Kimchi Chicken Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls

These kimchi chicken sliders combine fluffy Hawaiian rolls, juicy chicken, tender kimchi and kale, and crunchy quick pickles. #kimchi #chicken #sliders #hawaiianrolls

i was (and still am) lucky to have grown up in an asian american centric culture. stories i hear about not seeing any asians in the media or being the token “asian kid” in school never applied to me. i grew up watching kristi yamaguchi skate in the olympics, seeing brenda song in the suite life of zack and cody, drooling over what ming tsai made on simply ming. i was never the only asian child in any of my schools, and instead was able to count the number of caucasian students on one hand.

outside of the bubbles of california that i’ve lived in, this is probably rare. but representation is still important- if we stop, who will make our voices heard in all the ways that matter? who will help bridge the social gap if we don’t talk about our experiences and culture?

so in my small way, i’d like to think i’m doing that. unsurprisingly, the dun dan collection on pinterest is a lot more sparse than say, the chocolate cake arena. and sometimes i still have to define what kimchi is. so world: meet these kimchi chicken sliders on hawaiian rolls. eat your heart out.

i’m not a huge chicken (or meat in general) fan, but with that slightly spicy, slightly sweet sauce? i’m all over it. and if you wanna roll with me, then layer some crispy chicken skin onto your sliders. use skin-on chicken, pan-fry it real good, and then peel it off when you shred the chicken. ezpz. all that chicken goes really well with some sweet/tart vietnamese-style quick pickles (which i could munch on plain all day long), and tender kimchi + kale. if you don’t feel like doing the pickles, you can use more kimchi (might i recommend dongchimi, the not red, not spicy kimchi? it has a similar ish flavor to quick pickles). and then the tender on the inside, crispy (bc if you aren’t toasting your buns, what are you doing?) on the flat edges hawaiian rolls. mmmmm. you could go gluten-free and use lettuce; they’re still delicious, but roll your sleeves up and change out of that white top, because the sauces don’t get soaked up by the lettuce (whereas they definitely do with the hawaiian rolls). and even if you’re not a mayo person, use it. USE IT. it’s creamy and you can’t even feel any gloppy mayo-ness on your tongue. now, excuse me while i overload my kimchi chicken sliders on hawaiian rolls with quick pickles.

These kimchi chicken sliders on Hawaiian rolls are even better when you add sweet/tart quick pickles on top. #kimchi #chicken #sliders #hawaiianrolls

1 year ago: caramelized mushroom croque-monsieurs | socal february 2017: theme parks and swirled ice cream
2 years ago: orange-scented almond olive oil muffins | coconut cake with strawberry compote and pink swiss meringue buttercream
3 years ago: chocolate cake with whipped ganache and raspberries | apricot almond amaretto pound cake
4 years ago: thomas keller’s chocolate chip cookies | chicken dijon

5 from 1 vote
These kimchi chicken sliders combine fluffy Hawaiian rolls, juicy chicken, tender kimchi and kale, and crunchy quick pickles. #kimchi #chicken #sliders #hawaiianrolls
Kimchi Chicken Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
These kimchi chicken sliders on Hawaiian rolls pair spicy, saucy chicken with plenty of pickled and sauteed veggies.
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Asian, Fusion, Korean
Keyword: chicken, egg-free, gohujang, hawaiian bread, kale, kimchi, mayonnaise, nut-free, pickles, sliders, spicy
Servings: 12 sliders
Calories: 297 kcal
  • 2 T gochujang
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2" ginger sliced into 1/4" coins
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6 small thighs)
Quick Pickles
  • 1/2 medium daikon peeled and julienned
  • 1 medium hothouse cucumber julienned
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Sauteed Kimchi and Kale
  • 1/2 cup cabbage kimchi chopped
  • 4 oz kale leaves thick ribs and stems removed, chopped (5 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 12 Hawaiian rolls
  • mayonnaise
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together everything but the chicken until combined. Whisk in 1/2 cup water.
  2. In a large pot, heat some oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, pan-fry the chicken and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add the gochujang mixture to the pot and use it to deglaze the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced slightly.
  4. Use two forks (or your hands) to shred the chicken. Add the chicken back into the sauce, and mix until combined.
Quick Pickles
  1. Combine everything in a medium bowl, and let sit for 15-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are pickled to your taste.
Sauteed Kimchi and Kale
  1. In a large skillet, warm some oil over medium-high heat. Add the kimchi and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until hot and fragrant. Add the kale and soy sauce. Saute until the kale is wilted and tender.
  1. Split the Hawaiian rolls cross-wise, and spritz or brush them with some oil. Toast until golden brown.

  2. Spread mayo on the bottom bun and top with the chicken, followed by the sauteed kimchi and kale, the quick pickles and the top bun. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Anjali Prasertong via The Kitchn.

more kimchi

This spicy pan-fried tofu rice bowl has everything you could ever want: crispy tofu, crunchy kimchi, runny eggs and fresh herbs. #tofu #ricebowl #kimchi #eggs

spicy pan-fried tofu rice bowl

This creamed kale and kimchi pasta features a creamy kale and coconut milk sauce with plenty of crunchy, funky kimchi. #kale #kimchi #pasta #entree

creamed kimchi and kale pasta

These kimchi chicken sliders on Hawaiian rolls are just as satisfying for an appetizer as they are for dinner. #kimchi #chicken #sliders #hawaiianrolls

32 Replies to “Kimchi Chicken Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls”

  1. So many amazing flavors! I love that this includes how to make your own pickles! Definitely would love to sink my teeth into one of those Hawaiian sweet rolls filled with that saucy chicken!

    1. these pickles are so easy!! and quick- perfect for when you’re craving pickles NOW (;

  2. Yum Yum Yum Yum and more yum! These sound outrageous, Heather! I can’t wait to make them – will pin for later!

    1. thanks, laura! hope you like them if you end up making them (:

  3. Love the kale pasta! I would eat these dishes every day. They look so good!

    1. thanks radi! and yeah, that kale pasta is a really tasty combo of creamy and tasty vegetables and pasta (:

  4. Such an amazing combination of flavors…a treat for the tastebuds. Love kimchi anything, I might just end up eating all the sliders.

    1. ahhh yes kimchi is the best! might have eaten three jars of kimchi by myself last quarter (; haha

  5. Love the quick pickles on this. I will have to Google Hawaiian rolls to see what they are 🙂

    1. not sure about the history about hawaiian rolls (i bet it’s super interesting though!), but they’re like fluffy dinner rolls that are slightly sweet (:

  6. Delicious :)I think this is a perfect summer recipe ;). I even want to try that tofu rice bowl as well.:)
    Plus just to inform that I tried to rate your recipe but rating is not working.Can you please check that out once?!

    1. thanks so much for letting me know! it should be all good to go now (:

  7. As long as the kimche isn’t super SPICY, I am all about that life! Never paired it with chicken before though!

    1. different brands range in spiciness, so you just have to find the one that works for you (; and chicken goes with everythinggggg (plus i get bored of plain chicken so kimchi helps lol).

  8. these sliders look and sound very tasty and healthy. how delicious! cheers sherry

    1. thanks sherry! glad you like these (:

  9. I´m not a meat lover as well, but with all these amazing ingredients I wouldn’t mind! Spicy pan-fried tofu rice bowl also looks so good!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. thanks anna! hope you’re having a great week (:

  10. Simply MIng!! I use to watch his show too! I loved when his mother made guest appearances, she was so sassy! Did you ever see The Kimchi Chronicles? I loved that show too.
    Oh man, these sandwiches look all KINDS of heavenly! Someday I want to make my own kimchi. Besides being time-consuming, it doesn’t look hard at all. Awesome post 🙂

    1. what’s the kimchi chronicles?!?! will have to check that out asap (:

  11. These are my kind of sliders! Love all the spicy, sour, and sweet flavours. It’s awesome that you included a recipe for quick pickles too.

    1. thanks! spicy + sour + sweet + salty is the best (:

  12. I wish I grew up in an Asian American centric culture as a kid. I was the only Asian in my class for years and kinda wish it was a better experience, haha. But still, representation is important and we need to push forward with the traditions we value and everything. I remember seeing something similar at Disney and my boyfriend liked it.. Now that I thought about it, it was teriyaki chicken! Oooohooo! Love this twist with the kimchi chicken! I love Hawaiian rolls! Tasty alternative. Thanks for sharing this delish recipe 🙂

    1. :/ i feel like growing up in general is just hard and awkward, even in a good situation. and ooh i bet the disney version was delicious (:

  13. God I love the idea, it sounds so yummy and fresh with a hint of tanginess with the kimchi 😉

    1. thanks! and yes, the kimchi + the quick pickles add an awesome crunch + tang that cut through the saucy chicken and hawaiian sweet rolls (:

  14. I’m much older than you and grow up being the only Asian in my school. It wasn’t until we had a couple of exchange students in high school that I was no longer the lone Asian. I was lucky, though and never felt like an outsider. These sliders sound so wonderfully flavorful and full of texture! And definitely yes on the mayo for me! 🙂

    1. i’m glad you had a positive school experience as a kid! and yeah, my mom grew up in the same area that i did, and the demographics somehow changed completely within 30 years. crazy!

  15. What a lovely post. There are definitely benefits to living on the west or east coast, when it comes to being familiar with and accepting other cultures. I’ve been telling my husband this for years since I’m basically a Californian, but thanks to being married to him (and our jobs) I’ve been stuck in the midwest since what seems like forever. People are not very accepting here – very judgmental and close-minded. It gets really hard some times, but I’m stuck here. On another note, i could eat just about anything with gochujang, and have been thinking about making kimchi with a fermenter my daughters bought me for christmas, so thank you for the recipe!!!

    1. aw- hope it gets better! it’s a weird world right now, but i have hope that our society will become more accepting. anyways, gochujang is so good- i love the combo of spicy and sweet! and ooh hope to hear about how the kimchi goes.

  16. Hello Kimchi Sliders! You said Kimchi and that made me happy, then you said Hawaiian Rolls and that makes my little heart putter. Loving the addition of chicken 🙂5 stars

    1. thanks mary 💕 i’m a sucker for all of those things too (:

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