Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas

Kimchi chicken quesadillas - Learn how to use minimal seasoning to create the best flavor. Tender chicken + pungent kimchi + melted cheese = perfection! | omnivorescookbook.comKimchi chicken quesadillas use minimal seasoning to create the best flavor. Tender chicken + pungent kimchi + melted cheese = perfection!

The minute I took a big bite of the kimchi quesadilla from Chi’lantro, I knew I would be stealing the idea. And I did.

Chi’lantro serves creative Korean fusion Tex-Mex. They have a restaurant and a food truck in Austin. Thomas and I visited the food truck for a quick lunch. We ordered spicy chicken quesadillas and the original kimchi fries. It was like a dream come true – everything on the menu had kimchi on it! The quesadillas were loaded with cheese and big cuts of tender chicken. They came with a wonderful garlic mayo that I was tempted to drink all of.

You see, this is the charm of Austin. You don’t need to make a reservation a day ahead or spend a fortune to get great food. Just park your car next to a food truck park, choose a truck that strikes your fancy, and you’ll have some fresh-off-the-stove-finger-licking goodies in 5 minutes, at a very reasonable price.

Kimchi chicken quesadillas - Learn how to use minimal seasoning to create the best flavor. Tender chicken + pungent kimchi + melted cheese = perfection! | omnivorescookbook.com

To speak of kimchi. If you haven’t added it to your must-have pantry list, stop what you’re doing, hop into your car, drive to the nearest Asian market and get a big jar of it. By the way, I got mine at H-E-B, which proves kimchi is a totally average American household ingredient!

The reason I love kimchi is that you can never go wrong with it in the kitchen. Kimchi itself contains ginger and garlic and has a sour-savory taste as a result of fermentation. It has such a bold and delicious flavor that you could easily season a dish with it in no time.

I’ve cooked a lot of dishes with kimchi, such as kimchi meatball stew, kimchi fried rice, and kimchi pancake. Among them, kimchi steamed buns are the most popular. If you look at the ingredient list, you’ll find it only requires four ingredients. No, that’s not a typo. You can create the best dumpling filling with minimal effort, thanks to the omnipotent kimchi.

Kimchi chicken quesadillas - Learn how to use minimal seasoning to create the best flavor. Tender chicken + pungent kimchi + melted cheese = perfection! | omnivorescookbook.comThe same logic applies to this recipe. You don’t really need to marinate the chicken with tons of seasoning to get a flavorful dish. The kimchi does all the work for you. I used light soy sauce here to give the chicken a golden color and a nice char. I coated it with cornstarch (a trick we use in every Chinese stir fried dish), so I could get a very tender and juicy chicken on the stove top without overcooking it. That’s it! You can then assemble the quesadillas and serve the feast in 5 minutes.

I created a nutty sauce to go with the dish. Instead of mayonnaise as a base, I went for the healthier option of Greek yogurt and honey. But even if you don’t serve the quesadillas with any sauce, you’ll still find yourself devouring them all, after you’ve picked them up from the stove and before you can set them on the dinner table!

Kimchi chicken quesadillas - Learn how to use minimal seasoning to create the best flavor. Tender chicken + pungent kimchi + melted cheese = perfection! | omnivorescookbook.com

5.0 from 6 reviews
Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main, Appetizer
Cuisine: Korean, Mexican, Fusion
Serves: 2 big Quesadillas
Ingredients
For the dipping sauce
For the quesadillas
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 1 chicken breast), sliced
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cups chopped kimchi
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 (10”/26 cm) flour tortillas (burrito-sized) (*see footnote)
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.

  2. Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  3. Add chicken, light soy sauce and cornstarch to a bowl. Mix by hand until the chicken is evenly covered with a thin layer of starch.

  4. Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  5. Heat a skillet with vegetable oil over medium heat until warm. Spread chicken onto pan without overlapping. Cook until the bottom side turns golden, about 2 minutes. Flip to cook the other side, until the chicken is cooked through, about a minute and a half. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  6. Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  7. Assemble quesadillas one at a time. Spread chicken on one side of a tortilla, add a layer of kimchi, and scatter with cheese. Fold the tortilla into the shape of a half moon.

  8. Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  9. Heat a big skillet over low heat until warm. Place quesadillas in the skillet. Cook until the bottom side crisps. Flip and cook the other side, until the cheese melts.

  10. Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  11. Slice the quesadillas into 3 to 4 wedges. Serve warm with dipping sauce.
Notes
I used spinach tortillas in this recipe, because the green color made the dish a bit fancier looking. You can use standard flour tortillas if you like.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 2 quesadillas generated by this recipe.

Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas Nutrition Facts | omnivorescookbook.com

You might also like:

Cheesy Kimchi pancake

Cheesy kimchi pancake

Kimchi Tofu Meatball Stew

Kimchi Tofu Meatball Stew

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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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14 thoughts on “Kimchi Chicken Quesadillas

  1. lindsay Cotter

    you must know my love for kimchi! it’s true food love! and i was just thinking about making a spin off grilled cheese with it, but i think I’ll go for your quesadilla first! PINNING!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      The grilled cheese idea sounds so lovely and I’m sure it will turn out great! I made a kimchi sausage burrito the other day and they worked out wonderful as it should be!

      Reply
  2. [email protected]

    Bring. It. ON! Kimchi is a staple in my household. It’s like a quick fix flavour addition for so many things! Noodles, fried rice, asian pancakes…and now quesadillas!! MUST TRY!

    Reply
  3. Bam's Kitchen

    Maggie, I know my boys will love this. Full stop! I have chicken on the grill now and kimchi in the refrigerator. Perfect fun weekend food. Sharing, everywhere! of course!

    Reply
  4. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Maggie, I’ve been eyeing this creation up all week on social media! It’s genius! I’d especially love to try that sauce!
    I’m slowly getting around to having a go at a recipe with kimchi in it. It’s definitely popular at the moment.
    Also, I’m VERY jealous of all those amazing food trucks over there in Texas! Street food is just the best. I would rather eat that than go to a restaurant any day! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    I love quesdillas! They are so quick and delicious.. and I often make them. Definitely inspired to make a kimchi chicken version like this Maggie. And I love how you used spinach tortillas too – I’ve never tried that before.

    Reply
  6. Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

    Wow, wow, WOW! This is so awesome, Maggie. I love that you are getting so much inspiration from your new environment. It makes the kitchen even more exciting, doesn’t it?
    You have gone to another level, my friend. Your new fusion dishes are out of this world. Fantastic! I will make this tonight if I have time. If not, it will be on the table tomorrow. Can’t wait!

    Reply
  7. Monica

    This is such a great idea! Sounds delicious. We buy kimchi occasionally but it’ll be more and more as we figure more ways to use it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply