Kimchi Cheese Fries

There are times in life when Kimchi Cheese Fries are absolutely, completely necessary.

hand reaching for kimchi cheese fries

Is there anything that kimchi doesn’t make better? No, I don’t think so.

And this recipe couldn’t be simpler. Or tastier!

Frozen french fries.  Caramelized kimchi.  And loads and loads of cheese. 

Yes, it really is that easy!

kimchi cheese fries on sheet pan

Why frozen french fries?

For ease and convenience, my recipe calls for frozen french fries

If you’re a french fry snob, I understand.  But let me assure you, there will be a day when you’ll be thankful for that plebeian bag of french fries in the freezer.

Frozen french fries do not require peeling, julienning, soaking in cold water, and deep frying. Plus, buried under the mound of kimchi and cheese, you really won’t be able to tell the difference.

Any kind of frozen french fry works. I’ve tried this recipe with shoestring fries, waffle fries, crinkle cut, straight cut — they all work. Choose one that you like best!

The key is to season with salt after baking. Then smother with kimchi + cheese. YUM!

Kimchi cheese fries on sheet pan

Essential Ingredient: OLD KIMCHI

**For this recipe, OLD KIMCHI IS PREFERRED!**

Old kimchi is well fermented, aged, mature. The color is dark red and orange. It’s very juicy and soft with no crunch whatsoever! When you take a bite, old kimchi will fizz in your mouth.

Fresh or new kimchi will result in a very different dish. It won’t taste the same at all. The flavor will be somehow lacking when you cook it down.

If you have NEW KIMCHI, my suggestion is NOT to cook it down. Instead, chop it up and add it fresh! That acidic, spicy bite will be SO tasty!!

kimchi in two bowls with white background
New, fresh kimchi on the left. Old, mature kimchi on the right.

The ultimate party food: Kimchi Cheese Fries

The ease and convenience of Kimchi Cheese Fries makes it great party food. Easy to multiply, tastes great at room temperature, and honestly — what doesn’t taste better with kimchi and cheese?

Make a sheet pan (or two) for your next party:

  • Superbowl
  • Holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas, BBQ)
  • The Oscars
  • Birthday
  • Movie Night
  • Any occasion, really!!

Pile onto a large platter or serve, as is, on big sheet pans! The best kind of finger food. Seriously, even the kids will keep stealing fries.

kimchi cheese fries on sheet pan

How to make Kimchi Cheese Fries:

Bake french fries on a sheet pan. 

Caramelize OLD kimchi: cook for 5-8 minutes until golden orange in color.  OR chop up NEW kimchi into bite-sized pieces.

caramelized kimchi in pan

Smother fries with cheese.  Then scatter cooked kimchi on top. Melt into puddles of gooey satisfaction.    

french fries on sheet pan with cheese and kimchi

Add spicy mayo, cilantro, and chopped up avocado. Enjoy!!

Kimchi cheese fries on sheet pan
hand reaching for kimchi cheese fries

Kimchi Cheese Fries

The Subversive Table | Lis Lam
There are times in life when Kimchi Cheese Fries are absolutely, completely necessary.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Booze Food, Snack
Cuisine Fusion Food
Servings 4 as a side

Equipment

  • 13 x 18" sheet pan
  • Non-stick Skillet

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb package frozen french fries
  • 1 cup kimchi (preferably old) (cut into bite sized pieces with scissors)
  • 3 cups mozzarella + cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1-2 Tbsp spicy mayo (I used Wafu but you can sub with drizzles of kewpie mayo + sriracha)
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • cilantro or green onion (chopped)

Instructions
 

  • Spread frozen french fries on a sheet pan in one layer. Bake frozen french fries according to package directions until they are crispy and heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add 1 tsp of neutral cooking oil (I use grapeseed oil).  When the oil is heated, add the kimchi and all the juices.  Cook until the kimchi is cooked down and caramelized, about 5-6 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add 1-2 Tbsp.  Lower heat, if necessary. The kimchi should be golden orange in color and soft. There should be very little liquid in the bottom of the pan, as pictured.
    caramelized kimchi in pan
  • Remove french fries from the oven and turn off the heat. Season fries with salt, making sure to toss evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle cheese all over. Scatter the cooked kimchi on top. Return to the oven and let the cheese melt slowly in the residula heat, about 4 minutes.
    french fries on sheet pan with cheese and kimchi
  • Remove from the oven. Drizzle with spicy mayo (or Kewpie mayo and sriracha). Scatter cilantro and diced avocado. Eat immediately!
    Kimchi cheese fries on sheet pan

Notes

* This dish is easy to multiply.  Simply double the ingredients.  To ensure maximum crispiness in the fries, make sure the fries are in one layer, evenly spaced.  Use multiple sheet pans if necessary.  
**If OLD kimchi is unavailable, use new fresh kimchi.  However, it will taste better without cooking it down.  Simply chop into bite-sized pieces and add to fries, as per usual.
Keyword Kimchi Cheese Fries

More Kimchi Inspiration:

Kimchi Stew aka Kimchi Jjigae
black pot of kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae)
Kimchi Queso Dip
kimchi queso dip in cast iron pan with chips on the side

Kimchi Bacon Pizza

hand taking a slice of kimchi bacon pizza from a big wheel
30 minutes, All Recipes, Appetizer, Kimchi, Korean, Potluck, Sheet Pan, Side, Snacks

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