Today we are going to explore the world of kimchi fries but first what is kimchi? Many of you want don’t know but have no fear. I’m here to tell you! Kimchi is cabbage. Yup that’s it. It’s just cabbage that has been marinated in a blend of spices, peppers, radishes, carrots, and onions. You can think of it like Asian sauerkraut without the vinegar. I find that fresh kimchi is good but the longer you let the marinate soak into the cabbage, the better the kimchi tastes! That’s why back in the days in Korea people would seal their kimchi in jars to allow the cabbage to absorb more of the flavor. They would house the jars in the ground to keep them at a reasonable temperature because this was before refrigeration and the constant ground temperature would keep the kimchi fresher longer.
Now since you know what kimchi is let me begin to tell you about the most delicious street food I’ve discovered relatively recently that might have changed my life. I was hanging out with this guy one day and we were talking about the nightlife in downtown Austin. I don’t think of myself as a “party girl” but I do like to go out quite frequently and enjoy life. There’s nothing like going out with your friends to drink, dance, people watch, and talk about life. Anyways, before this conversation with this guy I had always enjoyed getting a bratwurst (with everything on it) at the Best Wurst stand because like the name states, it really is the best wurst! That is for another blog . . . Apparently he preferred going to Chillantro which is a food truck chain that specializes in a Korean/Mexican infusion. Immediately, I’m intrigued and not just because I’m half Korean. His favorite was the Kimchi Fries. Now at first I was thinking the same thing you probably are, “Kimchi+French fries=good???”. Well I consider myself to be relatively adventurous so some time later I go out and on the way back to the car I stop at the Chillantro truck. First glance at the truck at any given time of the night and you are bound to see a line winding around the corner. That’s always a good sign. Why? Because no one wants to stand in line for bad food! So while in line we meet these nice people in front of us. We tell them it’s our first time trying the kimchi fries so right away they decide to take us under their wings! The girl orders us kimchi fries with beef bulgogi and a fried egg on top.
Pause. So in the event you are unsure what bulgogi is, let me be so kind enough to tell you! Don’t be scared. I know it gets intimidating eating foods with foreign names but hey this is a big world and it’s not just centered on the US. Anyways, bulgogi is basically a marinated meat that is grilled. Not scary in the least bit!
Fast forward to the moment when I received the deliciousness. So the fries were topped with bulgogi, kimchi, cheese, “siricha” like hot sauce (chojang), and a fried egg. You have to eat it with a fork, FYI. The first bite and immediately it was love! OMG whoever thought to invent kimchi fries was a freakin’ GENIUS! All the flavors were so complementary you really would’ve thought it was MAGIC! I really not being dramatic either. This completely changed the location of where I chose to park at night. Now I like to park near enough to the truck so that en route to the car from the bar/club I can stop and grab me some midnight munchies! Don’t just take my word for it, go be adventurous and give it a try!