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Cook this: Kimchi Royals from Jikoni

Our cookbook of the week is Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen by Ravinder Bhogal. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the author.

To try another recipe from the book, check out: Cauliflower popcorn with black vinegar dipping sauce .

Ravinder Bhogal’s recipe for kimchi Royals celebrates the start of the Jersey Royal season. A protected variety of new potato grown in the Channel Islands, it’s harvested between March and July, which is when Bhogal typically serves this dish at her London restaurant, Jikoni .

Her take on patatas bravas — a popular Spanish tapas of fried potatoes — Bhogal uses kimchi rather than a spicy red sauce and Japanese mayonnaise instead of aioli.

“It’s that thing of extravagantly layering all these good things on what essentially is everyone’s favourite ingredient: a potato. I don’t know many people who don’t love potatoes, particularly when they’re fried in butter,” she says.

For a bit of crunch, Bhogal tops the potatoes and kimchi mixture with roasted peanuts, toasted sesame seeds and pieces of prawn cracker. For freshness, she scatters over spring onions and cilantro. The dish can easily stand in for a platter of nachos as a snack in front of the TV, she says, or alongside a Sunday roast.

“It is the perfect, perfect dish because it’s just so satisfying. You’ve got this layer of fried potatoes with the kimchi on top, mayonnaise, peanuts, prawn crackers. It’s all about texture and strong flavours, and then those lovely, buttery potatoes.”


500 g Jersey Royals (or other new potato), halved lengthwise
30 g butter
A few drops of sesame oil
300 g kimchi, shredded
30 mL tamarind paste
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
8 tbsp Kewpie mayonnaise (or regular mayonnaise doctored with a pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lime juice)
Large handful of salted roast peanuts, roughly crushed
Small handful of sesame seeds, toasted
8 spring onions, sliced
Handful of cilantro leaves
Handful of broken-up spicy 
prawn crackers

Step 1

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain well. In a frying pan melt the butter with the sesame oil over medium heat. Place the potatoes, cut side down, in the hot fat and cook on this side only until crisp and brown. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

Step 2

In a small bowl, stir together the kimchi, tamarind paste, soy sauce and fish sauce.

Step 3

Arrange the potatoes on a platter, cut side up. Top with the kimchi mixture, then drizzle over the mayonnaise. Scatter over the peanuts, sesame seeds, spring onions, cilantro leaves and shards of prawn cracker.

Serves: 4

Recipe and image excerpted from Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchen by Ravinder Bhogal © 2020 Reproduced by permission of Bloomsbury. All rights reserved.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2021

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