Kimchi and Corned Beef Grilled Cheese

I know things have been weird the last few weeks, BUT it's almost St. Patrick's Day! And that means cabbage and corned beef!!!! I always thought this was an interesting combo.. Which is why I decided to put a spin on this classic so that you can actually enjoy this dynamic duo. Trust me, this cheesy and spicy grilled cheese will leave you wanting more! 

You can totally use all store bought ingredients (that you've probably loaded up on this week), but below I will be giving you my homemade corned beef and homemade mustard recipe. My homemade kimchi recipe is on the blog from last week! Mustard can be made with 5 ingredients. I encourage everyone to try to mustard because it's simple, spicy and soooooo good. I've used it almost every day since I've made it. These are really fun and creative activities to make when you're stuck inside during all of this craziness and want to try something new. And, make extra big batches just in case you aren't able to make it to the store! 

Okay, back to this grilled cheese. I have a few tips:

1. Use crusty, sturdy, fresh bread. I went to a local bakery and got a loaf of sourdough bread. Good bread makes a huge difference, in my opinion. We don't want flimsy bread here. You can make this a 100% fermented dish by using sourdough. Talk about bragging points! 

2. Use a spicy mustard. A stone-ground mustard.

3. Use a mild cheese. I used mozzarella. You can use colby or provolone. Or all three, do you boo. Colby tastes like a milder cheddar. Provolone tastes like a fuller flavored mozzarella. 

4. Don't be afraid of using kimchi. It is spicy, crunchy and adds a great funk to this sandwich. You'll learn to love kimchi when it's stuffed in between melted cheese, fragrant corned beef and warm toasted bread.. my mouth is watering just writing this. To learn more about kimchi, take a look at last week's recipe - Homemade Kimchi

Alrriiiiight, let's get to the good stuff. 

Kimchi and Corned Beef Grilled Cheese

2 tablespoons butter or ghee

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped

2 ounces corned beef, cut into strips 

     if you won't be making homemade, get thick cut deli-sliced corned beef

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard

4 slices sourdough, thick cut

1. Get 2 frying pans. In one frying pan, over low-medium heat, add half of the oil, corned beef and kimchi. Saute for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and add cheese and let it melt. While this is cooking, butter your bread. Add bread to other frying pan until toasted on both sides. Smother mustard all over the inside of the slice of bread. Repeat with other half. 

2. To assemble, take the cheesy corned beef and kimchi mixture and place on one slice of mustard smothered bread. Top with other slice of bread. Cut in half with a bread knife. ENJOY! 

Homemade stone-ground mustard

6 tablespoons brown mustard seeds

6 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds

1 tablespoon mustard powder

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons pickle juice or sauerkraut juice

optional additions - 1 tablespoon fresh garlic

                                1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

                                 1 tablespoon honey 

1. Using a mortar and pestle or spice blender, crush mustard seeds. You don't want them too broken, because you're using mustard powder but some should be broken and bruised. 

2. Pour into mason jar with mustard powder, vinegar and pickle juice. Screw on the top and shake until incorporated. It will be a little runny, but don't worry it will thicken up in the refrigerator. Put in refrigerator over night. Use after at least 12 hours. You can keep in refrigerator for up to a year! 

Homemade Corned Beef

spice mix

To make your own, I used:    

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon coriander pods 

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon dill seed

1 tablespoon allspice berries 

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn

2 teaspoons whole clove

2 bay leaf, crumbled 

1 cinnamon stick


1 gallon water

2 cups kosher salt

1/4 c pink curing salt OR 2 tablespoons beet root powder, optional but for that bright pink corned beef.. it's worth it

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 tablespoons of curing spice, recipe above or store bought 


1 beef brisket, about 4-5 lbs

3 tablespoons spice mix, recipe above or store bought

1. Combine and crush spices in spice blender, food processor or by hand. Add 4 tablespoons and cinnamon stick to the water in a large pot. Add salt, pink salt and sugar. Bring to a boil then remove from heat and refrigerate until completely cool. 

2. Place brisket into large container and cover with brine. Brisket should be completely submerged. Cover with lid and set in refrigerator for 5-7 days. Flip the brisket daily. 

3. After cured, rinse off brisket. Add to large pot and fill with water until covered by a couple of inches. Add a tablespoon of pickling spice to the pot. Bring to boil then reduce heat to a low simmer for about 3 hours, or until cooked through. You can store up to a week in the fridge. 

4. For grilled cheese, slice very thinly then slice again into logs or cut into cubes. Enjoy!