What better combination than the ultimate cheese toastie with a Korean-inspired condiment. Kimchi is a staple of Korean food made from fermented vegetables and seasoned in a sauce of chilli, garlic and ginger. ‘Mak Kimchi’ translates to ‘carelessly’ or ‘roughly’ and for this recipe we have created a quick and easy version of this Korean staple. This is best made a day in advance.
This recipe uses cast Iron Cookware by Le Creuset, view here.
Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus over night)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
For the Kimchi:
- 1 Chinese cabbage
- 1 large carrot
- 6 – 8 radishes, dependent on size
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 thumb of ginger
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chilli sauce (eg. sriracha)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 heaped tablespoon caster sugar
For the Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
- 4 slices of crusty white bread
- Butter, for spreading
- 100g strong mature Cheddar, grated
- 100g red Leicester, grated
- To make the Mak Kimchi, roughly chop the cabbage into large chunks and place in a microwaveable bowl. Add 4 tablespoons water to the bowl and place in the microwave to steam for 2 – 4 minutes. You want the cabbage to be tender. Drain and leave to cool fully.
- In the meantime, grate the carrot, radishes, garlic and ginger into a large bowl. Add the cabbage when cooled. Pour in the fish and chilli sauce as well as the rice vinegar.
- Sprinkle over the caster sugar and thoroughly stir all the ingredients together. Press into a sterilised Kilner jar and leave at room temperature for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight to ferment. When fermented, place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Heat a Signature Cast Iron 30cm Rectangular Grill empty over a medium heat for five minutes to get it hot. Take your sliced bread and butter each slice on one side. On a plate, turn the bread butter-side down and fill two slices with cheese. Place the remaining two slices of bread on top, butter side up – the buttered side of the bread will be in contact with the grill.
- Place the sandwich on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Once golden and perfect grill lines appear on the bread, flip and repeat on the other side.
- Serve alongside a good helping of the kimchi.
- Why not also serve with grilled corn on the cob marinated in Asian spices? Marinade the sweetcorn overnight alongside the kimchi and place on the grill with the cheese sandwich to grill.