Grilled Kimchi [Easy Korean BBQ Side Dish]


Check out this beautiful grilled kimchi recipe. Korean barbecue is one of the cuisine’s finest versions, and while dishes like bulgogi are the first thing that springs to mind, grilled kimchi is a delicious way to make the most of traditional Korean side dishes.

Side dishes are the most underrated part of a good grill.

And while dishes like corn on the cob and french fries are most people’s favorites, it’s often the more unusual recipes that grab the headlines.

So next time I invite you to try grilled kimchi.

Grilled kimchi recipe

Now, I know that kimchi might not be your first choice when choosing condiments, but listen to me here.

Grilling kimchi gives it a new flavor dimension. It is sour and vinegar, smoked and caramelized.

This makes it perfect with almost any type of meat and goes great with grilled burgers and hot dogs, as well as with grilled chicken or pork .

The best part is that it only takes a few minutes.

Simply throw a large batch onto your charcoal grill and grill on high for just 1-2 minutes per side.

Here are some important tips:

1. Support draining as much as possible before placing on your grill. This will help it caramelize better while reducing the risk of breakouts.

2. Roast the cabbage leaves individually in the kimchi. If you try to grill a large round of cabbage, it won’t grill properly.

3. Extra-fermented kimchi gives the best results. If your kimchi is too sour too, then this will be the best grilled kimchi.

In case you’ve never made kimchi before, here’s a guide we put together a while ago on how to make it from scratch.

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a wonderful food from South Korea known for its punch. If you’ve never tasted it before, get ready for a taste explosion in your mouth.

This Korean national dish is a traditional fermented food and is served as an accompaniment, known as banchan, to most dishes in the country. Unbelievable, there are over 300 variations! That means there is no escaping the plate! But you certainly wouldn’t want that.

best kimchi

It’s a flavorful, flavorful, and crunchy dish, not dissimilar to homemade sauerkraut or pickles, and pairs well with cold dishes like grilled burgers, hot dogs, or even sandwiches.

Packed with spices and veggies, like napa cabbage and daikon radish, kimchi is actually lacto-fermented. That means it’s up to your eyeballs(no, you don’t have eyeballs, don’t worry) with healthy probiotics to boost your watertight system and digestion.

Lacto-fermented foods like kimchi contain over 100 times more probiotics than most supplements.

In other words, it’s a superfood that goes with all Korean dishes… and it deserves a spot in your diet!

Ready-to-eat kimchi is available, particularly in Asian supermarkets, but most of these are so loaded with artificial flavors and preservatives that you’d be far better off creating your own. Luckily, homemade kimchi is fresh, delicious, and healthy!

How do you make kimchi?

There are a few key ingredients they require that are quite unique to Korean food and like tales that will liven up a visit to your familiar Asian supermarket. This is always an opportunity to see some of the wonderful things that can only be found there… but maybe that’s a post for another time!

You want need…

1/2 cup of Kochukaru
This is the crucial element for Kimchi to carry its spiciness! It’s red paprika powder and usually comes in a variety of spice levels, so choose one that suits your preferences. Perhaps be more careful as Asian food is known to pack.

2 teaspoons Sauejeot
These are small fermented shrimp that usually come in jars. It might sound a bit strange, but these dispel the original flavor that gives kimchi its kick! You can’t surprise him.

1 Chinese cabbage
Sometimes also known as “Chinese cabbage,” it’s easily recognized as a slightly elongated version of the cabbages that many of us are used to. South Koreans use napa for everything, so we use it for our kimchi.

8 ounces
of daikon daikon radish is something magical. It’s naturally pungent and tart, so it pairs perfectly with the flavors we’re trying to evoke with our kimchi. Also for the health freaks: the white pigment in daikon is called anthoxanthin, an antioxidant linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Prepare these peeled and cut into 2 inch sticks.

and also…

  • half a cup of salt
  • 4 medium spring onions, ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Quarter cup fish sauce
  • A quarter cup of chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
  • 1½ tea spoons of granulated sugar

and also…

Jars Ok, not an ingredient, but having them in your arsenal is key! I recommend liter jars with sealable lids to aid in the fermentation process.

Doesn’t use plastic! Fermentation odors will stain the material and… believe me… will not let that odor linger any longer. There is also a risk of food being contaminated with bisphenol-A(BPA) and phthalates. You might also want to stay away from metal objects as the salts in the ingredients(including natural salts) will attack the metal.

Plenty of time
, you won’t be able to change that on a whim; It takes a bit of planning and organization… but the rewards will be worth it! Start your batch about a week before you need it and that will give it a good time to ferment and be ready.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your kimchi recipe:

  • Only use fresh and organic vegetables.
  • Get cabbage with densely packed leaves to choose from. Lighter varieties of the vegetable tend to go to pulp and don’t ferment well.
  • Add some seaweed to boost your kimchi’s mineral, vitamin, and fiber content
  • Prepare to use a starter culture to kickstart the fermentation process and ensure your ferment is packed with essential probiotics.
  • Place the lids slightly loosely on the jars, as they will expand due to the gases produced during fermentation.

Also continue with the kimchi recipe!

Some advice:

For this recipe, we want to roast each kimchi leaf individually instead of bundling them, or even as a whole cabbage. This is to ensure the best results and even caramelization across the leaves.

According to Stephanie and Grace of Crazy Korean Cooking, the best results are achieved with kimchi, which has a pronounced acidity and offers a deeper, richer flavor.

CKC also recommends investing in a good grill and I agree. We often use them to grill veggies, and kimchi sheets are no different. You can read my guide to the best grill baskets, or if you just want a simple recommendation, go for the Grillaholics Heavy Duty Grill Basket .

You can serve this with lots of meat, especially beef. You can also enjoy it on a grilled cheese sandwich(trust me, it works), or on a Philly sausage or cheesesteak sandwich . In this context, it is very similar to homemade sauerkraut.

In my recipe below, I’ve also outlined a full kimchi recipe if you want to make your own. If you want to buy your own and go straight to the grilling, feel free to continue with the recipe.

Grilled kimchi

This beautiful grilled kimchi recipe takes the classic Korean side to a new level. Seared over high heat, the kimchi caramelizes and becomes the perfect addition to a barbecue or sandwich.
Appetizer , salad, side dish
Korean cuisine
Cooking time 10 minutes
2 days like _
Total time 2 days 10 minutes
Serving 4


  • Mason Jar/Fermentation, 2 litres
  • Grill basket


  • ½ cup Kochukaru
  • 2 teaspoon sauce
  • 1 Chinese cabbage
  • 8 ounce radish
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 4 ends of trimmed medium spring onions , cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves
  • tea spoons of granulated sugar


Making kimchi from scratch

  • Cut cabbage into 2 inch long pieces and place in a large pain.
  • Sprinkle with salt and toss until cabbage is evenly coated.
  • Add enough cold water to submerge the cabbage
  • Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
  • Drain the cabbage in a colander and rinse with cold water.
  • Pour the remaining ingredients into a large punch and stir.
  • Add cabbage and mix with hands until evenly combined.
  • Pack the mixture tightly in a clean 2-liter glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and tamp the jar to seal.
  • Leave in a cool, dark place for 24 hours. Open the jar to allow gases to escape, then close and refrigerate for at least 48 hours before consuming

To toast the kimchi

  • Preheat grill to high heat. Drain or squeeze excess liquid from the kimchi leaves.
  • Place each kimchi sheet on a separate rack. You may need to do this in batches to accommodate all of the sheets.
  • Grill each sheet until you have achieved browning spots on one side of the sheet.

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