Kimchi Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is probably one of the first dishes that I learned how to cook – albeit from a box with fluorescent coloured orange powder. It was so good, even cold! This recipe is definitely a strong upgrade from an instant version, with a béchamel base, four different types of cheese, and kicked up with a bit spice and crunch from the kimchi. Kimchi and cheese is a combination that is winning fans all around the world – at first bite you’ll surely swoon and taste why.
I've attached two short video snippets of my time in Berlin, where my team and I celebrated International Kimchi Day –November 22nd! We hosted a Kimchi-making party (known as a Gimjang) that was part of a massive Gimjang event, spread between Los Angeles, Moscow and Berlin. I also filmed a cooking demo featuring my Kimchi Mac and Cheese, and Korean Tofu Marinated Tofu Burritos.
- 35g salt (for the pasta water)
- 350g dried elbow macaroni
- 75g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 180ml whole milk
- 400g mixed cheese (blue, goats', cheddar, parmesan), grated
- 450ml double cream
- 250g kimchi, chopped
For the panko crust
- 50g butter
- 100g panko breadcrumbs
- Bring 3.5 litres (122fl oz) water and the salt to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 90°C/200°F/gas mark 1⁄2.
- In a saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for just under 1 minute.
- Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 10–15 minutes to a thickened and smooth sauce, whisking constantly.
- Remove the sauce from the heat, add the cheese and cream, and stir until it is well combined and the cheese is melted, then add the chopped kimchi.
- Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably-sized ovenproof dish. Keep warm in the oven on low heat.
- For the panko crust, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat, then add the panko breadcrumbs. Keep tossing and stirring until a golden colour.
- Remove the crumbs from the heat and sprinkle them on top of the mac and cheese evenly. Serve immediately.
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