Sharp, spicy, cool, and melty, this Gluten-Free Kimchi Grilled Cheese sandwich satisfies a multitude of cravings!
I know I’ve already waxed poetic about kimchi (SO GOOD) but you guys, The Obsession (yes, with a capital “T” and “O”) just won’t quit. Kimchi with eggs, Kimchi on avocado toast, kimchi in soup, kimchi straight to the face… you get the picture.
But the BEST kimchi concoction that I have had as of late? KIMCHI GRILLED CHEESE.
Ohhhhhhh yeah. It’s as amazing as it sounds. (Unless it doesn’t sound amazing, in which case you better get those tastebuds checked.)
This bad boy was created when we were in the middle of the moving and packing process and were trying to use up some of the random things in our fridge that I didn’t want to toss but I didn’t want to have to move, either — some of the obscene amounts of kimchi I had purchased, half a loaf of gluten-free bread (canyon bakehouse ♥), half of a block of high quality super sharp cheddar, and a stray avocado.
Random, slapped together, moving meal numero dos FOR THE WIN! Perhaps we should move more often for recipe development’s sake 😉
hahahhaha. TOTALLY KIDDING.
Which reminds me that I haven’t shared with you that we are now OFFICIALLY residents of the City of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia! And we absolutely love it here so far.
My only main concern? Where will I buy homemade kimchi now that I can’t snag some from my favorite farmers market in DC? (ok, there may be a few other tiny concerns but I won’t bore you with those details).
PEOPLE OF PHILLY I need your help: where is the best place to find homemade kimchi? This is basically a life or death question. I know, you think I’m being dramatic again, but I swear you will understand the utmost importance of this once you have tried this grilled cheese sandwich.
Sharp, oozy cheddar, spicy, sinus-clearing kimchi, a nice cool slice of avocado to smooth it all out. Could a better grilled cheese exist? I think not. The intensity and balance of flavors will leave you absolutely speachless.
Anthony, who is admittedly not the biggest kimchi fan in the world (more for me!), took one bite of this sandwich, looked me square in the eyes and said “you should really open a gourmet gluten-free grilled cheese shop or something. I bet you could get people to pay ridiculous amounts of money for a grilled cheese this good.”
While that sounds fun and all, I think it’ll just stick to sharing my gluten-free concoctions with you all here, free of charge. But if I DID open a grilled cheese stand, you’d totally come, right? 😉
A few quick tips on assembling this bad boy:
- As with any grilled cheese sandwich, make sure you butter the outsides of the bread (the sides that will be touching the pan) thoroughly before either side ever hits the pan. Don’t skimp here! I mean it!!!
- Shred your cheddar! This helps the cheddar to melt and get extra ooey gooey. If you cut the extra sharp cheddar into blocks or big chunks, getting it to melt will be next to impossible and you will probably end up with burnt bread and barely melted cheese. ← ain’t nobody got time for that
- Layer the cheese and kimchi on the inside of the sandwich like so: cheese, kimchi, cheese. This will help to make sure everything really sticks together, and that no slices of bread go flying off of the kimchi layer.
- Cover the pan while the cheese is a grillin’. This will trap the heat in which will help you achieve melty perfection. Don’t skip this step either! That cheddar needs all the help it can get.
- Don’t add the avocado until the grilled cheese is DONE cooking. Once it’s just cool enough to touch, gently peel the two bread slices apart, place a few avocado slices in, and then sandwich the two halves back together again. I’m sure you *could* cook it with the avocado in there, but I’m not the biggest warm avocado fan…..
You know what else is great about this grilled cheese sandwich? It’s the perfect tweener grilled cheese. Not quite as heavy as the grilled cheese that you crave in sub zero weather when you’re shivering your tooshy off, but not one of those froo-froo barely-fill-you-up summer grilled cheeses, either (you know, the ones that are 80% pears, 10% brie, and 10% paper-thin bread).
It’s like it was crafted JUST for this lovely early-fall time of year. Another happy accident! LOVE IT.
Well, friends, boxes await me, and I hear they’re not going to unpack themselves. Sigh.
Kimchi grilled cheese (yes, I have just a tinnnnnnny bit left, yes I packed it and moved it, and yes, I am a crazy kimchi lady) as an unpacking reward? I’m thinking YES.
- 4 slices gluten-free bread
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup high-quality extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ⅔ cup kimchi
- ½ large avocado, thinly sliced
- Evenly butter one side of all 4 slices of gluten-free bread.
- Heat a fry pan or grill pan over medium-low to medium heat.
- While the pan warms up, assemble the grilled cheeses: one slice of gluten-free bread butter-side down, ¼ cup shredded cheddar, ⅓ cup kimchi, ¼ cup shredded cheddar, one slice of gluten-free bread, butter side up. Repeat to make 2 sandwiches.
- Gently transfer the sandwiches on to the preheated pan. Cover the pan with a lid, and allow to cook until golden-brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip the sandwiches over, and recover the pan, cooking the second side until also golden brown, about another 2 minutes.
- Remove the grilled cheeses from tha pan and once they are just cool enough to handle, separate the two pieces of bread, add in the avocado slices, and put the sandwich back together again.