It's no secret that Kimchi goes well with cheese. Think that slice of Processed cheese topping your army stew or the melty, stringy delight on top of Tteokbokki, chewy cylinders of rice cake. I've decided to offend two cultures (neither of which are mine) by making a bacon kimchi pasta then topping it with a mound of burrata. I use a good amount of kimchi and its juices so the noodles eaten alone will be too acidic. When paired with the cheese though, it becomes a different story.. And one I'd like to slowly savour. The cool, creamy, melting, white blanket of cheese tempers the funk, spice and acidity of the kimchi..... To finish, just drizzle over some good Extra Virgin olive oil, sprinkle flakes of sea salt and some ground black pepper over the cheese.
130g dried pasta of choice
1 Tablespoon EVOO
80g kimchi, chopped up
4 Tablespoons kimchi juice
1 Heaped Tablespoon Gochujang
1/2 an onion, minced
2 rashers of bacon, sliced into tiny strips across their breadth
1 teaspoon light soy (adjust to taste)
ball of burrata cheese
more olive oil for drizzling, sea salt & Black pepper
First, start by making your kimchi sauce that will dress your noodle of choice. To do this, simply start with a large dutch oven or saucepan (one that's roomy enough to mix your pasta + sauce without spilling out) over low heat. Add in your Tablespoon of olive oil and your bacon, letting it render. The fat from the bacon will ooze out and this will flavour your sauce as well. Yum!
When the edges of the bacon start to turn brown and crisp lightly, tip in your onions and let it soften, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in your heaped tablespoon of Gochujang (the spicy, funky sauce you eat with bibimbap) and give it a good stir. Add in your chopped up kimchi. the kimchi juice and the light soy, letting everything mingle to form a sauce. At this point in time, you can switch off your heat and adjust for seasoning. It'll be slightly acidic at this time.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt it generously and cook your pasta till al dente, according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta into your sauce and add 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid. Mix and make sure that each strand of pasta is well-coated with the kimchi-bacon-onion mixture.
To serve, place your noodles on two serving plates, or on one large platter. Make a little nest in the centre of the noodles. Take your ball of burrata and place it on the centre. If you're using a larger ball of burrata, tear into large chunks before placing on top of the noodles. Drizzle some Extra virgin olive oil on top of the white cheese, a sprinkle of sea salt flakes and grind some black pepper on top, interrupting the white landscape.... Serve.