"You Can't Be a Revolutionary if You Don't Eat Chilies."
- Chairman Mao
Once again, Omnieater is responding to requests. Who knew that kim-chi quesadillas had such a following? I have cooked the adapted recipe from Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ, but I think he didn’t give us the “real” recipe – that, I assume, is a state secret. So in absence of having any FBI contacts to steal the recipe from him, I had to do some culinary sleuthing. The recipe I devised, I think, is just as good, if not better, than Kogi’s. But I can’t recreate the experience of driving endlessly through LA looking for the Kogi truck. That should be reserved for your next trip to LA.
There are some ingredients here that are a bit more obscure. You can find almost all of them at Asian grocery stores, preferably, Korean ones. However, if you are near an H-Mart (East Coast) or a Ranch 99 (West Coast), you should be able to find all of the ingredients there, including pre-made jars of kim-chi. If you really want to go crazy, try the kim-chi recipe found previously on this blog (click here). If you are not a spice-fiend, I recommend a glass of milk – helps with the spiciness.
6 slices of bacon
2 c. of cabbage kim-chi, drained well and chopped
8 perilla/shiso leaves or 1 bunch fresh cilantro
4 large flour tortillas
1/4 c. of toasted sesame seeds
1 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. Monterey Jack, grated
vegetable oil for brushing
Dipping Sauce (warning – HOT!)
1/3 c. of gochujang (Korean chili paste)
1-2 tsp. sugar
3 tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, chopped finely
2 tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Fry bacon until crisp, reserve bacon for another use. Sauté kim-chi in bacon fat, stirring occasionally, until kim-chi is golden brown on the edges, about 6 minutes. Cool while making dipping sauce.
2. In a small bowl, combine gochujang, 1 tsp. sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, scallions, and sesame seeds. Add enough water to make into a thin sauce. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
3. Combine cheeses together into a small bowl.
4. Place 2 perilla/shiso leaves (or 1/4 bunch of cilantro, stems removed) into half of tortilla. Place 1/4 of the sautéed kim-chi, 1 tbs. of sesame seeds, 1/2 cup of cheese mixture, and fold tortilla in half.
5. Brush a non-stick skillet with vegetable oil and heat until just about smoking, and grill filled tortillas, 2 minutes on each side, turning once. Repeat until all tortillas are toasted, and the cheese is melted. Serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side.
Note: Perilla or shiso leaves (they look and taste like large mint leaves) and gochujang can be found at Korean or Asian grocery stores.