Try Kimchi in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

    13 January 2023

    A grilled cheese is a simple and well-loved sandwich. It is a favorite food of many American children.

    But food writer and professional cook Christopher Kimball urges people to add some Korean flavor into their next grilled cheese. He suggests throwing kimchi into the mix. The spicy fermented cabbage is a traditional Korean food.

    Cheese with kimchi may sound strange, but the combination is not new. A Korean meal called budae jigae, or army base stew, was developed during the Korean War. It is a hot pot made with American foods, such as hot dogs, baked beans and noodles, along with kimchi and American cheese.

    This image released by Milk Street shows a recipe for Kimchi Grilled Cheese with Ham. (Milk Street via AP)
    This image released by Milk Street shows a recipe for Kimchi Grilled Cheese with Ham. (Milk Street via AP)

    Kimball recently published the cookbook "Cook What You Have," which draws on common foods to create easy, weeknight meals. Kimchi and its flavorful juices make for a much more interesting grilled cheese than what many Americans grew up eating. Kimball also suggests adding cooked meat, like ham or bacon, to turn the sandwich into a more filling meal.

    Here is what you need to make yourself – and a few friends – a kimchi grilled cheese.

    70 mL of mayonnaise

    15 mL of kimchi juice, plus 300 mL of kimchi, with the liquid removed and cut into small pieces

    8 pieces of sandwich bread

    8 slices of cheese

    And 4 slices of thinly cut ham or 4 slices of cooked bacon

    In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and kimchi juice. Spread the mixture evenly over one side of each piece of bread. Flip four of the slices to be mayonnaise side down. Then, top each piece with one slice of cheese, one slice of ham or bacon and one-quarter of the kimchi. Top each with another slice of the remaining cheese, then another slice of bread, with the mayonnaise side up. Press on the sandwiches to push the filling together.

    Heat up a 30-centimeter nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add two of the sandwiches and cook them for two to three minutes. Using a wide spatula, flip the sandwiches and continue cooking them on the other side, for another two to three minutes.

    Remove the cooked sandwiches from the pan. Cook the remaining two sandwiches in the same way.

    Cut each sandwich before you serve them. And lastly, enjoy!

    I'm Ashley Thompson.

    Christopher Kimball wrote this story for the Associated Press. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English.


    Words in This Story

    grilled - adj. fried or toasted on a hot surface

    sandwich - n. two pieces of bread with something (such as meat, peanut butter, etc.) between them

    fermented - adj. used to describe foods or drinks that have gone through a chemical change in which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria break down food parts and turn them into other products (including alcohol)

    hot pot - n. a mixture of meat and vegetables cooked together with liquid in a single pot

    mayonnaise - n. a thick, white sauce used especially in salads and on sandwiches and made chiefly of eggs, vegetable oil, and vinegar or lemon juice

    flip - v. to cause (something) to turn or turn over quickly

    spatula - n. a kitchen tool that has a handle which is bent upward and a wide, thin blade used for lifting and turning foods on a hot surface