Kimcheese: How to Pair Kimchi and Cheese

Kimchi and cheese? Take that puzzled look off your face! It’s not any more bizarre than drizzling balsamic vinegar on a wedge of Parm. Or tipping back a fermented beverage, like beer or wine, with pizza. Or, at least that was our premise when Amanda Feifer and I presented KIMCHEESE! for the Philadelphia Science Festival.


Sixty cheese lovers rolled into Di Bruno Bros. to sniff out the show. Amanda, who blogs at, brought in three varieties of fermented veg, including an awesome stuffed cucumber kimchi. I helped her pair them with a trio of cheeses, and we let the crowd nibble and slurp.

 If you’re curious to try these pairings at home, check out the recipes from Amanda below, and keep in mind that you can always bring a jar from your pantry to the cheesemongers at Di Bruno Bros. in order to receive assistance with a pairing. They loved helping us put these combinations together.


1. Pantaleo: A firm, briny goat cheese from Sardinia.

Kimchi: Try a basic kimchi without any spice.

Notes on the Pairing: The zesty brightness of unspiced kimchi needs a slightly acidic cheese. Pantaleo is lemony and salty, a great match.  


2. Hudson Red: From the Hudson Valley, a super stinker made from raw milk.

Kimchi: Use a classic Korean red kimchi with medium heat.

Notes on the Pairing: A fatty washed-rind cheese with lots of flavor stands up to spice, and the vinegary kick in traditional red kimchi offsets the fatty funk. Glorious.


3. Chiriboga Blue: An ultra lush blue – it’s all kittens and no bite.

Kimchi: Make a batch of stuffed cucumber kimchi for a truly unsusual combo.

Notes on the Pairing: This kimchi needs a vegetal blue; Bleu de Basque also works.




The crowd at KIMCHEESE! shared a number of ways they like to combine these two ingredients together:

  • Make spicy kimchi and cheese quesadillas
  • Put kimchi on homemade pizza
  • Add kimchi and cheese to pulled pork sandwiches
  • Layer kimchi onto a grilled cheese sandwich


For more fermented magic shows, visit Madame Fromage.