Reasonably priced tortillas have become more and more difficult to come by in Hong Kong so whenever I stumble upon them in the right grocery store I’m sure to snatch up as many packages as I can find. And while the store bought brands here may be no match for the freshly made tortillas I used to find in Texas, these Korean Beef Quesadillas were so scrumptious, I honestly did not even notice.
PS. Peter banned me from making homemade tortillas…something about flour being everywhere…woops
Like a traditional quesadilla, these are stuffed with cheese and ground beef cooked with garlic and ginger and spice. But to amp up the flavor the beef is flavored with ginger, soy sauce and gochujang (Korean chili paste) before mixing in spicy kimchi.
I love kimchi, not just because of its amazing health benefits (read more about those here) but also because of its unique spicy and sour flavor. So trust me when I say that you really cannot beat this beef + kimchi + salty melted cheese all oozing from between two warm, baked tortillas.
They were so damn good. I couldn’t help but sneak in a bite before Peter came home from work but somehow that bite turned into an entire slice. Woops.
I made these quesadillas in the oven which is very easy to do. Especially if you are making multiple servings at once (unless you have a baby sized oven like I do in Hong Kong). But with a full sized oven you could easily make 3 or 4 quesadillas at once.
I usually spray each exposed side of the tortillas with a light spritz of cooking oil but you could also dab on a bit of cooking oil or butter or skip this step all together.
Alternatively these can be made on the stove with a dry, hot pan. Spread the filling on half or your tortilla, fold over the other half to cover the filling. Let it sit and lightly brown the bottom of the tortilla before flipping to brown the other half
The important thing to remember during your quesadilla assembly is not to over stuff the quesadillas and make sure you don’t skimp on the cheese. That’s what will melt and hold your creation together.
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 1 tbs minced ginger
- 1-2 bird's eye chilies, finely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 3-4 cups shredded cheese
- 1 cup kimchi
- 6-8 tortillas
- green onion, optional, to garnish
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat
- Add garlic and onion, stirring until onions have softened
- Stir in ginger and chilies, cooking until fragrant
- Mix in ground beef
- When beef is cooked through, reduce heat to low and pour in gochujang, soy sauce and sesame oil, mixing well
- Add in kimchi and continue mixing
- Take pan off heat
- Put a clean, dry pan on the stove over medium-high heat
- Assemble your quesadillas - lay one tortilla in the pan
- Spoon a layer of the beef and kimchi mixture and spread evenly across half the tortilla
- Leave about 1/4 inch border around the edge of the tortilla
- Spread a layer of cheese on top of the beef and kimchi mixture
- Fold the empty half of the tortilla over the beef and kimchi and press down lightly
- Heat for 1-2 minutes, flip and continue heating for 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted
- Remove quesadilla from pan and set aside
- Repeat for remaining tortillas
- Cut into slices, serve hot with green onion to garnish