Kimchi bokkeumsusu 김치볶음수수 (Kimchi stir-fried sorghum)

by Aloy Chua

It’s no secret to the Roots Collective community that I am probably Wholly Grain’s biggest fan (from within Roots, at least). Because I’m intolerant to corn and gliadin, according to my FoodPrint Food Intolerance Test, their popped sorghum is a yummy, affordable, healthier, more eco-friendly, and – best of all – friend-run go-to snack (cheese is my favorite; I’m intolerant to milk and casein too, but whatever). And since you shouldn’t actually be eating on a daily basis the foods you’re tolerant to, lest you become intolerant to those, it was only a matter of time before I began rotating the sorghum grains in my daily diet.

I normally eat sorghum grains on its own, with two or three dishes alongside it – usually kimchi, Korean-style or Taiwanese-stir fried greens, and a meat dish – but I have always preferred having the entirety of my meals in one bowl, inspired by the great and Honourable Nigella Lawson. Meanwhile, as Korean food steadily rose to become my number-one cuisine, I turned to the adorable, motherly Maangchi to learn quick and flavorful Korean dishes. I’ve been doing casual bibimsusu (in bibimbap, bibim means “mix” and bap means “rice”; susu means “sorghum”), but I’m happier with this kimchi stir-fried sorghum, or kimchi bokkeumsusu; hence, this post.

I actually based my kimchi bokkeumsusu recipe on Maangchi’s 2008 kimchi bokkeumbap recipe. It’s a very simple but delicious and healthy dish you can make often and even turn into packed lunch. I find using older, well-fermented kimchi much better here for its sharp tanginess and muted crunchiness that balances out the firm, nutty-tasting sorghum grains. In addition to spring onions, Maangchi garnishes hers with sesame seeds and gim (Korean nori, or seaweed paper), and Ginzadon at Resorts World Manila’s Maxim hotel adds a fried egg; you can use any or none of a combination of all three.

Kimchi bokkeumsusu
(Kimchi stir-fried sorghum)

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes

You will need

  • (1 tsp) BUKO Life coconut cooking oil
  • (3/4 cup) well-fermented Napa cabbage (petsay baguio) kimchi, chopped
  • (2 cups) steamed Wholly Grain sorghum grains
  • (1/4 cup) kimchi brine
  • (2 tbsp) water
  • (2 tbsp) gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • (1 tbsp) toasted sesame oil
  • (1/4 cup) white onion, chopped

For garnishing:

  • spring onions, chopped
  • gim (Korean laver seaweed paper), shredded
  • sprinkling of sesame seeds
  • (1 per person) fried (sunny-side-up) egg

How to cook

  1. Heat up a wok or pan, adding the coconut oil.
  2. Add the kimchi, and stir-fry for around 1 minute.
  3. Add the sorghum, kimchi brine, water, and gochujang, and stir-fry for around 7 minutes. A wooden spoon is recommended.
  4. Add the sesame oil, and remove from the heat.
  5. Sprinkle or top with your garnish/es of choice, and serve hot right away.

Serves 2-3, depending on appetite