Judy Joo Details The Best Ways To Eat Kimchi - Exclusive

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

For the record, Judy Joo, is a hot sauce savant. "I'm addicted to the spice, and I love fresh chilies," Joo exclusively explained to Mashed. Like any true believer in hot sauce, the Iron Chef understands and differentiates each flavor profile and pairs them accordingly. "I can tour the world in my hot sauces. There's a purpose and a use for all different ones. Sometimes, if I want something that's quite earthy, I'll go for my gochujang," she extrapolated. "If I want something a bit brighter and tangy, maybe a vinegar-based one, and [for] something that is a bit smoky, I'll go for one of my Mexican hot sauces with the smoked chipotles and stuff."

Joo could handle "Hot Ones" wings like they were gumdrops. And yet, it's not even the single ingredient she can't live without. That distinction goes to kimchi, which also holds a special place in Joo's palate. For starters, she said, "You always have kimchi" on a Korean table. Yet, her fascination with the dish goes much farther.

Take it from Judy Joo, kimchi goes with everything

What should you pair with kimchi? That is in and of itself a question bordering on the absurd. As Joo exclusively told Mashed, "Kimchi goes well with nearly everything." That being said, here's how Joo uses the dish. "Kimchi and cheese is ... such a match made in heaven and it is a real thing in Korea," she suggested. "You're seeing this kimchi and cheese combination popping up everywhere, even here in London, [a] local grilled cheese sandwich place has it on their menu. [It's] two slices of sourdough bread and melted cheese, topped with kimchi. It is so good." 

Joo also said that she integrates kimchi into Brussels sprouts, and puts kimchi on top of popcorn and french fries. If you want to carry it around with you — dehydrate it. That way, Joo noted, you can "[make] an umami-filled kimchi powder that goes on top of all different things." For smoky kimchi, she suggested to grill it. For drinkable kimchi, opt for one of Joo's favorite, her Kimchi Bloody Mary. "That Bloody Mary is sweet, [it's] really damn good and addictive," Joo gushed. Alternatively, the chef suggested, turn it into a condiment. "I really do love a kimchi tartar sauce or a kimchi bearnaise."

Follow Judy Joo's Instagram for the latest from her everyday life and career. Her most recent book, "Korean Soul Food" — complete with a section on "Pickles and Kimchi" is available for purchase.