I love watching NBA basketball (and think Charles Barkley is both ridiculously hilarious and insightful). Part of my fascination is seeing the difference between mediocre teams with 1 or 2 superstars versus championship caliber teams with a superstars, chemistry, and leadership. It’s a winning combination of leadership from a head coach that understands the players’ strengths and strategizes accordingly (and commands gravitas over egos), management that supports and not hinders, and players who trust each other and the system. Everyone excels in their role and the end result or sum is greater than its parts.
That’s how I feel about this dish. The sum is greater than its parts. The superstar ingredient, kimchi, get mellowed by the cheesy bechamel sauce (flour + milk + butter) and the kimchi cuts through the richness of the cheese sauce. I took a risk by making this for the first time and bringing it to my church’s Christmas potluck (w/o tasting it first) and many people said they enjoyed it. Try it out with your family/friends! I have a feeling they’ll like it too.
If you have leftover kimchi, you can make these pork and kimchi dumplings. Easy and delicious every time.
Tip: bake the dish using aluminum trays for easy clean-up.