Is there anything that kimchi doesn’t make better? No, I don’t think so. And these easy Kimchi Fries with cheese and loaded with spicy mayo, avocado, and cilantro are especially delicious and easy to make at home. Make on a sheet pan and serve this crowd-pleaser at game nights and every party!
Kimchi Fries with Cheese
If there’s one crowd-pleasing favorite I love to make at home, it’s this: Kimchi Fries with Cheese!
Crispy french fries, caramelized kimchi, and plenty of cheddar cheese combine to make an exciting and incredibly delicious snack, appetizer, or party food. Kimchi Fries are perfect for game days, movie nights, or whenever friends come over!
French fries are a beloved and iconic food item known for their universal appeal. Crispy on the outside with a soft and fluffy interior, they are often enjoyed as a stand-alone snack or popular side dish to burgers and chicken wings.
The versatility of french fries makes them a blank canvas to many different flavors. In this case, lots of cheese and kimchi! The spicy, addictive flavor of Korean kimchi — combined with cheese — make Kimchi Fries truly special!
Although they taste good with just kimchi and cheese, add a few extras to make them even more appealing: drizzles of spicy mayo, aromatic cilantro, and creamy avocado! Easy AND delicious — YUM!
- Frozen French Fries. For ease and convenience, use frozen french fries. Choose crinkle, straight-cut, shoestring, or waffle fries — whatever you like best. Or, if you like, make homemade fries but it will take an additional 40-50 minutes longer.
- Kimchi. For that spicy, acidic bite! Either old, well-fermented kimchi or fresh, just ripe kimchi will taste good. If using old kimchi, cook down until caramelized and mellow so it’s not too acidic. If using fresh kimchi, chop and add just as it is!
- Cheddar + Mozzarella Cheese. The best combo for nachos and loaded fries! Cheddar for the flavor and mozzarella for the cheesy stretch.
- Spicy Mayo. The finishing touch that’s creamy, spicy, and very flavorful. I used Wafu spicy mayo, but you can use with Kewpie mayo and Sriracha drizzles instead.
- Avocado. Creamy avocado chunks add so much flavor and richness.
- Cilantro. Sprinkle all over for a fresh, herby element. If you don’t like cilantro, swap with green onion.
Additional toppings to make Kimchi Fries extra fabulous:
- chopped jalapeno
- dollops of sour cream
- cooked, crumbled sausage
- pico de gallo
- Bake french fries on a sheet pan until crispy.
- Cook OLD kimchi until caramelized and golden orange. OR chop up NEW kimchi into bite-sized pieces.
- Smother fries with cheese. Then scatter cooked kimchi on top. Bake until cheese melts.
- Add spicy mayo, cilantro, and avocado. Enjoy!!
- Don’t crowd the sheet pan. To ensure crispy and crunchy fries, make sure the fries are in one layer, evenly spaced. Don’t crowd them or they will steam! Use multiple sheet pans if necessary.
- Multiply for a larger crowd. This dish is easy to multiply. Simply double the ingredients.
- Salt french fries. When they are done baking, sprinkle with salt and toss with a spatula. An easy tip that keeps frozen french fries extra tasty.
- Melt cheese gently. After baking the fries, turn off the heat and sprinkle the cheese. Slide the sheet pan back into the oven, where the cheese should melt in the residual heat. Otherwise, the cheese will harden and lose its stretchy, melty appeal.
What kind of kimchi should I use?
For this recipe, old OR new kimchi both work.
- For OLD kimchi, cook it down until caramelized and golden orange. The flavors will deepen and intensify, while also mellowing and removing that overly acidic flavor.
- For NEW kimchi, there’s no need to cook it down. Simply chop and sprinkle all over. That fresh, crunchy bite will be so tasty, just as it is!
FYI: Old kimchi is dark, juicy, and soft. When you take a bite, it will fizz in your both.
More recipes with kimchi:
- Kimchi Queso Dip
- Kimchi Pizza with Bacon
- Thick-cut Pork Chops with Kimchi Pan Sauce
- Kimchi Pancakes (Jeon)
- Kimchi Jjigae or Kimchi Soup
- Braised Kimchi with Pork Belly.
Easy Kimchi Fries with Cheese
- 13 x 18" sheet pan
- Non-stick Skillet
- 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)
- 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.
- For OLD KIMCHI: 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. 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.
- For NEW KIMCHI: Chop up kimchi and set aside.
- 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.
- Remove from the oven. Drizzle with spicy mayo (or Kewpie mayo and sriracha). Scatter cilantro and diced avocado. Eat immediately!