When you look in the fridge and think there’s nothing in there that’s ready to eat, you’re probably wrong. If you’re like us, you might have a half-eaten bottle of kimchi hidden in the back. Or maybe you’ve heard of all the probiotic benefits of fermented foods but can’t think of ways to eat it; we’re here to help.
There are so many ways to eat kimchi and to use it to jazz up a meal: throw it on salads, into grain bowls, use it to top burgers, whip up a spicy condiment or elevate your eggs.
Here are our best ideas for how to put kimchi in a whole new place:
1. ONE-UP YOUR BURGER GAME
If you haven’t tried adding a dollop of kimchi to your burger, you’re missing out. It’s crunchy, spicy and perfect with avocado and mayo … enough said.
2. TOSS IT IN YOUR LUNCH BOWL
Kimchi is a healthful, flavorful addition to a bed of greens or a grain bowl on the go and it plays well with carrots, avocado, radishes, hummus, steamed rice or leftover chicken. The best news is there’s no chopping required (and you can probably hold the salad dressing, too).
3. SPICE UP YOUR SCRAMBLE (OR YOUR STIR-FRY)
Eggs are a perfect place to add a little bit of kimchi and get your fermented veggies for the day. If you have leftover rice, even better. Just fold the kimchi in as your eggs are finishing up in the pan and enjoy.
If you’re making a stir-fry or fried rice, add the kimchi in at the end for a burst of flavor.
4. MAKE A SUPER-POWERED SOUP
You’ve been hearing all about how good fermented foods are for your gut health and well-being, and kimchi is the king of the ferments. Perfect for a quick, weeknight meal, this soup is swift to prepare, relies on simple ingredients, keeps for days and is pretty good even on hot summer days with steamed rice.
KIMCHI SOUP WITH TOFU
- 1 tablespoon (198g) vegetable oil
- 6 scallions, white and pale-green parts chopped, dark-green parts reserved
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cups (950ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons (96g) gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) soy sauce
- 1 small daikon, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup (80g) kimchi
- 1/4 block firm silken tofu
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high. Cook white and pale-green parts of scallions, garlic and ginger, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broth, then whisk in gochujang and soy sauce. Add daikon and gently simmer until tender, 15–20 minutes.
Add kimchi and tofu. Simmer until tofu is heated through. Carefully divide among bowls. Thinly slice reserved scallion tops and scatter over the top.
Serves: 5 | Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
5. WHIP UP A WICKED GOOD MAYO
Maybe that burger doesn’t want crunchy kimchi on top but would prefer a schmear of sweet and spicy kimchi mayo. The recipe below is also great thinned slightly and tossed into salad or drizzled over grain bowls, grilled meats or even avocado toast.
- 1 cup (226g) mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) kimchi brine
- 1/2 cup (80g) kimchi, drained and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) toasted sesame oil
- 1 small clove garlic, grated or minced
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, blend together all ingredients until well combined, smooth and lump-free. Keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. Recipe makes 1 1/2 cups.
Serves: 16 | Serving Size: 2 tablespoons