What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
I’m Irish so I love all things potato*: baked, roasted, boiled, mashed, twice baked, cold—in potato salad, and as crisps and chips. Give them to me in soup or curry, as colcannon, or as a main or a side and I’m a happy camper. There are times when all I have in my house are potatoes and nothing else so that’s what I’ll (happily) eat for dinner.
Thankfully, potatoes are in abundance in Korea. However, I find Korean potoes cook faster, for one thing, and, for another, they just don’t have as many varieties (Rooster’s, Queen’s or Kerr’s anyone?) compared to home. Despite this oversight, I’ve managed to get by quite well with what they do offer and have made many tasty meals based around this hearty vegetable.
Christmas 2013 was no exception. I made Kimchi fries, inspired by the Kimchi fries my brother made me and the subsequent ones I have had at Vatos (Itaewon) and Julio’s (Cheonggyecheon Stream) in Seoul. The fries I made were quite tasty and were demolished rather quickly, but I didn’t measure the ingredients so I decided to retry! This time, though, I decided to add root vegetables to the potatoes as I had a ton of vegetables that needed to be eaten asap!
I would suggest serving these fries as a side dish when you are hosting a dinner. They go quite well with roast chicken and a green salad. Additionally, you could serve them with your favourite Mexican food. Also I recommend for those who are not lactose intolerant or vegetarian to add cheese and cooked rasher/bacon on top of the kimchi. Once the cheese is toasted, your fries are ready.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have enjoyed making it!
*Ok, I do know that not all Irish people love potatoes but at least 95% of us do! Right?
Kimchi Vegetable Fries
- 2 cups of olive oil
- 1 tsp each of pepper, sage, parsley, coriander leaf
- Dash of chili flakes
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 kohlrabi, diced into chunks, washed and dried
- 1½ cup of cabbage kimchi, chopped*
- 4 medium white potatoes, diced into chunks, washed and dried
- 4 small sweet potatoes, diced into chunks, washed and dried
- 1 carrot, diced into chunks, washed and dried
- 1 cup of Korean radish, diced into chunks, washed and dried
- 1 cup of grated real cheddar cheese (optional)
- ½ cup of cooked rasher/bacon (optional)
- Heat a large pot on the stove on medium-high heat for around 1 minute.
- Once hot, add 2 cups of oil and heat for around 1 minute**
- Meanwhile, put half the herbs, a dash of chili flakes and a dash of salt in a plastic lunch bag. Add a little oil and mix together. Add the kohlrabi and coat with the seasoning.
- Once the oil is hot, add the kohlrabi to the pot. It usually takes around 2-3 minutes to brown.
- While browning, add potatoes and carrot to the plastic bag along with more oil and the remaining seasoning (if needed, use a new plastic lunch bag).
- When the kohlrabi is brown, scoop it out and put in a roasting pan.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot and brown.
- Meanwhile repeat step 5 with the radish and sweet potatoes.
- Once the potatoes and carrots are starting to brown, add the remaining vegetables and let them cook until browned.
- When the vegetables are browned scoop them out and add them to the roasting tin.
- Mix the vegetables together with the kohlrabi and half the kimchi. Add the rasher, if using, at this point.
- Top with remaining kimchi. If using cheese, top the kimchi with cheese now.
- Place in an oven (I used a toaster oven) on medium heat, or under a grill/broiler, for around 15-20 minutes. Check every 5- 10 minutes to prevent burning. If using cheese, once the cheese is melted take it out of the oven. Serve immediately.***
*If you are vegetarian, make sure the Kimchi you use is one without fish, seafood or fish sauce.
**When I add the oil to heat, I usually throw in a piece of onion as well. When the oil starts to “bubble” around it, it’s ready.
***When my brother made kimchi fries, we topped them with guacamole. This is a heavenly option and I highly recommend it! There weren’t any avocados in Home Plus at the time of writing this post, or that would totally be my included in this offering!