I mean, I already knew that kimchi and cheese make for an irresistible duo (I still dream of that wonderful kimchi mac n cheese I made in the depths of lockdown) but WOW add kimchi to your classic grilled cheese, if you are American, or cheese toastie, if you are a Brit, and the end result is quite next level.
Spicy and crunchy kimchi is married with a gooey and cheesy mix of cheddar and Gruyere, all sandwiched between wonderfully thick slices of crusty sourdough (go for quality here, I love Gail's or the Dusty Knuckle Bakery), which on the outside has been spread with an indulgent garlic sesame butter, turning golden when the finished sarnie hits the pan for a final sear.
Without a doubt one of the best sandwiches of my life and so impressive tasting and looking that you can easily dish this up for a dinner, though of course this is also the perfect kind of hangover cure, an 'eating on the sofa, watching Netflix' kinda dish that will always hit the spot.
Now the fries, again to the Western diner they may sound weird but after having had some nori sprinkled fries at Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton during my first dinner out post lockdown (more on that experience to follow) I simply HAD to try and recreate them at home!
Why? Well the shredded nori sheets, pounded down with chilli flakes, sesame seeds, sugar and salt is just about the perfect salty and complex seasoning for a tray of golden brown oven fries and makes them so so moorish, even better when you have wasabi mayo to dunk them into, which rival truffle mayo when it comes to my favourite kind of fry or chip condiments.
Overall this is the perfect Asian fusion main course that is easy to make but all kinds of satisfying, full of flavour and a little surprising for your dinners, after all they are not likely to have ever had this kind of chips and sandwich combo before!
KIMCHI CHEESE TOASTIES
Makes 2 toasties
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- 4 slices thick cut sourdough bread
- 1 cup kimchi (if you want to go all out why not try my homemade kimchi recipe)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup gruyere, grated
- fresh chives, for serving
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, sesame seeds, and garlic.
- Spread the outside of each slice of bread with sesame garlic butter.
- On the inside of half of the slices of bread spread with Gochujang, then evenly layer the cheeses, kimchi, and basil.
- Add the top piece of bread, buttered side facing up.
- Fry in a pan, one at a time, until golden on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Serve topped with chives.
SESAME NORI CHIPS WITH WASABI MAYO
- 2 nori sheets (dried seaweed)
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 700g oven chips
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Japanese)
- 2 teaspoons wasabi
- Cook your chips according to package instruction, leaving at least 35-40 minutes so that they brown nicely
- Cut your seasoned seaweed into matchsticks.
- Add matchsticks to a bowl then add the sesame seeds, chilli flakes, sugar and salt.
- Using a rolling pin, pound everything together, ready to be sprinkled over the chips.
- Mix your mayo with the wasabi and add more wasabi, depending how hot you like it.
- Once your chips are out of the oven top with the nori mix and serve with the wasabi mayo!