Recipe: Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe
Among all the superpowers that food has, my favorite would have to be its ability to evoke specific memories. One bite, and you are transported back—to a faraway happy place, to a distant occurrence you didn’t know you could recall quite vividly. Some even reaches as far as your childhood, and most of the time (if not all the time), it is a happy thought.

While making this grilled cheese sandwich, I was inescapably transported to Sonoma, California. My hands were slicing, grating, assembling, but my mind was somewhere else. It was back in Valley Ford, where I had my first taste of kimchi grilled cheese sandwich. There’s a cheese shop there with a sit-down restaurant as well, and they served us a sammie made with their own fontina, homemade kimchi, and Farmer’s ham. It was so good. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t had this before—it felt like missing half of my life.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you probably already know that I’m pretty adventurous and I love weird flavor combinations—but this kimchi sandwich didn’t feel weird at all. It made perfect sense to me! There’s acidity, which you would otherwise get with coleslaw or mayo; some spice; some saltiness; some gooeyness. It all goes well perfectly.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe
I’ve been meaning to replicate this at home and this quarantine, I finally did! The recipe is pretty simple—all you need is non-stick pan, your favorite store-bought kimchi (doesn’t really have to be homemade), ham, white bread, and melty cheese! For this recipe, I used Real California Milk’s Orange Cheddar. It has a pretty strong taste, so I paired it with Bambi kimchi, which is quite pungent, very sour, and spicy—I felt that it would match the sharp flavor of the cheese. This sandwich has stronger flavors compared to the one I've tried in Sonoma (whose kimchi is quite mellow too), so let's just say that this was inspired from that more subtle version. Enjoy!

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich
makes 4 sandwiches

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe


8 pieces of white bread
4 slices of ham
kimchi, chopped
Real California Milk Orange Cheddar, grated

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe


1. Spread a bit of mayonnaise on 2 pieces of bread. On one piece, mayo side up, assemble ham, then kimchi, and finally, the orange cheddar. Be as generous with the cheese as you would like. Top with other piece of bread, mayo side down.
2. On a preheated pan (medium heat), melt a spoonful of butter. Cook the sandwich for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, then flip, and cook other side for 2-3 minutes.
3. Repeat the process for the other 3 sandwiches. Slice each into triangles and serve.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe

Do you love kimchi? What about grilled cheese sandwiches? What do you think of this recipe?

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