Just when I thought I had gratinated everything possible, from potatoes and Brussel sprouts to chicken, I came across this Kimchi gratin at Restaurant Hubert in Sydney. What a fantastic concept – I love Kimchi in any form but it never occurred to me to use it in a gratin. If you’re not a fan of Kimchi don’t be deterred from trying this because the cream in the gratin (and the sweetness from caramelised onions) rounds out some of the more stringent Kimchi flavours, not enough to diffuse the essence of the Kimchi for those of us who love it, but enough to make it approachable for those who aren’t as keen. This pairs incredibly well with roast pork and chicken – I love having a side dish for a traditional roast that strays away from the usual offerings and has a little kick.
Ingredients – Serves 4 Adapted from Restaurant Hubert, Sydney
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg onions, thinly sliced
500 gm cabbage kimchi, thinly sliced
200 ml pouring cream
20 gm panko crumbs
100 gm finely grated Gruyère
Finely grated parmesan, to serve
15 gm butter
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté onions, stirring often, until softened and lightly caramelised (25-30 minutes) – add more oil if you need it. Add kimchi and cook, stirring occasionally until warmed through (5 minutes). Add cream and reduce until the mixture thickens slightly (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and cool. While still warm, but not hot, stir in three-quarters of the Gruyère and transfer to a baking dish or individual shallow gratin dishes.
Heat a grill to high. Combine panko crumbs and remaining Gruyère and parmesan in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over kimchi, dot with butter, then grill until gratin is golden and bubbling. You can can also prepare the gratin in advance then pre-heat the oven to 200C and cook for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.