This easy kimchi mayo is delicious used as a dip, spread or sauce!
This recipe uses storebought baechu kimchi (napa cabbage kimchi, aka the kimchi that is likely the most familiar to you). My personal kimchi preferences lean towards fresher, crisper kimchi rather than the softer, punchy kimchi, though you should do you.
I typically eat any leftover kimchi with hot rice and a few fried eggs for lunch, though kimchi scrambled eggs or this cucumber naengmyeon (my loose take on mul naengmyeon, using cucumbers instead of noodles) might be more exciting to you.
Plain old mayonnaise is what we’re looking for here.
Kewpie is fine too, though keep in mind that it’s thinner and sweeter than jarred mayo, so your final dip will reflect that.
idk if any other cuisine leans as heavily into roasted sesame oil as Korean food (at least not top of mind as I’m typing this post out), so it feels right to add some to this mayo. I highly recommend adding it, since it adds a touch of nuttiness and creaminess.
How to Make
This dish doesn’t truly need a recipe written out for it, but here goes.
Finely chop the kimchi. You want the kimchi to be in really small bits, since it’s hard to pick up any of it while eating if the kimchi is too big.
Then, stir the kimchi, a bit of the juice from the jar, and half of the sesame oil into the mayo. The kimchi juice adds the pretty pink hue to the mayo, and it also makes sure that the kimchi flavor carries throughout instead of only when you bite into a piece of cabbage.
Add salt to taste, then transfer the kimchi mayo to your serving container. Drizzle the top with the rest of the sesame oil and serve!
As unhelpful as this sentiment might be, I honestly think this mayonnaise could be used as a condiment for almost anything.
I’ve included a veggie platter (with both raw and cooked vegetables) in the pictures you see here, and that can be a good option. This soy garlic mayo is another tasty option to dip veggies into too.
My personal favorite is fries. Perhaps not fair to the vegetables, since how can you compare raw/steamed vegetables to fries, but I stand by my statement.
I love making baked fries at home (I refuse to deal with all that fry oil). My go to base recipe can be found on this furikake seasoned fries post, though these baked curly fries are also delicious if you have a spiralizer.
I haven’t tried the following, though they might spark some ideas for you:
- Use as a base for a dressing for salad (pasta, potato, green, etc) or coleslaw
- Spread on a sandwich or burger
- Add to deviled eggs
You can store this in a covered (I’m assuming you don’t want your fridge and/or other food in the fridge to smell and taste like kimchi) container in the fridge for up to a week.
Theoretically, you can keep this in the fridge for longer than one week if you’re using storebought mayo (which is shelf stable). And kimchi is fermented so it takes a lot for it to go bad once it’s refrigerated.
That being said, you might not want to. The kimchi will get progressively more intense as it gets older, so based on your personal preference, I would use some caution (especially since you can’t cook the kimchi in the mayo like you might with other old kimchi).
Make it Spicier
As written, this recipe isn’t that spicy. This is intentional, because I am a class A spice wimp.
(This might be my tendency to overexplain coming out, but I definitely was dunking my ddukboki in my water cup the one time I was at Yupdduk like the child I am).
If this isn’t you and you want a little more heat in your kimchi mayo, be my guest. Sriracha, gochugaru (red pepper flakes) or another hot sauce of your choice would all work well here.
Other Kinds of Kimchi
This recipe uses storebought baechu kimchi, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use another kind of homemade or storebought kimchi.
Kkakdugi (radish kimchi) would be delicious in place of the baechu kimchi, and because it’s so crunchy and crispy, I feel like it would end up being like a cousin of tartar sauce. Can you imagine that with fish and chips?? Yum.
Nabak kimchi (water kimchi) could also be a good option, especially if you don’t want the final sauce to be spicy at all. A quick heads up that you wouldn’t get the pretty pink color, since there’s no gochugaru in nabak kimchi.
Ofc you can make your own mayo instead of using storebought. The kimchi and its juice does thin out the mayo a bit, so if you’re starting with looser mayo (homemade is definitely less thick than storebought), keep that in mind.
- ½ cup finely chopped kimchi
- 1 tablespoon kimchi juice
- ⅓ cup mayo
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil divided
- salt to taste
Mix together the kimchi, kimchi juice, mayo and half of the sesame oil. Season to taste with salt.
Transfer the kimchi mayo to a serving dish and drizzle with the rest of the sesame oil before serving.
You can sub in a different kind of kimchi if you’d like.
Feel free to use homemade kimchi and/or mayo.
This recipe isn’t that spicy as written, so add hot sauce or gochugaru to taste if you want this spicier.