Right by my work at the top of Mt Eden Road is the hilariously named “Wang Mart” – a Korean grocery shop selling mostly Korean goods. Within the shop is a counter where a lady makes kim-chi all day and sells a small selection of fresh vegetables. A kilo tub of her kim-chi will set you back a measly $8NZ. I’m no kim-chi expert, but I know a bargain when I see one.
Kim-chi is a fermented food (mostly napa cabbage) and as such is very good for you. I’ll snack on kim-chi on it’s own or as a condiment/side to Asian meals. It is sour, savoury, spicy all at the same time and makes me salivate just thinking about it. Think sauerkraut with a kick.
I don’t know what inspired me to do it, but yesterday I made a grilled cheese sandwich with cheddar and kim-chi. It was phenomenal. Oh the CRUNCH, the SOUR, the SALT, the HEAT.
So good I had it again for breakfast this morning.
Now I’m sure the white bread and cheese probably cancel out the health benefits of the kim-chi but let’s just say we’re back to zero. At least this zero is delicious.
I hopped online to see kim-chi and cheese was “a thing” and it turns out I didn’t invent this combo. Not even close. Grilled Cheese and Kim-Chi sandwich recipes have been published by The NZ Herald (Donna Hay), Serious Eats, The Food Network, The Times, and The Steamy Kitchen just to name a few.
Variations include mozzarella, mayo, bacon, green apple, spring onion and even ramen! I imagine a fried egg would also be a nice touch.
This time, I’m not posting a recipe because I think free-styling is the best option for sandwiches. Besides, I’m sure smart peeps like you could figure it out.
Fun fact: Koreans say “kim-chi” instead of “cheese” when having their picture taken. Now they can say “Kim-Cheese!”
What do you think? Is this sandwich combo weird to you? Would you try it?
Edit: I tried this again with additions of mayo and a fried egg. Epic!
I would love that, I just know it. I have a bit of a soft spot for fermented food.
yummy!! I love Kimchi too!
I will so be trying that. Sounds weird at first but then pickles and chutneys are great in a toasted cheese sandwich so maybe it’s not so cray cray! (As all the young kids say.)
I do like kimchi and never thought to do this before. I like eating grilled cheese with yellow mustard or pickles or salt & vinegar potato chips so this sounds awesome.
I’d try it.
Ah, so this is the sandwich you told me of many moons ago… or was that someone else in blogland? I think it was you… anyway, i have a pile of kimchi that has grilled chi sandwich written all over it! 🙂
It wasn’t me but it’s a real good thing. You should do it!
Doing it tomorrow!
This looks amazing! It also makes me long for a cold beer.
Oh yes, I imagine this would be great afterwork drinks or game night snacking 🙂
Must figure out a way to make this gluten-free. It looks fantastic.
Kim-chi should be gluten free (double check the ingredients to make sure) so all you need is gluten free bread which is easy to come by these days. I even keep some in my freezer 🙂