Vegan Kimchi Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese but leveled up with some Kimchi and Gochujang!
So this was actually an accident! I was trying to make some Flamin' Hot Mac, and I was attempting to get that vivid red color without food coloring. I thought that maybe some Gochujang might help, but then realized that would probably just be delicious on it's own. Then I figured, well might as well throw some Vegan Kimchi in there too! And those two ingredients made this some of the best, if not THEE best Mac & Cheese I've ever had!
This is my basic Mac & Cheese recipe, but with a few awesome additions. Besides the Kimchi and Gochujang, we're also gonna add in some Gochugaru Flakes , garlic and onions, and some lime juice. For the Kimchi, double check that it's vegan, they sometimes have fish sauce in them.
The only unusual ingredient we are using is Sodium Citrate, it's an emulsifier that I've started using in my cheese sauces, it makes the cheese sauce smooth and creamy, not unlike Velveeta! Even after the cheese cools down, it still says velvety instead of clumpy and coagulated.
However, if you don't want to use Sodium Citrate you can simply just melt your vegan cheese with some unsweetened plant milk, the texture won't be quite as good, but it will still be delicious!
Here's a handy dandy VIDEO as well!
Now speaking of the texture, you have a couple of options. I wanted my cheese sauce to be as smooth as possible. I used my stick blender at first, and the Kimchi proved to be too tough for it. So I resorted to using my Vitamix. The next time I make this, I might just puree the Kimchi first. You can also skip blending all together and have your cheese sauce be kinda chunky. Totally up to you!
I also threw this on top of a Burger that I cooked in some storebought Bulgogi sauce. Honestly, you can use this cheese sauce however you'd like. I imagine some nachos would be good, and I'm thinking I need to make a Bulgogi & Kimchi Cheese Cheesesteak soon!
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8 oz macaroni pasta
8 oz vegan cheddar cheese shreds
1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
4 oz water
1/2 tsp Sodium Citrate
2 green onions (sliced thinly, green and white parts separated)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup Vegan Kimchi (minced or pureed)
2 Tbsp Gochujang Paste
1 Tbsp Gochugaru Flakes
Juice of 1 Lime (about 1 Tbsp)
Sesame Oil to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sesame seeds (optional)
Cook your pasta according to package instructions.
While pasta cooks, heat up a little oil in a pot, then add in the white sections of your green onions. Reserve the greener pieces for garnish. Cook for 1 minute or so, until they become translucent.
Add in your garlic and cook for 1 minute, don't let it burn.
Now add in the water and Sodium Citrate. If you are not using sodium citrate, then just add in 4 oz of unsweetened plant milk. Whisk and cook for 1 minute.
Add in vegan cheese shreds and whisk until melted. Then add in 1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk and whisk to combine.
Next add the Gojugaru flakes, Gojuchang and Kimchi. Stir to combine.
If you want your cheese sauce extra smooth, you can try to use a stick blender (I didn't have luck with this however) or do like I did and just blend it up in a high speed blender, then add it back to the pot.
Add in the lime juice, sesame oil, and then salt and pepper to taste (mine didn't need any salt and pepper FYI) and adjust any seasonings to your liking.
Once it tastes good, add in your cooked pasta. Depending on how saucy you like it, you may want to add your sauce to your pasta instead, and then if there's any extra cheese sauce, you can use it anyway you wish. I like my Mac & Cheese saucy!
Top with the reserved green onions, more Gochugaru flakes and sesame seeds.