This Caramelized Kimchi Jam is the epitome of how perfect sweet and savory are together. Spicy, with a little tang thanks to the natural acidity from the kimchi. Perfect for toast, sandwiches, bagels, crackers and more!!

kimchi jam in a jar

Hi. Okay, I’ve gate-kept this recipe for too long, but it’s time I share one of my favourite original recipes to date: Caramelized Kimchi Jam. I honestly didn’t know whether to call this sweet relish, chutney or jam, lol but visually and texturally, I feel like it resembles jam the most. However, you can make it more chutney or relish like by altering how much to cook it down and process it.

She’s sweet, spicy, and tangy thanks to the natural acidity from the kimchi, and can be paired with sweet or savory ingredients.

This was inspired by my kimchi grilled cheese recipe where the kimchi is caramelized with a bit of butter and sugar before adding it to the grilled cheese.

Kimchi Jam Ingredients

This kimchi jam required just 3-4 ingredients to make:

  • Kimchi: Preferably homemade.
  • Butter: For flavour. You can even go as far to brown the butter to add some extra nutty aroma. I use Becel plant based butter or Miyoko’s cultured butter.
  • Sugar: Brown, cane or a combination of both sugar works well here.
  • Mirin: optional, but recommended

How to Make Kimchi Jam

  1. Cook the kimchi in the butter
  2. Melt in the sugar
  3. Cook the kimchi – this softens the vegetables (cover and simmer to further soften)
  4. Blend in food processor – to desired consistency
  5. Cook further until jammy


For different variations, try adding:

  • cinnamon
  • gochujang
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil

How to store kimchi jam

Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in an air tight container.


This kimchi jam pairs well with a lot of things, but shines when used on something that needs flavour. Here are some suggestions:

  • on homemade bread with butter or tahini (personal fav)
  • in sandwiches
  • as a dip for chips or crackers
  • bagel with cream cheese
  • in a grilled cheese sandiwch
  • dimple it or spread on focaccia
  • if you made a looser jam, over salads
  • in cookies (seriously)

Top tip

Depending on how long you cook the kimchi for and how much you blend it, the texture of the jam will vary. If you prefer jams with more texture (relish or chutney-like), cook less and pulse blend. If you prefer smooth jam, cook down until soft and blend until it looks like pumpkin puree.

Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:

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kimchi jam in a jar

Caramelized Kimchi Jam


This Caramelized Kimchi Jam is the epitome of how perfect sweet and savory are together. Spicy, with a little tang thanks to the natural acidity from the kimchi. Perfect for toast, sandwiches, bagels, crackers and more!!


Units Scale
  • 2 cups (320 g) kimchi
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mirin, optional
  • 1/21 1/2 cup (100 – 300 g) brown sugar*


  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 12 tsp gochujang


  1. Add butter to a medium pan over medium heat, and let it melt. Add the kimchi and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and mirin, and mix until sugar dissolves. Cover and let it simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until cabbage is throughly cooked. 
  2. Transfer to a food processor and blend. 
  3. Transfer back to the pan and cook further, stirring occasionally until jammy (about 5-8 minutes). 
  4. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Serve or store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


  • *adjust sweetness to your liking. Use lesser amount of sugar for savory dishes and higher amount of sugar for sweet recipes. I typically use 1 cup of sugar for 320 g of kimchi. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. This is the condiment I didn’t know I needed! After seeing the recipe on instagram, I knew I had to have it! I had some funky kimchi in my fridge that needed to be used, and I was getting sick of kimchi fried rice or kimchi noodle soup. I used a little less sugar than the recipe called for, no cinnamon but yes to extra gochujang and soy sauce. This is AMAZING. I have a tub in my fridge and I love it on toast with some thick slabs of sharp cheese on top. I really, really recommend making this!