Upgrade Any Sandwich With The Punchy Flavors Of Kimchi Jam

Kimchi grilled cheese
Kimchi grilled cheese - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Peanut butter and jam, what's more classic than that? A jam is a fruit that's been reduced, thickened, and preserved with the help of one little ingredient: sugar. But we're adventurous eaters and thinking outside of the jam jar is just something that we do. Although jams boast an unchanging familiarness, when you look beyond the fruity prototypes, they begin to take on new forms and enter into less familiar yet equally delicious flavor territories, making room for culinary uses outside of the quintessential PB&J. Enter kimchi jam.

Blending the intricate flavor of the Korean fermented cabbage dish with the spreadable texture and candied appeal of traditional jam, kimchi jam is equal parts savory, sweet, and spicy. The freshness of cabbage combined with the warmth of ginger, the satisfying punch of garlic, the fire of Korean chili flakes, and the gentle sweetness of sugar culminate in a jam that stands out in a sea of one-dimensional fruit jams.

Its robust flavor, coupled with the digestive benefits of fermented foods, invites complexity, sophistication, and vigor into a wide variety of recipes, ensuring you'll never run out of ways to use this anything-but-ordinary spread.

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Tips For Making Kimchi Jam

Person cooking with kimchi
Person cooking with kimchi - Nungning20/Getty Images

Kimchi jam isn't a common kitchen condiment, which lends to its novelty and intrigue. Although its inventiveness is part of its appeal, it's elusive in supermarkets and even specialty stores, which can only mean one thing -- you have to make it yourself. Luckily, making any type of jam is a relatively straightforward process that only requires a base ingredient and sugar. Let's get into some tips for making this spicy jam at home.

For starters, cooking the kimchi tenderizes, softens, and caramelizes it for a softer and less crunchy texture that facilitates the genesis of its jammy and spreadable texture. Next up is sugar. The type of sugar you use is ultimately your choice, but avoid ultra-fine sugars like powdered sugar as they haphazardly dissolve and can lead to a burnt jam. Brown sugar will impart shades of molasses, cane sugar brings an unadulterated sweetness, and jam sugar boasts the unexpected ingredient you need for homemade jam: pectin. Consider incorporating additional ingredients like butter for richness, sesame oil for nuttiness, or mirin for a syrupy touch.

Once the sugar, kimchi, and any added ingredients are cooked, a food processor, immersion blender, or standard blender is key for achieving a jammy texture. To determine readiness -- perform a plate test by placing a small amount of the hot jam on a chilled plate to cool. If it sets to a spreadable consistency, it's ready to be transferred to a jar for storage.

Kimchi Jam Uses And Pairings

Kimchi jam on toast
Kimchi jam on toast - Instagram/seaxalt

Savory jam isn't nearly as common as sweet jam, which means you may not know exactly how to pair it. However, you'll be surprised at the many ways you can utilize kimchi jam.

To jazz up a classic, consider fashioning a savory Korean-fusion PB&J with peanut sauce, kimchi jam, and pork belly sandwiched between two crusty slices of your favorite bread. Tap into your inner child and give grilled cheese a mouthwatering spin by lathering a generous spoonful of the jam onto the interior of the bread.

Use kimchi jam as a glaze for grilled or roasted meats like chicken, pork, or salmon where the caramelized sugars will add depth of flavor and a beautiful shine to the dish. Vegetarian? No problem, brush a layer of kimchi jam atop a batch of air fryer coconut tofu for a meal that's tropical, spicy, and downright exciting to eat.

Don't limit your options, either. Use kimchi jam to shake up a traditional charcuterie board lineup, mix it into a salad dressing, use it in creamy noodle dishes, or just smother it onto a piece of toast for a quick breakfast. Most importantly -- don't take yourself too seriously, and have fun discovering the many ways you can use this one-of-a-kind jam.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.