A spicy, tangy and creamy spread, Kimchi Mayo Sauce is delicious on toast, as a vegetable dip (or for French fries!) and as a salad or pasta sauce! (Gluten-free)
⭐ Why This Recipe is a Star
- Quick and easy: this kimchi mayo recipe only needs 3-ingredients and done in under 5 minutes! What could be simpler than that? (Well, maybe Kimchi eggs which can be a 2-ingredient recipe.) This is also a very forgiving recipe so feel free to fudge with the ingredients and quantities!
- Versatile: Like Gochujang butter and Gochujang Aioli, this spicy sauce has many uses. It can be used for burgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, roast vegetables such as butternut squash, as a dip for Spam Fries, or spread on croissants and brioche!
- Readily available ingredients: kimchi is so mainstream now that, like the rest of the ingredients, you can get it at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. No long trek out to the Asian grocer necessary!
Note: if you prefer a sweeter creamy spread, try Homemade Yuzu Aioli.
What is Kimchi?
It's like Korean sauerkraut but spicy and is a key ingredient when cooking Korean cuisine.
Surprisingly, it goes really well with cream and dairy!
You only need 3 essential ingredients:
- Korean Kimchi: I use old Baechu Kimchi, or Napa cabbage kimchi in this recipe, although radish kimchi (Kkakdugi) should work too. Aged kimchi is more flavorful, which is why I recommend it for cooking Korean fried rice too. Use both the cabbage leaves and the kimchi brine here for best results. (The brine adds oomph and the leaves add texture.) Make sure that the kimchi is labelled GF if you're gluten-intolerant as even though traditional kimchi is GF, industrially produced kimchi may not be.
- Mayonnaise: I highly recommend Kewpie mayonnaise which is much more flavorful than regular mayo. (There's a gluten-free version sold commercially.) However, the recipe still works with Heinz or even homemade mayo/ aioli! (Whisk 4 large pasteurised egg yolks with 2 teaspoon of mustard and 2-3 teaspoons of rice vinegar to make your own mayo.)
- Sugar: Don't omit this as it'll temper the acidity of the kimchi. Otherwise, you may find the kimchi spread a tad too sour!
📖 Variations & Substitutes
- If you have it, I recommend adding a bit of sesame oil to boost the flavor of the spicy mayo or even lightly toasted sesame seeds if you want more texture.
- Sliced green onions will also add some freshness to lift the Mayo, as well as a more attractive burst of color.
- If you're using fresh and not old kimchi, the flavor may be milder. Feel free to add a touch of lime juice or rice vinegar to give it more tang.
- The mayonnaise could be replaced with Greek yoghurt or sour cream but you'll need to alter the seasoning level slightly. I've not tested the substitutions yet but will update the sauce recipe once I do!
- Use stir-fried kimchi for more depth of flavor.
- To make it spicier, add some gochujang, gochugaru flakes or dried chili pepper flakes.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
This recipe is so easy, it's done in 1 step. Simply place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz!
If you like you can season with some fish sauce, light soy sauce or salt but I personally find it salty enough for me!
Yes. However, you'll either need to be OK with huge cabbage leaves in the aioli sauce- so good for serving on bread but not as a dipping sauce- or cut the kimchi very fine before stirring in the mayo!
🥡 How to Store
Make a big batch and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. (Note that kimchi has a very pungent smell and most Koreans have separate fridges for it!)
Some people keep it longer but I prefer not to take risks!
Note: if using homemade mayo, please finish it within 1-2 days as the raw eggs spoil easily!
🥗 Other Korean Recipes
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- Food processor or blender Substitute: knife and chopping board or kitchen scissors
- ¼ Cup kimchi I used cabbage kimchi, leaves and brine, but you can use other types too. Aged kimchi has more flavor.
- ⅙ Cup mayonnaise I used kewpie but other brands or homemade work too. If not using kewpie, you may want to add a bit more sugar.
- 1 teaspoon white sugar Substitute: honey. Not to be omitted as it's needed to balance the acidity of the kimchi.
- With a blender/ food processor: add all the ingredients and blitz. Process for a shorter period of time if you want some leaves to remain for texture, or for a longer period of time if you want a totally smooth spread.
- With scissors/ knife: cut or snip the kimchi till they're in tiny bits then mix with the other ingredients. You won't get as smooth a spicy dip this way but it's still delicious!
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