This past weekend marked my first turn at making my own kimchi from a recipe of Momofuku chef David Chang’s. For the uninitiated, kimchi is a Korean fermented vegetable dish and is often made with cabbage. The key ingredients are fresh ginger and garlic, along with chili pepper and the result is earthy, spicy, salty, and savory-sweet. In a word, delicious. The results were even better than I could have imagined. The mixture should hit its prime after two weeks, but can be enjoyed after 24 hours. Patience has never been my thing, and so we tucked into just a little bit last night and made Kogi truck-inspired kimchi quesadillas using Kogi founder Roy Choi’s recipe. And they were AWESOME. To fein some stab at virtue, I also tossed a salad with a fresh ginger-sesame vinaigrette (fresh ginger, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and canola whirred in the blender). First time I’ve ever seen my husband go back for seconds on salad. And also the first of many times to come that we’ll be devouring these ooey-gooey kimchi quesadillas.
Kogi Kimchi Quesadillas
Adapted from a recipe by Roy Choi
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped
2 flour tortillas (tho we used Whole Foods Whole Wheat tortillas for extra nuttiness)
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then cook kimchi, stirring occasionally, until edges are golden, about 6 minutes. Cool kimchi.
Spoon half of kimchi on one side of each tortilla and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, and 1/2 cup of both cheeses. Fold in half to enclose filling.
Brush a 12-inch nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium heat until it just begins to smoke, then cook quesadillas, turning once, until golden and cheese is melted, about 4 minutes total. Serve immediately.