Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kimchee Quesadillas: Another one that got away

A part of me is annoyed and bothered that I am not slinging my Korean tacos out of the back of the truck to huge riches and rewards. KogiBBQ is making Korean tacos to a huge following and sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't be trying to do the same Bay Area version. Buy a truck and park myself outside one of Oracle, Cisco, or Intel and fling my tacos as wide as people would be willing to catch them. Alas the desire is always fleeting as the thought of doing it for public consumption is daunting and causes me to cringe and shrivel. Instead I fling my tacos at close friends and blog readers, and more than a few of them have been making them for their friends at home to rave reviews. YAY for the Korean taco! We don't need to go out clubbing at night to eat our share.

Kogi also does a version of a quesadilla. Kevin over at Closetcooking tried a Kimchee quesadilla which really intrigued me. Cheese and kimchee? Made sense...in Seoul it's possible to have kimchee chigae with a slice of cheese melted on top (similar to french onion soup in concept) and bibimbap with a piece of cheese on top, a kimchee pizza, so why not a kimchee quesadilla? I decided to take my standard fried kimchee recipe, cheddar cheese, and corn tortillas and serve with the sambal oelek sesame oil sauce I created for the Korean tacos. The result? Something really special and delicious. Daughter #2 could not keep her hands out of it and just devoured them. Guests of the evening raved about them and were encouraging me to open my own stand. In the end, all my disgruntlement about not getting rich from making tacos faded and I just enjoyed that I can feed those around me, paid in the precious currency of friendship and the pure enjoyment of food.

Kimchee Pork Quesadillas
Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups of chopped kimchee, with the liquid
4 slices of bacon or samgyupsahl (pork belly) cut into fourths
1 cloves of garlic pressed
1 tablespoons ginger grated
1 tablespoons sesame oil or vegetable oil, more if needed (if you like sesame flavor add sesame oil, and if you find it too strong, add vegetable oil - or a mix of both)
1 tablespoon of sesame seed

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 tortillas (I used corn, but I think it would also taste great with flour)

Scallions for garnish

Place bacon or samgyupsahl (pork belly) in pan with garlic and ginger over medium high heat. Cook for about 5 minutes to render some of the fat. Add kimchee and the kimchee liquid into the fry pan. (The more liquid you add the spicier and saltier it will be.) Stir and cook over medium high heat, reducing liquids, and adding oil if necessary. (if it starts looking dry add a tablespoon of oil.) Dish is completed when the thicker pieces of kimchee take on a slightly translucent quality. The riper the kimchee the faster this happens.

In another fry pan over medium heat, place a tortilla. Sprinkle cheese in an even layer and top with a nice scoop of kimchee and pork. Top with additional tortilla. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes until golden and crispy. Place on cutting board and allow to cool for 1 minutes. Cut into quarters. Sprinkle with scallions. Serve with sambal oelek sauce.

Sambal Oelek Sauce

1/4 cup Sambal Oelek
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.

Mix ingredients together.

Printable recipe

a beautiful plate of these - they don't last long

12 comments:

jieun said...

Those quesadillas look beautiful and delectable!

Anonymous said...

tears of joy....
thank you again...just love love your recipes!!!!

mina said...

wow, this sounds (and looks) so good. i definitely have to try this out. (:

Cherie said...

i think u should do it in the bay area. your quesadilla looks much tastier than kogibbq

susie said...

Made it last night. It was yummy.

Kevin said...

Those kimchi quesadillas look great! Kimchi works surprisingly well with cheese. I will have to try adding bacon next time. :)

Cookie said...

Sounds a lil weird but looks super yummy!

Jessica said...

What a fun idea! The spiciness of kimchee goes well with a lot of things, such as cheese. (Another weird but tasty combo is putting a piece of cheese like velveeta in spicy ramen.) Thanks for sharing this! Suddenly my grandpa's requests for kimchee sandwiches don't sound too bizarre! :)

camilla said...

Made these for a party, and one woman yelled at her husband for letting the plate pass her by w/o him getting her another piece.

meemo said...

I live in the bay area too. Where are you? I'd love to invite you over to our next BBQ. Did I mention that our BBQ's are pot luck? ;)

I'm in Oakland (Temescal/Rockridge border)

Jenn S said...

These look phenomenal! My husband loves anything Korean so will be making these later this week. What cut of pork are you using and does it require any special seasoning or cooking? From the looks of your blog, you should be running a food truck. I know I would stand in line.

Joanne Choi said...

you can use either bacon or a korean pork belly cut called samgyupsahl. hope you have success!

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