Yup, you read that right. Kimchi buttermilk biscuits. I think it must’ve been an Instagram conversation with @jubjubfarms where we talked about kimchi scones that had me going down a rabbit hole of biscuit testing. I do this thing when I’ve got an idea…I look for a recipe that already exists in the world and then try and twist it to fit what I’m dreaming up. Five test batches of your run of the mill buttermilk biscuit recipe later, I decided that Bon Appétit Magazine’s Best Buttermilk Biscuits recipe was the one I wanted to jump from; the most flaky and tastiest biscuit I’d had in a while.
Here are some videos from the different techniques I tried.
This one was a total fail. Not because of the recipe necessarily, but because I doubled the wet ingredients without doubling the rest of it. When I added the second amount of flour, I knew I had over mixed the dough and lost all hope for a great outcome. Not to mention, I couldn’t find my biscuit cutters and used a glass instead. I think it might’ve crimped the edges keeping it from getting the lift it needed. I tried this recipe again using a different techniques…twice more. It didn’t make me happy.
Fourth attempt. I used a different recipe and a different technique; the folding technique. I think this might’ve worked if I hadn’t rolled the dough out as thin as I had. So it might’ve just been me. Oops! Still, I wasn’t happy. (In case you’re wondering, these biscuits did not go to waste. I passed some out to neighbors and our chickens also benefitted from my test bakes. I did not eat them all even though I wanted to).
Fifth and final attempt. Success! I did roll it out a bit too much but the taste was spot on and you could see the layers! The recipe calls for square pieces so that there’s less waste, in case you’re thinking why square?
So fast forward. I’ve tested the recipes, now to add the kimchi and make it work.
What’s kimchi you ask? Kimchi, as defined by Wikipedia:
Kimchi (/ˈkɪmtʃiː/; Korean: 김치, translit. gimchi, IPA: [kim.tɕʰi]), a staple in Korean cuisine, is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood). There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made with different vegetables as the main ingredients. In traditional preparations, kimchi was stored underground in jars to keep cool, and unfrozen during the winter months.
Now, when they say it’s a staple, they mean it IS the food of my people. My parents wouldn’t consider the thing they ate a meal if there wasn’t kimchi served with it. We’re talking about buckets of KFC chicken and kimchi. Pizza Hut deep dish with kimchi. Gyros and souvlaki with kimchi. But I digress…
Moving on, back to the subject at hand. Kimchi buttermilk biscuits. So how do I add kimchi to the dough while keeping the balance of liquid and fat intact? At first I thought I’d just squeeze the kimchi of the excess liquid but then I decided to replace some fo the buttermilk with the kimchi juice to add more of the garlicky, red peppery, funky goodness to the overall dough. Then the balance would stay the same. I’d just add the squeezed, chopped up kimchi and mix the liquid in as usual.
Here’s a shot of the layers of biscuit dough stacked before the second roll out. You can see the pieces of kimchi in the dough but also see the color of the dough itself. The original recipe calls for this roll out to make 12 square pieces but I wanted monster biscuits so I rolled it out to get 6 biscuits. Just make sure not to get too thin. Even though you’ll get layers, it won’t get the height you’re going to want.
After a quick trip into the freezer and a nice melted butter bath, I sprinkled some of Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning because why the hell not? They baked a little longer than suggested, but that might be because of the extra moisture from the kimchi. I gave it an extra 5 mins or so. My plan is to use these for brunch this weekend. I’ll store them in the freezer and pop them in the oven to heat them back up. I might lose you on this but I’m thinking a SPAM, egg, and American cheese sandwich on this here kimchi biscuit. Check out my Instagram @foodcationforever to see it!
The original recipe can be found HERE.
I added about a half cups worth of strained and chopped kimchi to the dry mixture and about 1/8 cup – 1/4 cup of the 1 cup of buttermilk was made up by the kimchi liquid. I know these aren’t exact amounts but that’s the fun part! As my mom always told me…you need just enough of this and that.
Make sure to use the hashtag #foodcationforever if you make this recipe for a highlight on IG!