I feel so trendy today. Why? Because I put kimchi, the Korean fermented cabbage dish, in all of its spicy-tangy-sour-garlicky glory, on pizza! Never in a million years did I think kimchi would go mainstream. Nor did I ever imagine I’d be topping my pizza with it.
You see, back when I was a kid attending Korean culture camp in the summer, my spicy-food-hating self detested kimchi. Each day at camp, they served a traditional Korean lunch along with some very American components of the meal: Kool-Aid for the beverage and packaged cookies for dessert. Those were my favorites, obviously. But going through the buffet line, I always took kimchi when the lunch lady asked because she was so nice and I didn’t want to make her feel bad. Of course, I never touched the stuff. And inevitably, the kimchi juice would end up saturating my Keebler cookies, rendering them inedible. I’m almost certain this same scenario is going to play out with my son when he attends his first Korean culture camp in July. Do I warn him or just let the kimchi tainting happen? Hmm.
Moving on. Let’s forget about how much I hated kimchi because these days, I can’t get enough. It’s common to catch me in the kitchen on Saturday mornings after our weekly Costco trip with a fork in hand and the huge Kimchi jar open, just going to town (while my husband unloads the 150 tons of other bulk items we purchased). Sorry Dan. My love of kimchi is a bit intense.
In addition to eating it plain out of the ol’ jar, I also like to chop it up and add it to my scrambled eggs, veggie bowls, and rice. But my husband? The only way he’ll eat kimchi is topped on a pizza. We’re obsessed with the Lady ZaZa pizza from Pizzeria Lola, a fave pizza joint here in the Twin Cities. It’s topped with Korean sausage, Serrano peppers, scallions, and a sesame and soy glaze. My stomach is growling just thinking about it.
Luckily, I’ve got some leftover Kimchi, Bacon, and Corn Pizza in the fridge. It’s a little riff on that special pizza pie from Pizzeria Lola. I skipped the sausage and added bacon bits and sprinkled on some corn for tiny pops of sweetness. For the pizza sauce, I used a Korean BBQ sauce called gochujang, which is growing in popularity and stealing the spotlight from sriracha!
The bold and tangy flavor of this pizza is simply mind-blowing. The salty components of chopped kimchi and bacon paired with the sweet gochujang create the perfect balance of flavor. And the naan-like flatbread provides a welcome break from the all-around spiciness of the toppings. See the recipe below for instructions to make your own or store-bought flatbread or pizza crusts work just fine too.
I think it’s time to hop on the kimchi bandwagon, and this flatbread pizza is the perfect way to do it!
- 1⅓ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup nonfat greek yogurt
- ½ cup water
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 2 cups kimchi, drained and chopped
- ⅔ cups corn (off the cob or frozen)
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ cup gochujang sauce + more for topping
- 2 green onions, chopped (optional)
- ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the dough: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the greek yogurt, water, and honey. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is combined. Use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the dough ball back in the bowl and let it rest.
- Divide the dough in half and roll into 2 balls. Flour your surface and using a rolling pin to roll out each ball into oval shapes about 8 x 11 inches. Transfer the dough to lined baking sheets and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Top the pizza: Evenly spread the chopped kimchi, corn, and bacon bits over each pizza dough. Bake in the oven for another 10 minutes. Top the pizzas with a drizzle of gochujang, chopped green onions, cilantro, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Serving size: ½ pizza
Nutrition Information (per serving) from Caloriecount.about.com
Calories: 281.5 Fat: 2.7g Carb: 48.9g Fiber: 3.9g Protein: 13.7g Sugar 5.8g Sodium: 1339mg
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