I want to share this recipe for an easy and quick kimchi grilled cheese that I make all the time. Hot, gooey, chewy, cheese is like an injeolmi rice cake, and with crispy, sour, spicy kimchi, it’s irresistible.

Ever since I made my own homemade bread, I did so many kinds of experiments on how to use it in toast and sandwiches and of course grilled cheese! I was very happy when I made grilled cheese with my homemade bread, I felt like I really owned it because I used my homemade kimchi, too. I first started making grilled cheese the traditional way with cheddar cheese, but when I added a Korean kick of well-fermented kimchi the result was too salty. So I tried mozzarella instead and it was so good.

A lot of people burn their grilled cheese, so I figured out a few tips on how to make a perfect grilled cheese every time. First, make sure everything is hot before adding the cheese. Check out my video and my instructions below to see how I do this. That way, the cheese will melt quickly and your bread won’t burn. The second tip is to add the butter last. Adding it last gives the grilled cheese a nice finishing buttery flavor without burning the bread.

You can use this recipe method for normal grilled cheese without the kimchi, and it will still be great. And if any of you can’t handle spicy kimchi, then rinse off the spiciness in cold water, squeeze out excess water, chop it up, and use it. It will still have a crispy-crunchy texture.


(Serves 1)

  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fermented chopped kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Place the 2 slices of bread side by side, leaving an empty spot in the skillet for cooking kimchi.
  2. Let it cook for 3 minutes and in the meantime add 1 teaspoon butter and the kimchi to the empty spot in the skillet. Stir the kimchi into the butter so it’s cooked nicely.
  3. Turn a slice of  bread over and add the cheese to the hot, toasted side of the bread. Add the fried kimchi and then put the other slice of bread on top, with the hot, toasted side down. So now the cheese will be surrounded with hot kimchi and toasted bread, and the outside of the sandwich has the untoasted sides of the bread.
  4. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, gently pressing down with a spatula, until the bottom of the sandwich turns golden brown.
  5. Turn it over and melt the rest of the butter next to the sandwich in the skillet. Move the sandwich around in the butter with the spatula for about 1 minute.
  6. Turn it over again and move the sandwich around in what’s left of the melted butter. Remove from the heat and serve right away.

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  1. RedRosylee United States joined 4/23 & has 5 comments

    One of my favorite sandwich recipes. So easy, so delish. I tried it one time mixing mozzarella + a fontina-type cheese, and one time just with mozzarella and honestly preferred the latter, just as Maangchi recommended.

    My modifications include mixing butter, sesame seeds, and some garlic salt (or I guess you could substitute diced/crushed garlic cloves, but I’m too lazy) together and spreading that on the bread (on the sides that will be flipped over after 3 min), and then after flipping, putting a thin layer of gochujang on one of the slices before adding the cheese + cooked kimchi on top. <3

  2. feartech UK joined 10/19 & has 2 comments

    I am vegan, or plant-based. I made Maangchi’s vegetarian- and vegan-friendly kimchi recipe about one month ago. Today, using the substitutes available at many Western grocery stores these days, I made vegan kimchi grilled cheese using Earth Balance (a butter substitute, one of many available) and plant-based “mozzarella” shreds from a brand I found called Vevan (although many other brands make the same thing–for example, Follow Your Heart, Violife, and Good Planet Foods).

    Although I understand most people in different parts of the world may not see or be able to afford such luxurious products, I am grateful I can follow my plant-based lifestyle and enjoy Maangchi’s delicious recipes. Whatever you choose or can find, please try this! :)

  3. EvilGrin joined 6/15 & has 46 comments

    That is basically how i make them also. Also works with sauerkraut for people that dont like spicy at all.

    Try this but add some corned beef or pastrami too. Grill it a little like you did with the kimchi before adding it to the bread.

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