Caramelized Kimchi Fries {Lightened-up, Gluten Free, Vegan}

Kimchi Fries2

Confession- I am a food truck junky! Having lived in Austin, which very well may be the food truck mecca of the world, I have dabbled in all sorts of adventurous cuisine. The stranger the dish sounds, the better. For some reason I really trust food trucks, and expect that even though the dish may sound weird, it must be good, because after all, it’s a food truck, right!? It’s like they some some extra special creative license to do crazy and out-of-this-world things with everyday foods. Do you all love food trucks as much as I do?

So this recipe is a food truck inspired creation. Chi’lantro was a very popular food truck in Austin, and they now have grown into brick and mortar as well. (If you are ever in Austin check it out!). One of their most popular dishes was kimchi fries. Basically the dish was a spicy Korean version of chili cheese fries. The bottom layer was golden french fries, topped with caramelized kimchi, your choice of Korean spiced meat,cheese, sesame seeds, a creamy sriracha sauce, and of course cilantro! Awesomeness!

Boo-hoo there is no kimchi fries to be found around here, so I’m making my own these days, and yes, they are lightened-up, healthier, and taste AMAZING! In my version I used baked sweet potato waffle fries- better to scoop with and better for you! I made my own creamy and light sriracha sauce, went light on the cheese, omitted the meat (you don’t need it there is enough going on, but go for it if you wish), and caramelized the kimchi with coconut sugar. Truly JUNK FOOD-REFORMED!

So listen to your adventurous taste buds and take the kimchi fry challenge and let me know what you think!

Kimchi Fries4

kimchi fries Collage

Caramelized Kimchi Fries {Lightened-up, Gluten Free, Vegan}

Sweet potato waffles fries topped with cheese, caramelized kimchi and chili mayo (lightened-up, gluten free and vegan).

  • As many sweet potato waffle fries as you want or make your own (recommend around 15-20, I used Alexis brand- organic, in freezer aisle, how to video:
  • 1 cup of kimchi (you can find in glass bottle usually near the produce section- it’s refrigerated)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of coconut sugar (or substitute brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup of shredded cheese such as cheddar (or vegan substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)

Chili Mayo:

  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt (or sub vegan yogurt alternative- plain flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Optional Additional Toppings:
  • toasted sesame seeds (, bulgogi beef/chicken/pork/tofu)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Cook the french fries according to directions until golden and crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, over medium heat in a nonstick skillet, stir the kimchi, sugar, tamari or soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Let the sugar, soy and vinegar cook off and caramelize the kimchi for about 3-4 minutes, until the kimchi has a nice sticky coating, remove from heat.
  5. In a small bowl whip the greek yogurt, sriracha and chili powder.
  6. Once your french fries are almost done cooking sprinkle with cheese and let it melt for a minute in the oven.
  7. On a platter arrange the cheese topped fries, top with caramelized kimchi, drizzle the chili mayo sauce, and top with chopped cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, and anything else you desire, enjoy!


  1. I have to admit that this recipe made me skeptical at first, but you’re right food trucks are to be trusted, so I bet it’s amazing! I live in the Philly area and I went to college in Center City and the food trucks were out of this world. I blame them for my freshman 15!

  2. This is good but remind your vegan followers that most kimchi, especially traditional kimchi, is not vegan! Good traditional kimchi uses both fish sauce and salted shrimp paste. For those who are not vegan or vegetarian I recommend this with a little bit of stir fried pork! It’s absolutely delicious.

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