This recipe for Kimchi Grilled Cheese is a satisfying and hearty sandwich featuring the Korean condiment paired with melted cheese on toasty sourdough bread.
A Korean spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich, this Kimchi Grilled Cheese is deliciously savoury.
The sandwich is punctuated with hints of spice, tang from the kimchi and gooey melted cheese.
What is Kimchi Grilled Cheese?
It's an Asian fusion spin on the American grilled cheese sandwich with the addition of spicy kimchi.
What is kimchi?
Kimchi a Korean condiment consisting of salted and fermented Napa cabbage, radish and gochugaru (red chili powder).
It tastes crunchy, salty, spicy, sour and umami, somewhat similar to pickles.
Kimchi is used commonly in traditional Korean dishes such as Budae jiggae (Korean Army Stew).
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe for Kimchi Grilled Cheese is so easy to make.
It's a hearty vegetarian sandwich that will fill you up.
You can have it for lunch or dinner.
It has only 4 ingredients!
Ingredients you'll need
- slices of sourdough bread: or you can use any bread you like
- mayonnaise: you can use unsalted butter or olive oil as an alternative
- mozzarella cheese: for that gooey stringiness; you can use any cheese you like; sharp cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack would be great too
- kimchi: drained; you can use homemade kimchi or store-bought
How to make it
Assemble the sandwich
Place a slice of bread on a cutting board.
Lay a slice of cheese on the bread.
Add the drained kimchi over top.
Place on another slice of cheese and top off with the second slice of bread.
Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on the surface of the bread.
Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.
Add 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to the pan and swirl it around to "melt."
Place the sandwich with the bottom (non-mayo) slice of bread on the pan.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bottom is toasty and golden brown.
Carefully flip the sandwich and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown, and the cheese is melted. You may need to lower the heat to medium-low or adjust accordingly.
Place onto a cutting board and slice in half.
Garnish with cilantro, green onions or sesame seeds.
Feel free to amp up the Kimchi Grilled Cheese with:
- scallions/green onions
- caramelized onions
- sliced avocado
- pulled pork
- sesame seeds
How to serve
Pair the Kimchi Grilled Cheese with:
- fries or Korean braised potatoes
- tater tots
- Korean strawberry milk
FAQs, expert tips & substitutions
What does kimchi taste like?
Different kimchi brands will have different flavours.
Some are spicy, others are tangy. Feel free to experiment and find one you like.
Kimchi may contain shellfish, seafood and fish sauce, however, there are vegan/vegetarian options.
Can I use a different cheese?
You can use any other cheese that melts well, such as Monterey Jack, gouda or sharp cheddar cheese.
How can I make it vegan?
You can opt for vegan cheese and use oil instead of butter or mayonnaise.
Choose a vegan kimchi which does not contain shellfish/seafood.
What other bread can I use?
If sourdough is not an option, try an artisan loaf, or country bread for a hearty sandwich.
Otherwise, you can use regular bread or milk bread.
Other Korean recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Spicy Korean Tofu in Gochujang Sauce (Dubu Jorim)
Korean Strawberry Milk (Easy No Cook)
Spicy Gochujang Eggs in Purgatory
Korean Braised Potatoes (Gamja Jorim)
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Quick and Easy Kimchi Grilled Cheese
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 2 slices mozzarella cheese or any cheese you like
- 2 tablespoon kimchi drained
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise or butter divided
Assemble the sandwich:
- Place a slice of bread on a cutting board.
- Lay a slice of cheese on the bread.
- Add the drained kimchi over top.
- Place on another slice of cheese and top off with the second slice of bread.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on the surface of the bread.
- Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to the pan and swirl it around to "melt."
- Place the sandwich with the bottom (non-mayo) slice of bread on the pan.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the bottom is toasty and golden brown.
- Carefully flip the sandwich and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown, and the cheese is melted. You may need to lower the heat to medium-low or adjust accordingly.
- Place the sandwich onto a cutting board and slice in half.
- Garnish with cilantro, green onions or sesame seeds if desired.
- Serve immediately.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
What a brilliant idea! I absolutely adore grilled cheese sandwiches and this is the perfect way to level up my dinner! Thank you for sharing!!
Love kimchi. I have a jar at home, in fact. This is such an amazing idea to have for week dinner since the heat is almost unbearable here !!!! Thank you so much Michelle!
Raymund | angsarap.net
I just leant doing this recently and it was an amazing discovery, kimchi and cheese on a toast might not sound right but it was really good.
Wow, such an interesting way to have kimchi. Loved the recipe so easy and delicious.
Now this is my kind of grown-up grilled cheese! Love the kick and extra texture from the kimchi and it's a great way to use up leftovers.
Totally agree with you -- the best "clearing the fridge" type of lunch!
Such a perfect combination of flavors!! I love it!
This was outstanding grilled cheese recipe. I have never tried kimchi in it earlier and this was a game changer and now I am only going to make it this way.
We had this grilled cheese for lunch today and everyone loved it! We will definitely be eating this often!
So happy to hear it, Tayler! It's one of our favorites for lunch too!