French Fries with Bulgogi and Caramelized Kimchi


Austin is loaded with food trucks, and the Korean-Mexican-Texan mash-up that is Chi'Lantro is one of chef Aarón Sanchez's favorites. For his famous late-night snack, Chi'Lantro chef and owner Jae Kim tops hot french fries with caramelized kimchi, grilled Korean-style beef, and a mayonnaise spiked with Sriracha.

French Fries with Bulgogi and Caramelized Kimchi
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
1 hrs



  • 1 small onion, minced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 pound boneless rib eye steak, cut into very thin, 3-inch slices

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 cup kimchi

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha, plus more for serving

  • 1 pound hot french fries

  • Shredded cheddar, chopped white onion, toasted sesame seeds and cilantro, for serving


make the bulgogi

  1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and sesame oil. Add the rib eye and toss to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Drain the meat, pick off the solids and pat dry. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil until smoking. Add the meat and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and keep warm. Rinse out the skillet and wipe dry.

prepare the toppings

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, chile paste and soy sauce. Add the kimchi and toss to coat. Heat the skillet until very hot. Add the kimchi and cook over high heat until the liquid is thickened and glossy and the kimchi is browned in spots, about 5 minutes.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the 3 tablespoons of Sriracha.

  3. Scatter the french fries on a platter and top with the bulgogi and kimchi. Drizzle with some of the Sriracha mayonnaise and sprinkle with cheddar, onion, sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve with additional Sriracha.

Suggested Pairing

Kimchi can be brutal to pair with wine—its acidity and heat will overwhelm a wine’s flavors. But beer, like a zippy pilsner, can hold its own. Try Avery’s Joe’s Pilsner or Oskar Blues’s Mama’s Little Yella Pils, both from Colorado and sold in cans.

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