Korean Nachos Recipe

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Sweet and spicy Korean nachos. Morgan Eisenberg

Why It Works

  • Pear acts as a tenderizer in the marinade.
  • Sautéing the kimchi deepens its flavor and sweetness.

This Korean spin on nachos features bulgogi-style steak, caramelized kimchi, gochujang-spiked cheese sauce, and lime sour cream, all of it served on top of fried wonton chips.

Recipe Facts

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Active: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds (560g) boneless ribeye or sirloin steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 Asian or Bosc pear (about 10 ounces; 280g), peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1/2 medium white onion (4 ounces; 115g), finely diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 package (48 wrappers) wonton wrappers (12 ounces; 340g), cut in half diagonally
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) cabbage kimchi, drained of excess liquid
  • 1 recipe Nacho Cheese Sauce (1 1/2 cups; 350ml), made without hot sauce and kept hot
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) gochujang, plus more for topping (see note)
  • 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese (2 ounces; 55g)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (60ml; 30g)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) picked fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh Asian red chili pepper, thinly sliced (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large, sealable plastic bag, combine steak, pear, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Seal and shake well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 inch of oil in a cast iron skillet to 350°F (175°C). Working in batches of 2 to 4 at a time, fry wonton wrapper halves until lightly golden, flipping once during frying; adjust heat to maintain oil temperature. Using a wire strainer or slotted spoon, transfer fried wontons to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with salt while still hot. When oil has cooled, pour off all but 1 tablespoon.

  3. Return skillet to medium heat and add kimchi. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer kimchi to a plate and set aside.

  4. Return skillet to high heat. Drain marinated beef and cook, stirring occasionally and working in batches if necessary to prevent crowding, until well browned, about 4 minutes; add oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if skillet becomes too dry. Transfer beef to a plate, let skillet cool, and wipe out any excess oil.

  5. Stir 2 tablespoons gochujang into cheese sauce and keep warm.

  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°F). Using the cast iron skillet as a vessel, assemble the nachos in layers in the following order: wonton chips, beef, kimchi, cheese sauce, and shredded cheese, repeating as you go until the ingredients are used up. You may have some leftover wonton chips.

  7. Bake until shredded cheese is melted and nachos are warmed through, about 5 minutes.

  8. While nachos bake, mix together sour cream and lime juice. Drizzle baked nachos with lime sour cream and additional gochujang. Top with sesame seeds, cilantro leaves, scallion, and chili pepper slices, if desired. Serve immediately.

Special equipment

Cast iron skillet, instant-read thermometer

Notes

Gochujang is a Korean chili paste and can be found in Asian groceries and the international section of well-stocked supermarkets.

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