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Grill Your Kimchi This Summer

by Lauren Bull, CKC Writer

Outdoor cooking season is upon us, and while meat takes up a lot of real estate on the grill, side dishes are the unsung heroes of summer barbecues. Simple grilled vegetables are delicious, but for a next-level eruption of flavor that zucchini can never hope to achieve, grill your kimchi.

Grilling kimchi is a common practice in Korean BBQ, usually at restaurants, but sometimes at home. The smoke and caramelization add a completely new flavor dimension to the kimchi, especially if you use an over-fermented batch to make it. It's often served as a complement to meat dishes.

The best part is that there's very little to do in the way of prep. Most of the work — that is, the actual fermentation — is already done. From there, it takes just a few minutes on the grill.

You can also do this on an indoor grill pan, but if your outdoor grill is already on and hot, take advantage and use that.

A few tips for grilling:

1. Before grilling, give the leaves a squeeze to drain any excess liquid. The less dripping on the grill, the better.

2. Grill the individual leaves of kimchi. Putting a full cabbage quarter onto the grill will make a mess and won't yield uniform caramelization.

3. The best results will come from a kimchi batch that has a pronounced sourness. The flavor will be deeper than if you use fresh-made.

4. It's worth investing in a vegetable grill grate or basket to decrease the odds of slippage into the fire, especially if you plan to grill veggies or kimchi often. Recommended: BBQ Vegetable Grill Basket

Serve alongside steak or fish. For a totally inauthentic but delicious experience, you could even chop the grilled kimchi and put it on a hot dog. From there, devour.

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