Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Too many notes.

Queso Fresco and sesame. Sweet pickles and chili powder. Cumin and gochujan. You know what I'm talkin' bout - that haute Korean/Mex fusion.

Since there's little hope for it appearing in CLT in the near future, I thought I'd give it a whirl, and this TS post provided a tad more inspirado. Burritos would be easy. So I made some fried rice, "fajita'd" some veggies, made some pickles, wilted some greens (more of that amazing Mizuna, Japanese technically, but who's counting), got some Fresco and sour cream, avocado, flour tortillas. Wrapped it all up.

Was it tasty? Oh hell yes. Was it a gastronomic mess? Yes, emphatically. I'm not saying tongue-overwhelming piles of flavor are bad (I just ate a sliced green apple covered in garlic hummus and hot sauce, ya never know). Just not for everyone. It can be gratifying to read a dish's ingredients as you consume it - and with this one, that was well-nigh impossible.

Still, pretty cool. Could be awesome party food, garbage-mouth or no. Veganizing this was easy, so I included the dairy free alterations below.

Korean Burritos

6 flour tortillas
2 cups sesame fried rice
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup wilted kale or bitter green
1.5 cups quick cuke and carrot pickles
1 cup crumbled Queso Fresco or Daiya Vegan Cheddar
1 cup sour cream or soy sour cream (Vegan Gourmet's is awesome!!)
2 cups Fajita veggies
6 pieces foil

Make the rice:

2 cups day old rice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1 knob ginger, grated
Soy sauce
Fried shallots

I used leftover rice, since, as we discovered earlier, day-old rice is best for frying. If you need to whip some up, go ahead - but make sure to chill it for an hour before proceding.

In a wok, pour sesame oil, add garlic, grated ginger. Saute until fragrant, add rice. Toss with spatula or tongs. Cook until heated through. Add fried shallot. Set aside.

Make the pickles:

1 medium cuke, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
White vinegar
1 tablespoon cock sauce or 1 tsp gochujan
1 tsp sugar

Grate your peeled cuke and carrot into a non-reactive bowl. Add white vinegar, hot chili (like gochujan or cock sauce) and sugar. Toss and set aside.

Wilt the greens:

1 pound mizuna or another hearty, bitter green (like kale)
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
Splash soy sauce

Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet for two minutes. Add sesame oil and garlic. Add greens and turn up the heat to medium high - saute until wilted, 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Veggie time:

2 cups various veggies - mushrooms, peppers, squash, and oinons used here
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Cilantro
Dash sugar

Chop your mushrooms, peppers, zucchinis, whatevs ya got, into 2 inch long strips. In a skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic, plus the sliced onion. Cook until onion begins to become translucent, then add your veggies. Toss. Add chili powder and salt. Turn heat up to high. Toss and cover, allowing your veggies to get a little char on the bottom. Toss and cook a few minutes more, until zucchinis are relatively soft. Add chopped cilantro and a dash of sugar. Mix and set aside.


Lay the tortilla out on a sheet of foil. Slather with sour cream. Pile about 1/3 cup of veggies on. Add cheese, then avocado.

Grab a handful of rice and squeeze it together in your palm to condense it. The rice serves as the dividing line between the two flavor sets. Press it into the cheese/avocado. Then layer a good 1/4 cup of greens, then a small handful of pickles. Add more chili flakes or hot sauce, as desired. Roll the burrito up by taking the edge closest to you, folding it over the center pile, folding in the two sides, then continuing to roll until the package is formed. Roll the foil around it to keep it all in place. Slice in half and serve.


  1. I must point out that this is hands down NOT Korean. Most, or all in my experience, "Korean" burritos have kimchi/kimchi rice in them. At the most, this can be possibly "Asian-inspired", but I use the term lightly as very few of the ingredients are even Asian.

    Great vegan burritos though!

  2. Well, we could argue whether gochujang, fried rice, pickled veggies and sesame oil, ginger, and garlic aren't commonly used ingredients in Korean cuisine. Or talk about how most store-bought Kimchi contains shrimp paste and is, therefore, not veg.

    Thanks tho :)

  3. I want to eat this, Korean, or not. Looks delish.

  4. Gratzi sista! They were weird. But in a good way.

  5. Wow this looks cool. But I wish somebody else would make them for me!

  6. Aye, it took a while to cobble all the different fillings together. Even easier would be hitting a Korean grocery and picking up pickles and various BiBimBap makings, then stuffing them in a burrito with the cheese and veggies. We finally have one in CLT so maybe next time, that's what I'll do.

  7. It's easy to make a homemade kimchi without the fish or shrimp paste. Homemade kimchi is much better than store-bought kimchi because you can alter it and change the fermentation time to your own taste. The absence of 김치 and 불고기 really makes this not Korean even if there is 고추장. Garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and even pickled vegetables are all common ingredients in most Asian cuisines.

    I am Korean by the way.

    - Helena Park

  8. Hi Helena! So that's who you are!

    I've done kimchi twice, and both times, swore I'd make it every week for the rest of my life. And then didn't. Sucks to be lazy me. And since this was weeknight dinner, well, you can understand.

    Thanks for being my first snarky commentator, though! I feel loved.

  9. I tried my own burritos tonight and now I'm searching the net looking at more burrito recipes. Yours look incredible!