Kimchi Quesadillas

I know, I know. This is another one of those “What were you thinking” moments.

I still stand by my hypothesis that kimchi can be used in any dish where you would use anything pickled. In quesadillas, I used it instead of pickled jalapenos. Just tryin’ it.

You know what? It worked.

Also, cheese and kimchi are good matches. I see more and more kimchi items with cheese on them at Korean restaurants.

Okay, here’s where my former days at Yucatan Sam’s kick in. I used to make quesadillas all the time. They’re really grilled cheese sandwiches with tortillas. I thought I’d use the tortillas and cheese I had bought at Costco recently, which is why this isn’t labeled under “Food for Foreigners” (Costco is cheating).

Meet the ingredients. Ingredients… reader. Reader… ingredients.

Okay, now that you’re acquai–what?

Alright. Tortillas, diced onions, sliced cheese, and kimchi (the batch I made this past weekend). You happy now?

Of course you are.

There are two ways to build tortillas. You can do it like a traditional sandwich and use two tortillas. Or, like above, you can pile the ingredients into a big tortilla and fold it in half. I think it’s less messy that way. At Yucatan’s I was notorious for spilling the contents of sandwich style quesadillas. I was also known for over salting the ground beef, but that’s another story.

Grill on a lightly oiled pan. Careful not to burn.

After toasting on both sides, slide it onto a cutting board and cut it into wedges.

Omigod, that was easy. Even so, I’ve screwed up quesos many times. This time, though, the kimchi really gave them some extra kick and fire. I don’t get it. It actually tasted good.

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Joe McPherson founded ZenKimchi in 2004. He has been featured and sourced in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, CNN, KBS, MBC, SBS, Le Figaro, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Harper’s Bazaar Korea, The Chosun Weekly, and other Korean and international media. He has consulted for "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain," The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern,” Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, the PBS documentary series “Kimchi Chronicles,” and other projects in the UK, Canada, and Australia featuring celebrity chefs such as Gizzi Erskine and Gary Mehigan.Mr. McPherson has written for multiple Korean and international publications, including SEOUL Magazine, JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald, Newsweek Korea and wrote the feature article for U.S. National publication Plate magazine’s all-Korean food issue. He has acted as dining editor for 10 Magazine and was on the judging panel for Korea for the Miele Guide.He spoke at TEDx Seoul on Korean food globalization, at TED Worldwide Talent Search on the rise of Korean cuisine, and in New York City on Korean Buddhist temple cuisine. The company ZenKimchi International organizes food tours for tourists and corporations and acts as a media liaison for foreign and Korean media and local restaurants and producers.
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