Kristen Kish Gives a Classic Appetizer a Bold Flavor Twist, Recipe



As a favorite celebrity chef, Kristen Kish has delighted people with her creativity on the plate. While she wowed the judges during her winning season on Top Chef, this moment was just a burst of her impeccable flavors. When she blends her Korean heritage with classic dishes, the flavors sing in the best possible way. In this recipe featuring Jongga Kimchi, home cooks might have a new option to pass on during the holiday event.

Home cooks go beyond simple dishes and appreciate global ingredients and the flavor they bring to familiar recipes. A simple swap here or there can turn the usual into the unexpected.

Recently, Kristen Kish teamed up with Jongga Kimchi to highlight how the robust, fermented ingredient can create layers of flavor. Although Top Chef has myriad uses for the popular brand of kimchi, it recommends that the home cook start by adding a little kimchi to their favorite recipes and experiment with how the flavor evolves.

For example, Kish recommends thinking that kimchi has an acid substitute in certain scenarios. Although the texture of fermented cabbage doesn’t always work in every recipe, the flavor can add brightness to a dish or add balance to sweet components.

In this recipe, the creamed corn croquettes are boosted with kimchi. Although this dish is an elevated appetizer, the concept of flavor can also be applied to other dishes. Why not add a little kimchi to a dish of creamed corn. It might make the next vacation a little more enjoyable.

Kristen Kish creates Jongga Kimchi Creamed Corn Croquette, photo provided by Jongga Kimchi

Here’s how to make Jongga Kimchi Creamy Corn Croquette by Kristen Kish

Makes: 30 to 40 2oz kibbles

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Total duration: 1 hour 30 minutes


For the croquette

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 baby cobs)
  • Mornay Smoked Mozzarella (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups Jongga Kimchi – pressed dry and finely chopped, reserve 3 tbsp Jongga Kimchi juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil or frying oil as needed
  • 1 large black truffle of your choice/need
  • Celery leaves, lemon, Maldon salt and chives to garnish

For the Mornay Smoked Mozzarella

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 large garlic cloves – peeled and gently crushed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small shallot – peeled and finely diced
  • 1¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella – cut into small cubes/chunks

breading station

  • 2-4 cups panko – crushed with your hands and mixed with ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 4 eggs – beaten and mixed with ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, mixed with 1 tsp gochutgaru, ½ tsp dried thyme and ½ tsp kosher salt.


For the Mornay Smoked Mozzarella

  • In a medium saucepan, add butter, flour, thyme, garlic, peppercorns and shallot.
  • Turn to medium heat and let the butter and flour combine to form a blond roux.
  • Slowly stir in the whole milk and bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping the sides and stirring frequently. The mixture will thicken.
  • Add cheese 1/3 at a time, stirring to incorporate.
  • Once the cheese is completely melted, turn off the heat and transfer to a wide, shallow container, placing plastic wrap directly over the sauce.
  • Refrigerate until sauce is room temperature or cool to the touch.

For the croquette

  • Bake potatoes at 400°F for about an hour or until tender.
  • Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
  • Remove the skin and gently mash the still hot potatoes, leave to cool.
  • Mix room temperature or cooled cheese sauce with corn kernels.
  • Add kimchi, potatoes and kimchi juice.
  • Mix until incorporated and season with salt to taste
  • Form 2 oz discs, more or less large according to preference.
  • Freeze until firm (optional but easier)
  • Working in batches, dredge each croquette in the flour mixture (be sure to tap off the excess before proceeding) then in the egg mixture, then in the panko mixture.
  • Fry in vegetable oil at 350-370°F.
  • Garnish with celery leaves mixed with lemon juice, chives, Maldon salt and plenty of grated black truffles.
  • Serve immediately.

Although this recipe has many steps, it doesn’t have to be daunting. With good preparation, it is very manageable.

More importantly, it’s a great example of how kimchi can play with simple potatoes and sweet corn. Even if the home cook doesn’t have truffles or Maldon salt, the dish is still quite enjoyable.

The next time a dish needs a little flavor, consider using a little kimchi as an acidity booster. It could get rave reviews from everyone around the table.

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