Thursday, May 3, 2012

May LetsLunch: Food across two cultures

Source: via Emma on Pinterest

It all started here. Wildly delicious kimchi bulgogi fries from a food truck in Austin.

When my LetsLunch group mentioned doing fusion foods for this month's virtual lunch date, I knew that this was a perfect time to try and adapt this recipe.

Where I landed instead was a little further from the basket of deliciousness I first bit into back in January, but an equally tasty option, I think.

Source: via Emma on Pinterest

Kimchi bulgogi nachos.

The thing you have to understand about me is that I really love nachos. And they don't even have to be good ones at a halfway decent Mexican restaurant. I actually really love the super salty chips with the questionably plastic cheese product dispensed from a warm bag that you get at the town hockey rink. (Can you tell I grew up in Minnesota?)

I adapted the cheese sauce recipe found here. We already had a giant bucket of homemade kimchi.

If you have those two things, you are more than halfway there (and really, for the average person, a perfectly nice storebought kimchi works well too -- just get it a good Korean market, not that crap they sell in mainstream grocery stores!)

So, start by draining about 1 1/2 cups of kimchi. You can squeeze some of the extra liquid out with your hands if you like. Chop this coarsely and set aside.

The rest of your toppings: beef bulgogi (marinate rib eye or other nice cut of beef in 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part each: sugar (or honey), sesame oil, rice vinegar, then grill), diced onion and cilantro.

Throw down your chips (I used Trader Joe's multigrain and low-fat blue corn) then drizzle your cheese sauce on top.  I added a few dashes of cayenne and a teaspoon or two of mustard powder to my cheese sauce to give it a little kick.

Then pile on the toppings (be extra generous with the kimchi!). I also gave mine a good squirt of Sriracha rooster sauce for a little extra kick.

I actually liked these better than the french fries I had in Austin - the crispy chips were a good base to really load up each bite. And the Korean-Mexican fusion trend has been popular elsewhere, with Korean tacos and the like, so the flavors complement each other really well.


Be sure to check the LetsLunch hashtag throughout the day Friday (and into the weekend, we often have stragglers --hell, I'm usually one of them) to see the delicious fusion offerings of the rest of our gang!

edit: Or check out my Pinterest Board, where I've pulled all of the links together!

Interested in joining us? Send us a tweet with #LetsLunch and introduce yourself! I'm @emmacarew.


  1. I LOVE this recipe!! It has everything I love in it...kimchi, bulgogi and crunchy chips! Thanks for sharing, dear.

  2. Wow, these look like a party to me! I think putting your recipe over fries is in my future too. :D

  3. This sounds fabulous - great to learn about kimchi and bulgogi!!

  4. I was just thinking about kimchee today. Now, I really need to get some. And bulgogi. And chips. I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight...

  5. Wow! I love the Asian-Tex-Mexy fusion here, and am earmarking this to make later...AND I'm gonna hunt down the food truck in Austin that makes this. Hope there's a cold beer truck nearby. ;)

  6. This sounds decadent! But I still want to try those toppings with fries as well, even though they'll likely be even messier to eat!

  7. Learning about kimchi and bulgogi, and in a variation of nachos, sounds divine!

  8. Cayenne is a must! I don't think I've ever tried bulgogi, but the ingredients sound great.