Make these easy vegetarian kimchi breakfast tacos! They're loaded with avocado, fried egg, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes and spicy kimchi! The kimchi gives you a dose of gut friendly probiotics. You could enjoy these tacos for breakfast or dinner. If you roast the potatoes in advance, these quick and easy tacos take just minutes to throw together in the morning.
Last week I went on a bit of a kick cooking from my friend Kara Lydon's ebook, Nourish Your Namaste. I went digging for a yummy grain bowl recipe, and then got inspired to make her sweet potato smoothie and roasted asparagus with miso kefir sauce too.
Then this weekend when I was craving a breakfast much heartier than a smoothie, I remembered her seeing her vegetarian kimchi breakfast tacos, which inspired this recipe.
Kimchi and eggs is one of my favorite combinations. When I don't feel like cooking, I'll often make kimchi fried rice with microwave brown rice fried in sesame oil with kimchi and scrambled eggs. If I've got other veggies to use up, I'll throw them on in. It's one of my pantry meals I always have the ingredients for.
What is Kimchi?
Is kimchi new to you? It's a traditional Korean food made by fermenting cabbage with Korean chili powder, garlic and ginger to make this funky, spicy vegetable relish. People say it's an acquired taste, but I think as long as you like spicy foods, you'll be into it.
Kimchi has become much easier to find now that probiotic foods are the new hotness. It's a great source of beneficial bacteria that keep your belly happy. In this recipe, I used kimchi by WildBrine, which I like because it has lots of "old" kimchi in it. That's what I call the bits that are more wilted, which come from the thinner, outer edges of cabbage leaves versus the crunchier bits from the middle. But it goes without saying that the best kimchi will pretty much always be at your local Asian market. If you live in Columbia, I get mine at Hyundai on Decker Blvd where they have giant tubs of a bunch of different kimchis in their refrigerator section.
Big thanks to chef Roy Choi for making fusion tacos a thing! I never would have thought traditional Mexican flavors would work with Korean foods, but they apparently were meant to be together, as these vegetarian kimchi breakfast tacos will prove. The kimchi adds a spicy kick to a traditional breakfast taco with egg, avocado, potatoes and cheese. If you really want to up the flavor factor, I might add crumbled bacon to these too - maybe fry up a slice or two and cook the potatoes in the fat. YUM.
What are Japanese sweet potatoes?
I had a Japanese sweet potato laying around so I roasted it up and added that to the tacos. If you've never had a Japanese sweet potato, it's less sweet than regular sweet potatoes, with a rich, nutty taste. Some say it tastes like roasted chestnuts and I would agree with that. I get mine from Rosewood Market here in Columbia, who always has a wide variety of potatoes and sweet potatoes. If you can't find them, use either regular sweet potatoes or a waxy potato like Yukon Gold in these vegetarian kimchi breakfast tacos and you'll be fine.
How to warm tortillas
To add smoky flavor, char the tortillas lightly over a flame. I use my gas burners set to low heat and just plop the tortillas on top. Just watch them carefully, because you probably don't want to set the house on fire. If you don’t have a gas stove, the other thing you can do is warm them in a microwave in batches of 5, covered with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Cook in 30 second increments until the tortillas are warmed through. Because it’s hard to find really good fresh tortillas near us (any recs Columbia friends?) I also really like tortillas that are half wheat and half corn, because they don’t dry out and crumble apart.
Kimchi Breakfast Tacos
1 Japanese sweet potato, chopped into half inch cubes
2 teaspoons sesame oil
8 corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced, for serving
Kimchi, for serving
Crumbled cotija or feta cheese, for serving
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss sweet potato with sesame oil. Season with salt and black pepper and spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Place in the hot oven and roast 20 minutes until tender and golden.
When potatoes are roasted, fry the eggs in a large skillet sprayed with olive oil on medium heat, until whites are set and yolks are still runny. While eggs are frying, lightly char the tortillas over a gas burner.
To assemble the tacos, top each tortilla with roasted potatoes, a fried egg, sliced avocado, kimchi, cotija, and cilantro. Enjoy!