Gastrokid Kogi

As Eater LA basically proclaims the overness of the Kogi korean-mexican taco truck, at Gastrokid we celebrate it. Who with a family can wait in line for half an hour for a taco with some interesting fillings? Not many people. Who with a family can be inspired by their interesting fillings and incorporate them at home? Many many people. What Gastrokid loves about this whole Kogi Truck phenom is the freewheeling, rule breaking, budget-sensitive, full-flavored celebration of food in all its improvisational glory. Which is why the other night we decide to take our knowledge of Momofuku pork buns (which I dare say we’ve mastered at home; recipe to follow; tooooo easy to replicate) and our love of Korean food (too many Korean markets near our home in LA to count) and our fallback dependence on Mexican food (too ingrained to not exploit) together as a weeknight trick and come up with our own Kogi-style quesadillas. Okay, so we simply bought some kimchi at the local K-town supermarket, chopped it up, and judiciously sprinkled it inside a corn quesadilla filled with grated jack cheese, but, man, was it a full-flavored alternative to the boring old cheese quesadilla with jarred tomatillo sauce from trader joes. Kimchi alone is flavor additive enough: fermented and so slightly funky, cabbage crunchy, slightly spicy, it adds more than you need to the already transcendent starchy, corny, cheesy yumminess of a quick quesadilla. We’ve microwaved them (a bit soggy), pan toasted them (better yet), and devoured them wholeheartedly. This may seem anathema to purists, but a quick cold water rinse of the kimchi tones down the heat. Need a recipe? I don’t really have one beyond: make a quesadilla, but put in some kimchi, and then melt it up in your preferred way. Feel free to add chopped fresh cilantro, unless that’s a red (or green flag) for your picky eaters. Kimchi is progress enough.

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