Luckily, kimchi and cheese already make a naturally complementary pair. Both these ingredients are made possible by the process of lacto-fermentation, says PBS. Plus, they’re both aged, and their respective flavor profiles have a strong umami taste to reflect it. Crunchy, fibrous kimchi also adds a compelling textural component to a classic grilled cheese sandwich. It’s quite literally a recipe for success.
But check your kimchi’s level of spiciness before you slam a heaping spoonful onto your grilled cheese, says MasterClass. Not all kimchis are created equal, and an ultra-spicy variety might not be as welcome on your sammie. Or, on the flip side, if you want to turn up the heat a notch, the outlet suggests smearing your bread with gochujang. Also, make sure your kimchi isn’t too wet by giving it a good press before adding it to the sandwich. Nobody wants soggy grilled cheese.
From there, all that’s left to do is choose your bread and cheese and fry away. MasterClass recommends using sourdough and Gruyere cheese. PBS says plain old white bread will do the trick. The New York Times says mozzarella. This Grilled Kimcheese recipe uses a mix of sharp white cheddar and American cheeses and a smear of mayo to balance the kimchi’s naturally spicy fermented flavor. Ultimately, the kimchi grilled cheese is a choose-your-own-adventure, but with these tips, the final destination is a satisfying bite.