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Sinfully Good Kimchi Mashed Potatoes

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Caroline Choe
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups napa cabbage kimchi, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1-inch-wide pieces
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar, grated
  • Chef notes

    This one is for those who go wild for mashed potatoes. I find myself sometimes craving these late at night.

    Kimchi goes famously well with its funky close friend, cheese, but the addition of mashed potatoes into that mix creates one ridiculously indulgent combination that will leave you craving more. I'd describe it as aligot's cousin or kimchi's favorite fancy relative. It's the holidays, so feel free to indulge!

    Technique tips: The trick here is to sauté' the kimchi in butter to extract the liquid, concentrate the flavor of the kimchi but calm the acids down a bit before combining it with the milk and cream to prevent curdling. Also, remember to get a fresh blocks of cheese to grate rather than buy them already shredded. It will provide more moisture and marry well with the potatoes, cream and butter.

    Preparation

    1.

    In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and wait about another minute until it's hot. Add in your kimchi and let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Allow the kimchi to cook in the pan until the liquid has reduced and the kimchi has softened. Take kimchi off the heat and allow to cool.

    2.

    Once cooled, continuously pulse the kimchi in a food processor until it becomes as smooth a puree as possible. Set aside.

    3.

    In a large pot, add in the potatoes and a tablespoon of salt. Cover the potatoes with cold water and set over medium-high heat. Let the potatoes come to a boil and reduce the heat to a good, medium-low heat simmer. Let them continue cooking for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and transfer them back into the pot.

    4.

    With a potato masher, break up the potatoes. Add in the sautéed kimchi purée and stir well with a rubber spatula until well-combined.

    5.

    Set the pot over a low heat and add in the 1/2 cup butter cubes. Stir the butter, warmed milk and mashed potatoes together until the butter is melted.

    6.

    Add in the mustard powder, remaining teaspoon kosher salt and ground black pepper. Then, gradually add in the warmed cream and about half of the shredded cheeses. Continue stirring together until the cheese has melted, then stir in the remaining cheese until everything is well-combined. Turn off the heat and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.