Putting kimchi and cheese together might sound wrong, but trust me, it’s oh-so right. Spicy kimchi and melty cheese go together like burgers and fries. I wish I could take credit for inventing this brilliant combination, but I can’t–it’s quite a popular pairing. My introduction to kimchi and cheese came from Roy Choi, of the famed LA-based Kogi BBQ truck.
True fact: I used to not like kimchi. The thought of fermented vegetables just didn’t do it for me. The kimchi I tasted always seemed too soggy, to slimy, too spicy. What’s funny is that ever since I made my own kimchi, it’s turned into one of my favourite things. I’ll have it with absolutely anything: eggs, rice, even cheese!
Kimchi is great for adding a bit of spice and acidity to any dish. For the kimchi-uninitiated, “cooked” kimchi is the best introduction. Cooking the kimchi mellows out its flavours and you’re left something less potent, yet just as flavourful.
Kimchi and cheese are the perfect pair for tortillas: the spiciness of the kimchi is mellowed out by the melty cheese. I used corn instead of flour tortillas because I find corn tortillas to be much crunchier, and who doesn’t love crunchy? These quesadillas really are the perfect spicy, savoury, crunchy bite.
Kimchi Quesadilla Recipe adapted from gourmet.com
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup kimchi
4 corn tortillas
flat leaf parsley
1 cup shredded mozzarella
oil for pan frying
Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat and cook kimchi, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden, about 6 minutes.
Place several pieces of flat leaf parsley and kimchi on one half of the tortilla. Cover generously with cheese and fold in half to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Heat a non-stick or cast iron skilled over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Cook the quesadillas, turning once, until golden brown and cheese is melted. Enjoy immediately.