You may think that Korean flavors clash with cheese and pasta, but if you choose the right cheeses they go really well together. For this mac and cheese I used a creamy mild mix of colby and muenster cheeses to create a perfect backdrop for the bold, savory and stringent flavors of bulgogi and kimchi. Go ahead and bake this in a casserole, but if you have the Korean stone pots known as Dolsot it makes for a dramatic presentation sure to make your guests mouths water.
Garlic, ginger, onion, pear, and chile flake in the food processor to make the marinade.
Meanwhile, grate the cheeses. I used nice mild and creamy cheeses colby and munster.
Meat is marinaded, time to cook!
Sear the meat in batches on very high heat.
The beautiful cheese sauce.
A little chopped kimchi goes into the sauce with the bulgogi.
Just stir them in.
Finally the pasta is in as well and we can bake this madness.
I baked mine in these awesome Korean stone pots known as Dolsot, but it works just fine in a cassarole too.
A little extra kimchi on top adds some freshness to the deep flavors in this recipe.
This was a really unique flavor combination that I wasn’t sure would work, but it came out really great!
Bulgogi Mac and Cheese
meat and marinade
- 2 small pears
- 1 medium onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 inches of ginger root
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons korean chile flake sub regular chile flake
- pinch of salt
- 1 pound thin sliced ribeye
mac and cheese
- 12 oz munster grated
- 12 oz colby grated
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 cups milk
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 cup diced kimchi
- Put all the marinade ingredients into the food processor (except for the meat!) Process until smooth. Pour over the ribeye. Store in the fridge and allow to marinate a couple hours or overnight. Cook the meat at a very high heat on a grill, in a grill pan, or in a skillet, in batches to brown well. Set the meat aside to use in the mac and cheese.
- Bring pasta cooking water to a boil. Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a dutch oven or heavy bottom sauce pan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Stir well and cook about 3 minutes until the flour lightly browns.
- Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to avoid burning and eliminate clumps. Once it starts to simmer you will notice it has also thickened. Remove from heat.
- Drop the pasta into the boiling water and stir well. Cook until it is al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directs. When the milk mixture has cooled for about 5 minutes, add in the cheeses and stir well until the cheese is mostly melted. Add the cooked pasta into this mixture right after you strain it. Finally add the cooked bulgogi and the chopped kimchi.
- Transfer to a baking dish or the stone pots, and bake for a half hour. Top with additional kimchi before serving.