Kimchi and bacon are really a great combination. The spicy and tangy cabbage mixed with salty smoky bacon is seriously delicious. Not surprisingly, this recipe came from Serious Eats. I had been wanting to make it for a while, and after ordering a fresh jar of organic kimchi and a thick slab of bacon from Arganica, I was ready and armed. This is a recipe where the taste of the kimchi can really change the flavor of the dish, so taste it first to get an idea of what else you may need to add or forgo. I couldn't find gochujang, a Korean hot pepper paste, so I improvised with my own mixture of ingredients we had on hand. It turned out amazing, I have to say... though it's hard to mess up when bacon is involved.
Ingredients: (after making it once, I recommend doubling the recipe because you will want leftovers!)
8 ounces thin spaghetti
6 ounces bacon, chopped
1 cup kimchi, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T miso paste
1 T sriracha (hot pepper sauce- reduce this if you want it less spicy
1 t rice vinegar
1 t sesame oil
(you can replace above 4 ingredients with 2 T gochujang if you have it)
1 tablespoon butter
2 scallions, green parts only, chopped
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the miso, sriracha, vinegar, and sesame oil and stir to combine.
Add the kimchi and garlic to the skillet and cook for about one minute before adding the sauce mixture.
Add the pasta to the skillet and stir until well combined. Add the butter and stir the pasta as it melts. Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve with green onions and bacon, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Yum!