Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development
Tiffany Sawyer

Tiffany L. Sawyer
Corporate Director of Culinary and Beverage
First Hospitality

Barilla® Kimchi Mac & Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany L. Sawyer
Sponsor: Barilla for Professionals

Servings: 4



  • 4 lb Napa cabbage, quartered
  • 1 ½ c kosher salt + 2/3 c kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour
  • 1 lb daikon radish, shredded
  • ½ c Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 oz chives
  • 1 ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ oz grated garlic
  • 2 oz chopped Spanish onion
  • 4 oz shredded carrots

Miso Broth (Yield ½ c):

  • 1 Tbsp doenjang

Kimchi Mornay Sauce (Yield 4 ½ c):

  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • ¾ c kimchi, chopped very fine, juice reserved
  • 4 oz finely chopped Spanish onion
  • 1 Tbsp roasted garlic
  • ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp gochujang paste
  • ½ c reserved kimchi juice plus Miso Broth
  • 2 ½ c whole milk, at room temperature
  • 4 oz cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 8 oz soft sharp cow’s milk cheese
  • 2 oz grated Parmesan or Pecorino
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice

Gochujang Panko (Yield 1 c):

  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp gochujang dust
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder

Crispy Kale (Yield 4-6 servings):

  • ½ c torn kale pieces or baby kale leaves
  • Cooking spray

Kimchi Mac & Cheese:

  • 2 c Barilla Frozen® Cellentani, thawed
  • 4 oz Kimchi Mornay Sauce, warmed
  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang Panko
  •  Snipped garlic chives, as needed



  1. Rinse the cabbage under cold water.
  2. Dissolve 1 ½ c of the salt in 1 gal water and dip each cabbage quarter in the salted water. Place them in a 4-in deep hotel pan, leaves facing up.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 c salt between the leaves and over the cabbage quarters. Pour the salt water over the top. Refrigerate for 8 hours, rotating the cabbage quarters every 2 hours.
  4. Rinse the cabbage. Allow it to dry and drain for about 1 hour in a colander.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the rice flour and 1 ½ c water to dissolve.
  6. Add the radish, chile flakes, sea salt, sugar, fish sauce, chives, ginger, garlic, onion and carrots. Mix well.
  7. Leaving the cabbage quarters attached at the core, spread the seasonings over and between the cabbage leaves. Place them in an airtight container and seal. Leave at room temperature for 24 to 36 hours.
  8. Refrigerate for 5 to 7 days, then chop the cabbage into shreds. Pack the kimchi into jars and seal well. The prepared kimchi can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Miso Broth:

  1. Bring ½ c water to a simmer and stir in the doenjang. Let it dissolve and set aside.

Kimchi Mornay Sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a 4-qt saucepan. Add onion and kimchi and sauté until it begins to brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic, then the flour and cook for 1 minute on low heat.
  3. Add the gochujang paste, miso broth/kimchi liquid and milk and bring them to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the sweet potato and use a stick blender to purée the ingredients, leaving them a little chunky.
  5. Slowly stir in the soft cheese over very low heat.
  6. When the cheese has melted, stir in the hard cheese and lemon juice.
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.


  1. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the panko. Stir over low heat to toast the panko.
  2. Add the gochujang dust and mustard and stir to toast.
  3. Remove panko from the pan when it is golden and set aside.

Crispy Kale:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the kale on a baking sheet and spray evenly with cooking spray. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until crisp.

Kimchi Mac & Cheese:

  1. Add thawed pasta to boiling, salted water and blanch 1:15 minutes (immediate service) OR 45 seconds (if holding). Drain.
  2. For each serving, to order: Toss 2 c Barilla Cellentani with 4 oz Kimchi Mornay Sauce. Place it in a cast-iron skillet or mini casserole. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp Gochujang Panko.
  3. Garnish with Crispy Kale and snipped garlic chives.

Chef Notes

Doenjang is a soybean paste available at Asian markets and online.

Gochujang dust and flakes are available online.

Project Management: Summit F&B
Photography: Carlos Garcia // Food Styling: Peg Blackley

About The Author