This 20-minute wonder is my go-to for a quick Asian fusion dinner! If you love tangy, spicy kimchi you’ll love this buttery kimchi carbonara!
This kimchi carbonara is inspired by one of my favorite Korean dishes, kimchi fried rice! When dinning out for Korean BBQ kimchi fried rice comes to the table, piping hot and topped with a bright yellow egg yolk. When you break the yolk and stir it into the rice the flavor and texture is incredible! That experience is what I wanted to re-create in this “carbonara”! The flavor of the spicy, tangy kimchi and rich, creamy egg yolk tossed with butter and pasta is unbelievably good! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe: kimchi, eggs, butter, spaghetti or bucatini pasta, toasted sesame seeds, scallions and (optional) gochujang Korean hot pepper paste.
Step 1. Pulse the Kimchi
Pulse the kimchi in a food processor or chop it with a knife into small, bite-sized pieces. Place the kimchi in a large mixing bowl with the egg yolks and butter.
Step 2. Toss the pasta and kimchi together
Cook the pasta until al dente, before draining reserve 1/2c of pasta water. Add the pasta to the mixing bowl then toss to coat.
Pro Tip: Anytime you’re making a carbonara there is a risk for overcooking the eggs. To avoid scrambled eggs in your pasta first, toss the cooked spaghetti, kimchi and egg yolk in a large bowl off the heat then, transfer that mixture back onto the stove over VERY low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and velvet and coats the pasta.
Step 3. Cook the pasta
Cook the pasta and kimchi together over low heat until the sauce thickens and coats the pasta. Divide between bowls and top with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
FAQs and Expert Tips:
Kimchi is a staple condiment in Korean cuisine. It’s an intensely flavorful fermented cabbage seasoned with a variety of ingredients like scallion, garlic, chilis, ginger, fish sauce and others. Kimchi is served with most meals in Korea as a side dish or condiment. Kimchi flavors are complex and vary between sour, spicy, sweet and umami.
In the US almost all Asian markets carry a wide variety of kimchi. Kimchi is also now available in most supermarkets. You can typically find it in refrigerated section next to the tofu.
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- 1/2 lb spaghetti or bucatini
- 1 c kimchi plus 3 Tbsp. juice from jar
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tbsp butter, cold
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 2 scallions thinly slices
- 1 tsp gochujang Korean chili paste optional
- In a food processor pulse the kimchi and juice, until finely chopped. Place the chopped kimchi into a large mixing bowl with the egg yolks, butter and gochujang (optional). Whisk to combine.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Before draining, reserve 1/2c pasta water. Leave the empty pot on the stove to finish cooking the pasta in later.
- Add the cooked pasta and pasta water to the mixing bowl with the kimchi, eggs, and butter. Toss to coat then transfer back into the pot on the stove.
- Over low heat stir the pasta and kimchi sauce together until the butter is melted and the sauce thickens and coats the pasta. Turn off the heat. Divide between bowls, top each bowl with scallion and sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately!
- Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine It’s a super flavorful fermented cabbage seasoned with a variety of ingredients like scallion, garlic, Korean chilis, ginger, fish sauce and others. Kimchi is now available in most supermarkets. You can typically find it in refrigerated section next to the tofu.
- Spaghetti: you can use any long, thin pasta like bucatini, fettuccini or pappardelle.
- Gochujang: Gochujang is a sweet and spicy Korean chili paste. This ingredient is totally optional.