Make all your kimchi cheese dreams come true. Kimchi Queso Dip is the Tex-Mex, Korean fusion appetizer that’s perfect for any time of the day or night.
In my childhood home, there was one rule for breakfast: no kimchi. To start off the day with kimchi breath was considered a major faux pas.
I still ate it anyways. If people thought I had bad breath, well, I was ok with that. Kimchi was worth it.
I loved kimchi so much that when I moved out, there was always a jar of kimchi in my fridge no matter where I lived. It tasted good with Korean food. And it tasted good with pizza and tacos, too. There’s just something about that spicy, crunchy bite of pickled cabbage.
That’s why the first time I ate queso cheese dip, I automatically thought, this would taste so much better with kimchi.
Queso cheese dip, a Tex-Mex amalgamation, is delicious. Commonly eaten at chain restaurants and casual parties, I consider it regular, good, ‘old American fare. Except that whenever I eat it, I’m always thinking it needs something more. Something pungent and funky. Something like kimchi.
If I do say so myself, kimchi and cheese are good friends. Add ground beef/sausage and a little gochujang (Korean chile paste) to the mix and you get childhood BFFs. Kimchi really makes this dish spectacular.
This makes for a great appetizer but in truth, I like to eat this anytime of the day or night. IThe acidic crunch of the kimchi really cuts through the heavy fattiness of the cheese and ground beef/sausage. So does beer. Enjoy!
PIN FOR LATER:
Kimchi Queso Dip
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb/250g ground beef or sausage
- 2 Tbsp Gochujang (Korean chile paste)
- 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
- 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese or monterey jack (grated)
- 1 cup kimchi (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- Heat oven to 350F/ 175C.
- Heat a 10 inch cast-iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add onion, red bell pepper, cumin, and salt. Saute until the vegetables are softened and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground beef/sausage and gochujang. Break up meat chunks with a wooden spoon until cooked through and brown, about 5-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add cheese. Gently mix with a fork until well combined.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes. The goal is for the cheese to gently melt. Watch carefully so that the cheese does not overcook and harden too much.
- Remove from oven. Add kimchi to the middle in a small mound. Garnish with cilantro, green onion, avocado, red chili pepper (or jalapeno), and/or sour cream.Serve immediately with plenty of tortilla chips and lime wedges.