This is the way: Kimchi and Spice.
Let’s be honest, potato salad is not a complicated recipe. It can be very exciting though, the combinations of spices and veggies (or meat) are pretty much endless. Kimchi Potato Salad brings the savory heat, packed with the fresh crunch and textures. This recipe compliments any warm BBQ fresh off the grill.
This recipe was originally designed to be paired with my Korean Grilled Ribeye, the perfect compliment for this bowl of creamy crunch. You should definitely make them together, especially if you’ve never opened your mind to Korean BBQ before.
We miss going out for Korean BBQ. I love being able to sit down, grill my own food and have PLENTY of banchan (little sides) brought to the table. Each unique bite has an incredible amount of complexity with texture, spices, and acid. Talk about inspiration!
Kimchi and Gochujang
These rockstars are the unique ingredients separating this potato salad from the rest. These are the flavors you’re looking for: savory & spicy. Kimchi and gochujang are both fermented products, developing complex, sour and funky flavors. The level of umami, savory flavor, is something you really can’t replicate. I mean, there’s always bacon, but it’s still not the same.
Napa cabbage kimchi is the staple, and that’s what I’m recommending here. Dare to try others, I know I will, but I would definitely start with the standard.
Gochujang is pretty easy to find. I’m fortunate that we have a Korean community in Phoenix, most of our stores carry a variety of it. Here’s a helpful link if you want to buy the same brand I use online:
Steps for Kimchi Potato Salad Success
We discussed this earlier right? Potato salad is easy to make. There’s a couple of tips I’m going to share to make sure you have the best result.
Use waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
The veterans of potato salads out there know what I’m talking about. Skip the Russets, leave those for baking potatoes or fluffy mashed potatoes. Yes, this will make a huge difference. You want firm, creamy potatoes in your salad. Not flaky chunks falling apart.
Mix the wet ingredients together first
You’ll see in the recipe I basically have the “dressing” component, then the veggies. The gochujang needs to be mixed thoroughly, as it’s pretty thick. If you skip this, you’ll have clumps of firey heat randomly dispersed through your veggies. I’m sure you wouldn’t want a straw of green onion stuffed with gochujang to surprise you.
Taste your gochujang and adjust
My recipe recommends 2 tablespoons of gochujang. This is medium spicy for the gochujang that I buy. I highly recommend trying your ahead of time and using the “less is more” if you’re not sure. Want to add more after? Mix a little bit with some mayo first, then stir in.