Gochujang Bean Burritos with Kimchi Queso

Gochujang Bean Burrito with Kimchi Queso
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It’s Friday night and what could be more fitting than a recipe for burritos? But not just any burritos, these are Gochujang Bean Burritos with Kimchi Queso. Yes, these deliver K-Mex-inspired refried pinto beans, covered with a K-Tex-inspired queso, rolled up in a Cal-Mex-inspired format. There’s a whole lot of inspiration behind these bad boys and I am here for it. It’s very difficult for someone from the east coast of Canada to make any burrito “authentically” so why not have some fun with it.

These burritos are a bit of a love letter to two recipes I’ve been crushing on lately. Serious Eats incredible method for unbreakable queso and the revamped taco meat I’ve been making ever since gochujang became a mainstay in my fridge. You guys are familiar with the queso. It’s had more than its fair share of features on this blog because I am obsessed. But let me tell you about the taco meat. I started adding gochujang to the basic taco meat and I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say it changed my life. Try it! It’s as simple as adding a couple of tablespoons to the meat in addition to the taco seasoning one typically adds. Could not be simpler.

But I wanted to keep things vegetarian this time around, so I opted for refried beans for this particular burrito. I know, traditional refried beans are not really vegetarian. They usually contain some kind of animal fat, which is quite obviously delicious. But I decided to forgo the bacon and/or lard and instead rely on the umami of the soy and gochujang to give me that meatiness. And they most certainly delivered.

There really isn’t a lot to say about these Gochujang Bean Burritos. The recipe is easy to make and blissfully straightforward. And anything I haven’t said in this blog post, I probably said in the video below. So I will let her take it away. She more or less appears to have her sh*t together – except when it comes to rolling burritos.

I sincerely hope you give these burritos a try. They were a huge hit in this house and we will likely be making them again. I mean, it’s not that surprising. How could anyone resist the charms of creamy, rich refried beans smothered in gooey cheese sauce? No one I know, that’s for sure.

Enjoy!

Gochujang Bean Burrito with Kimchi Queso

Gochujang Bean Burritos with Kimchi Queso

These Gochujang Bean Burritos with Kimchi Queso feature creamy refried pinto beans spiked with gochujang and topped with a molten kimchi cheddar queso all bundled up in a large tortilla with classic burrito fixin's. The recipe is easy, figuring out how to eat this sucker is the hard part.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6 burritos

Equipment

  • Large Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients
  

Gochujang Refried Beans

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp gochugaru*
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil I used canola
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 (540ml, 18 fl oz) cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup low sodium vegetable stock

Kimchi Queso

  • 227g (8oz) aged cheddar shredded
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup kimchi finely chopped

Burrito Toppings

  • ¼ red onion diced
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalapeños thinly sliced
  • cups steam Jasmine rice
  • 1 avocado diced
  • additional kimchi
  • blue corn tortilla chips crushed
  • 6 large tortillas

Instructions
 

For the Gochujang Refried Beans

  • In a small bowl whisk to combine the gochujang, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and gochugaru. Set aside.
  • Pour the oil into a large cast-iron skillet. Heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté until just translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. 
  • Add the pinto beans, vegetable stock, and the gochujang sauce you mixed earlier. Stir to combine and bring the mixture up to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Take the beans off of the heat and mash them with a potato masher. How much you mash them is up to you. I left mine a little chunky. Keep the beans warm until ready to serve.

For the Kimchi Queso

  • Place the cheese in a large bowl and add 1 tbsp of cornstarch. Toss to coat and set aside.
  • Pour 1 cup of evaporated milk into a small saucepan, and over medium heat, bring it to the verge of simmering. Add the cheese and the kimchi to the milk and stir until a thick queso forms. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To Assemble

  • Start with a sheet of tin foil and a sheet of parchment paper. Place a large tortilla on top and load it up. I like to start with lettuce because I have a theory that the other toppings will contain it. On top of the lettuce place a bed of rice, followed by the beans and queso. Add as many toppings as you can handle after that. 
  • Take the end of the tortilla closest to you and try your best to fold it over the mountain of toppings. Tuck either side towards the center as best you can and use the parchment and foil to roll the burrito close. Press to compress the burrito further.*** Slice the burrito in half and serve immediately.

Notes

**If you can’t find gochugaru substitute it with crushed red pepper flakes.
***If you don’t want the hassle of rolling a giant burrito, make this into a burrito bowl. 
Keyword burrito, gochujang, kimchi, pinto beans, queso, refried beans

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