Tried of your regular pasta dinner, how about putting a twist on a classic? This Kimchi Carbonara is creamy, little tangy & cheesy with lots of bacon. So delicious!
Recently, we went to a Korean restaurant called Yellow House Cafe that serves Korean comfort food and fusion food, like kimchi fried rice, KBBQ beef quesadilla, and dukboki (rice cake). Their food was delicious! It’s a great place to hang out with friends for a couple hours.
On their menu, one of the dishes caught my eyes, kimchi and bacon pasta with cream sauce. Although we didn’t try it, I thought that is a great combination. I came home and decided to create my own version, kimchi carbonara.
Carbonara is creamy, cheesy and made with bacon. It’s the perfect to go with tangy kimchi. I used 3/4 cup of kimchi for 2 servings. It’s just enough to give that umami and sour taste but didn’t overpower the pasta. I cooked some of the kimchi to soften the texture, but also added some fresh ones to brighten the flavors. Savory, creamy, meaty, and a little tangy. It was incredible! We love this carbonara! It’s a dish that is unique yet easy for weeknights. I can’t wait for you to try it!
- 3 ounces pancetta or bacon (cut into ¼-inch strips)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- ½ Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving (grated)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup kimchi (finely chopped, divided)
- 8 ounces bucatini or spaghetti
- Fresh black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water (salted) to a boil over high heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk and egg until well blended. Stir in the cheese. Season with black pepper.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add olive oil. Add pancetta and cook until crisp around the edges, about 7 – 8 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a small bowl.
- In the same Dutch oven, remove most of the fat, except for 2 tablespoons. Turn the heat to medium-low, add half of the kimchi (not all) and cook for 4 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Save ¾ cup pasta water. Drain pasta. Set aside.
- Add ½ cup pasta water into Dutch oven with the kimchi. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add cooked pasta. Stirring constantly and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
- Whisk in ¼ cup pasta water into the egg mixture. Then slowly pour into Dutch oven, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted. If needed, add a little more pasta water to thin out the sauce. Add the remaining kimchi and bacon. Stir well. Season with salt if needed.
- Transfer pasta to serving plates. Sprinkle with black pepper and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- I chopped the kimchi finely, so they can blend in better with the sauce.
- I used bucatini in this recipe. Spaghetti will do as well.