Updated: Mar 2
Kimchi is perfect for cutting through fatty savory flavors. That's why I decided to sandwich it into a grilled cheese. This recipe is really easy to make, so it's perfect for a quick weekday lunch or dinner.
Kimchi is a staple in Korean cuisine. It's often served as banchan (side dish) along with a main course. There are many variations of kimchi, but the one you'll most often see is kimchi made from napa cabbage. The process of fermentation brings out a complex flavor profile that is perfect for cutting through a melty grilled cheese.
I used store-bought vegan kimchi from H-Mart. Make sure to look for a label that says "vegan" or "vegetarian" because a lot of times it will contain fish sauce or fermented shrimp. If you want to make your own vegan kimchi at home, Maangchi has a great recipe on her site.
I'm really picky with my vegan cheeses. From my experience, Daiya had the worst flavor, so I don't recommend them. The brands I trust are Violife, Miyokos, Chao, and Vevan. Vevan is a new brand I tried recently, and I was so lucky to get a huge pack from Costco!
I'm not as picky with vegan butter. My go-to brands are Country Crock (the plant-based line) and Earth Balance.
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Vegan Kimchi Grilled Cheese
1/2 cup vegan kimchi, roughly chopped
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 slices sourdough bread
1 tbsp vegan butter + extra for spreading on bread
Vegan cheese slices (feel free to use different types)
ground black pepper
In medium pan, heat vegetable oil on medium heat. Then add minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until aromatic.
Add chopped kimchi and brown sugar. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until sugar is fully incorporated and kimchi has softened. Turn off heat and stir in sesame oil. Remove from pan and set aside.
Spread butter on both sides of sourdough. If you want, you can cut up the vegan cheese slices or leave them whole.
In the same pan from earlier, melt vegan butter on medium heat. Then add bread slices and cheese to both slices. Melting time will vary depending on stove and cheese. It should take around 3-5 minutes.
Once cheese has started to melt, add black pepper and kimchi on top of the cheese.
Pick the meltier slice of bread and place over the other slice. Then flip entire sandwich. Grill on this side for another 2-3 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
Remove from pan and enjoy!
Melting time will vary between different vegan cheese brands
Vegan cheese melts slower than dairy cheese. You might need to lower your heat because your bread might cook faster than your cheese.
Try this out and don't forget to tag us on Instagram if you do! I love seeing our followers try our creations.
Also, should I do a review on different vegan cheese brands? Let me know in the comments.