Kristen Kish gives a classic appetizer a bold flavor punch, recipe

Kristen Kish creates Jongga Kimchi Creamed Corn Croquette , photo provided by Jongga Kimchi
Kristen Kish creates Jongga Kimchi Creamed Corn Croquette , photo provided by Jongga Kimchi /

As a favorite celebrity chef, Kristen Kish has delighted people with her creativity on the plate. While she wowed the judges during her winning season on Top Chef, that moment was just one sliver of her impeccable flavors. When she blends her Korean heritage with classic dishes, the flavors sing in the best possible way. In this recipe featuring Jongga Kimchi, home cooks might have a new option to pass at the holiday event.

Home cooks are moving beyond the simple dishes and appreciating the global ingredients and the flavor that they bring to familiar recipes. A simple swap here or there can turn the usual into the unexpected.

Recently, Kristen Kish partnered with Jongga Kimchi to highlight how the robust, fermented ingredient can create layers of flavor. While the Top Chef has a myriad of uses for the popular kimchi brand, she recommends that the home cook start with adding a little kimchi to favorite recipes and experiment with how the flavor evolves.

For example, Kish recommends thinking of kimchi has an acid substitute in some scenarios. While the texture of the fermented cabbage might not always work in every recipe, the flavor can add brightness to a dish or add balance to sweet components.

In this recipe, the creamed corn croquettes get a boost from the kimchi. Although this dish is an elevated appetizer, the flavor concept can be applied in other dishes, too. Why not add a little kimchi to a creamed corn dish. It might make that next holiday side a little more enjoyable.

Jongga Kimchi Creamed Corn Croquette by Kristen Kish for Jongga Kimchi
Kristen Kish creates Jongga Kimchi Creamed Corn Croquette , photo provided by Jongga Kimchi /

Here’s how to make Jongga Kimchi Creamed Corn Croquettes by Kristen Kish

Serves: 30 – 40 2oz croquettes

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


For the Croquette

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (approx. 3 small ears)
  • Smoked mozzarella Mornay (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups Jongga Kimchi – squeezed dry and finely chopped, reserve 3 tablespoons of Jongga Kimchi juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil or frying oil as needed
  • 1 large Black Truffle as desired/needed
  • Celery leaves, lemon, Maldon Salt and chives to garnish

For the Smoked Mozzarella Mornay

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 large cloves garlic – peeled and gently smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small shallot – peeled and small diced
  • 1¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella – cut into small cubes/pieces

Breading Station

  • 2 – 4 cups panko – crushed with your hands and mixed with ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 eggs – beaten and mixed with ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, mixed with 1 teaspoon gochutgaru, ½ teaspoon dried thyme and ½ teaspoon kosher salt.


For the Smoked Mozzarella Mornay

  • In a medium saucepan add the butter, flour, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, and shallot.
  • Turn on heat to medium and allow the butter and flour to come together, forming a blond roux.
  • Slowly whisk in the whole milk and allow mixture to come to a simmer, scraping down the sides and stirring frequently. Mixture will thicken.
  • Add in the cheese 1/3 at a time, stirring to incorporate.
  • Once cheese is fully melted, turn off heat and transfer into a wide shallow container, placing plastic wrap directly over the sauce.
  • Refrigerate until the sauce is room temp or chilled to the touch.

For the Croquette

  • Bake potatoes at 400°F for about an hour or until tender.
  • Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
  • Remove the skin and gently fork mash the potatoes while still hot, set aside to cool.
  • Mix together the room temperature or cooled cheese sauce with the corn kernels.
  • Add the kimchi, potatoes, and kimchi juice.
  • Mix until incorporated and season with salt to taste
  • Form into 2 oz discs, larger or smaller depending on preference.
  • Freeze until firm (optional but makes it easier)
  • Working in batches, dredge each croquette in the flour mixture (be sure to tap off excess before moving on) then in the egg mixture, then in the panko mixture.
  • Deep fry in 350 – 370°F vegetable oil.
  • Garnish with celery leaves tossed in lemon juice, chives, Maldon Salt and lots of shaved black truffles.
  • Serve immediately.

While this recipe has many steps, it does not have to be intimidating. With good preparation, it is very manageable.

More importantly, it is a great example how kimchi can play off the simple potatoes and sweet corn. Even if the home cook doesn’t have truffles or Maldon salt, the dish is still quite enjoyable.

Next time a dish needs a punch of flavor, consider using a little kimchi as an acid booster. It might get rave reviews from everyone around the table.

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