I’ve recently partnered with Idaho Potato to bring you a few new and exciting recipes in the month of July. I’ve already shared with you the ideal salad of my dreams, and I’ve taught you that making potato empanadas only gets better by making an irresistible dipping sauce to go along with them. This week though we’re making the ultimate of potato recipes…fries. But not just regular fries that we’re all used to. Instead, we’re cooking up loaded French fries. That’s crispy fried potatoes topped with cheese, bulgogi, kimchi, sriracha aioli, pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro and pickled jalapeños. The most important part about this recipe, aside from the Idaho potatoes, is the kimchi. I’m obsessed with kimchi, and just in case you have no idea what that is; it’s a fermented cabbage condiment from Korea. One of my all-time favorite restaurants is a Korean BBQ place in Korea Town in Los Angeles and it’s out of this world. You cook the meat yourself, right at your table, on a grill in the middle. It makes the whole eating experience fun and exciting. Then best part about Korean BBQ is that it’s all you can eat but also that you get a bunch of different little condiments and sides to eat with the beef. One of the sides is kimchi and it’s amazing with rice and bulgogi.
These fries takes all of my favorite things from Korean BBQ and places them on top of crispy fried potatoes along with melted cheese. These are proof that dreams really do come true. The idea actually came from a fan of the site a while ago. She left a comment asking me if I’ve tried kimchi fries before, and I hadn’t so I gave them a try and they were everything I thought they’d be along with everything she said they would be. So I came up with my own version and here we are. These are great as an appetizer or snack for the summer. If you don’t have time to make your own French fries at home, although you really should because they’re so much better when you do, then you can totally use frozen fries from the store. Just heat them up in the oven according to the package directions. Then you can invest your time and effort into the toppings. You need these in your life and you need them right this second.
Let’s start by marinating the bulgogi which is a marinated Korean style beef. It’s boneless short rib or ribeye cut up into small strips and you marinade it with all sorts of delicious ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, onion, ginger, and sesame oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour or over night. The longer it sits, the better.
**Note: You want a thin cut of beef that is boneless and has some fat running through it. Short rib and ribeye both have the perfect amount of fat for this because fat equals flavor.**
The next thing you want to do is quick-pickle the carrots and daikon. Both of these ingredients are popular in Korean dishes, like spring rolls and Banh Mi sandwiches. Cut them into think strips (julienne) and then toss around in a bowl with sugar, salt and vinegar. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
**Note: The salt, sugar and vinegar will draw out the moisture in the vegetables, making them soft and tasting slightly like pickles.**
Let’s talk about fries for a second, shall we. Idaho potatoes make the best French fries because of the starch in them. Peel the potatoes, doesn’t have to be perfect as some skin is good, cut into think fry shapes and submerge in cold water. Drain and then pat dry with a kitchen towel. Fry in batches, twice, to get that super crispy and golden brown French fry.
**Note: Rinsing and soaking the potatoes in water removes the excess starch and prevents the potatoes from getting dark in color.**
Place the fried potatoes on a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, season lightly with salt as soon as they come out of the oil, and keep warm in a preheated 275 degree F oven. Meanwhile, cook the beef on a super hot stovetop grill pan or super hot skillet, until charred and crispy.
To prepare the loaded kimchi fries, top the fries with shredded Cheddar cheese and place in the oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
**Tip: Feel free to use whatever kind of cheese you like or have on hand. I happened to have Cheddar in the fridge so that’s what I used. Monterey or Pepper Jack would both be very good in this!**
Top the melted cheese with the crispy bulgogi and then drizzle with sriracha mayo. You can easily make sriracha mayo at home by mixing together 1/2 cup mayo with 1 to 2 tablespoons of sriracha, depending on how hot you like it.
Then load up with the other toppings. Add kimchi (most important topping since it’s in the name of the recipe), the pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, scallions, and pickled jalapeños. Feel free to add them all or pick and choose your favorites.
You can also keep things vegetarian by simply omitting the bulgogi beef steps. These fries would still be hearty and flavorful with more kimchi instead of beef. Don’t forget to serve them with a cold beer on the side because you can’t have loaded fries without a nice cold drink. They’re the perfect summer snack to have with friends.
If you’re a fan of loaded fries, don’t forget about the loaded fries I made a couple years ago for Idaho Potato, these Loaded Idaho Potato Carne Asada Fries! They’re loaded with all of your favorite carne asada nacho toppings. It’s the best of both worlds. This one is the perfect combination of loaded fries and all of my favorite Korean BBQ bits.
**Thank you for your continued support of the occasional sponsored post on this site. They help keep the blog going, allowing me to continue to share my recipes with you on a weekly basis. I never want my sponsorships to feel forced, which is why I only partner with companies I feel very passionate about and actually use on a regular basis.**
- 1 pound thinly sliced beef ribeye
- 1 small yellow onion, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon minced ginger
- 7 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 medium daikon radish, julienned
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 pound Idaho russet potatoes, rinsed
- vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sriracha mayo
- 1 cup store-bought kimchi, chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup sliced scallions
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeños
- In a large bowl, combine the beef ribeye with the onion, garlic, sugar, ginger, soy sauce, white vinegar and sesame oil. Let marinate in fridge for about 1 hour or overnight.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the carrots, daikon, sugar, salt and vinegar. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Set a large skillet, or grill pan, over high heat. Once hot, add the marinaded beef and cook until crispy and charred, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat a large pot (Dutch oven will work great here) over medium-high heat. Fill it a little bit less than half of the way up with vegetable oil. Attach a deep fryer thermometer and heat the oil to about 350 degrees F.
- Peel the potatoes and cut into thin fries. Immediately place the fries into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from turning brown and to rinse away the excess starch. Drain the potatoes and dry them thoroughly with a clean kitchen towel. Make sure they’re completely dry; you don’t want any moisture in the oil.
- Fry the potatoes in batches until light golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir with a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Continue frying the rest of the fries. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F and fry the potatoes a second time (in batches as well) until deep golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer back to wire rack and sprinkle with salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- To assemble the fries, arrange the potatoes on a baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the bulgogi, kimchi, sriracha mayo, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, scallions, and jalapeños. Serve immediately and enjoy!