Hopscotch, Oakland, CA

Diner-style Hopscotch serves classic American food with Japanese and Korean influences. Chef Kyle Itani sources sustainably produced local ingredients for comfort food paired with co-owner Jenny Schwarz’s innovative cocktail and wine list. Give yourself time: The components for this dish, while easy to make, do need to be prepared a day ahead.


2¾ cups soy sauce
6 hard-boiled eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups saké
2 pounds pork belly, cut into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups kimchi


In glass bowl, combine ¼ cup soy sauce with 2½ cups water. Submerge eggs, and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 350˚F.

In Dutch oven, combine sugar, 1 cup saké, 2 cups soy sauce and 6 cups water. Submerge pork belly in mixture, and cover. Braise for 2 hours, and remove from oven. Let cool and refrigerate in liquid overnight. Slice pork belly thin.

On day you plan to serve, heat vegetable oil over medium heat in large skillet or wok. Add rice, and toast for approximately 3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 cup saké, remaining ½ cup soy sauce and kimchi. Cook for approximately 3 minutes. Top with pork belly and marinated eggs. Serves 6.

Kimchi Directions

Cut 2 heads Napa cabbage into 1-inch squares. In large bowl, mix with 2 pounds daikon (peeled and sliced thin), 4 ounces minced garlic chives, ¼ cup gochugaru Korean chile flake, 2 tablespoons dried, salted baby shrimp and 6 tablespoons kosher salt. Transfer to plastic container. Weigh ingredients down with large, sealed plastic bag filled with water. Make sure liquid from vegetables covers all ingredients beneath the plastic bag. Let ferment at room temperature for 4 days.

Wine Pairing

Jenny Schwarz, Hopscotch’s co-owner/general manager, “highly recommends” Luli Rosé from the Central Coast, California. “The kimchi has some spice and rich flavors, so it needs a wine with some structure to balance it out,” she says.

“This rosé is bone dry and has a lot of acidity. The bright, crisp floral notes of lemon and white peach blossoms round out as it finishes with a bit of minerality. However, there is a softness to this wine that makes it so easy to drink, a perfect accompaniment to the kimchi rice as its ability to be a quintessential comfort food.”

Rosés from South Africa offer similar soft, ripe fruit tones balanced by plentiful acidity. They’ll make a refreshing complement to this dish while sticking with a New World style.