How to Make Kimchi Fries

Top a pile of crispy, golden french fries with melted cheese and lots of spicy kimchi. This is what food mashup dreams are made of.

You heard it here first—kimchi fries are the snack food you didn’t know you needed. Trust us! It only takes one bite, and you’ll be hooked like we are. Check out this recipe for a kimchi pancake, too.

What Are Kimchi Fries?

The foundation for this snack is simple: fresh, golden french fries, cheese and hot or mild kimchi. You can buy kimchi at the grocery store or make your own at home with this recipe. After that, the toppings are only limited by your imagination.

If you want to stay traditional, popular toppings include green onions, sliced chili peppers, toasted sesame seeds, cilantro and lime wedges. You may also see kimchi fries topped with tasty, caramelized beef bulgogi or crispy pork belly for an extra-special treat.

Who Invented Kimchi Fries?

Before we roll up our sleeves and dig in, let’s talk history. Who deserves a gold medal for delivering this amazing gift from the snack heavens? Most sources give credit to Jae Kim, owner of Chi’Lantro, an Austin, Texas-based food truck.

Chi’Lantro opened in 2010, serving Mexican and Korean food. One day, Kim decided to top french fries with the loads of kimchi he would have left at the end of the day. The new menu item was an instant hit and today, you can find food trucks almost everywhere serving up their take on Chi’Lantro’s food revelation.

How to Make Kimchi Fries

If there isn’t a food truck with kimchi fries in your area, don’t fret. You can make a plate of kimchi fries at home in under 30 minutes. This recipe calls for ingredients that can be found in most supermarkets, too.

ingredients for making kimchi friesLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen french fries, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella, Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1 jar mild or spicy kimchi, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6-8 ounces cooked crispy pork belly or beef bulgogi, optional
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha or gochujang sauce, optional
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, optional

Instructions

Step 1: Cook your french fries

Bake or deep-fry a bag of your favorite frozen french fries according to the package directions. While they’re still hot and fresh from the oven or fryer, drizzle with a little sesame oil and season with salt, to taste. Transfer fries to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 2: Cheese ’em

Arrange your cooked french fries on the baking sheet and then top generously with shredded cheese. We recommend mozzarella for its excellent melting properties and mild flavor. (Find our recommended brands of mozzarella cheese.) Place the cheese-topped fries into a preheated 350° F oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. When cheese is melted and bubbly, remove from oven.

Step 3: Load ’em up

While the fries are still warm, top them with kimchi, green onions, peppers, sesame seeds, beef bulgogi or pork belly.

Close-up overhead shot of kimchi friesLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Step 4: Get saucy

Finish the fries by drizzling with your choice of sriracha, gochujang or mayo. Serve piping hot and chow down. It may be an indulgent snack, but don’t forget, kimchi has all kinds of health benefits!

Find More Delicious Things to Make With Frozen French Fries
1 / 24

Popular Videos

Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.