Elevate Avocado Toast With An Umami-Rich Kimchi Topping

kimchi on avocado toast
kimchi on avocado toast - Static Media/Shutterstock

The humble avocado toast (though not humble in price at restaurants) is ripe for a flavor upgrade. Enter umami-rich kimchi, a Korean fermented vegetable staple often made from radishes or napa cabbage. Bold in flavor and full of nutrients thanks to lacto-fermentation, kimchi packs a punch and brings heat often amiss from avocado toast. Plus, kimchi's redness contrasts beautifully with avocado's verdance, adding to this dish's overall aesthetic appeal.

There are a few ways to add kimchi to avocado toast. The simplest way is to drizzle its juices over the dish or lay pieces of kimchi, whole or chopped, over the avocado spread. Adding just the juice brings a bit of heat and tangy zest. To do this, you can also mix kimchi juice directly with mashed avocado to spread the flavors more evenly. Adding pieces of kimchi directly to the avocado toast brings even more flavor and a crunchy texture that contrasts with soft avocado. Feeling creative? You can also fry the kimchi before adding it to the avocado toast.

Kimchi and its juices work well with avocado toast because while creamy and buttery, let's face it, avocado is a little bland in flavor. Avocado tempers kimchi's heat beautifully, while kimchi amplifies all the flavors of the avocado toast.

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kimchi - 4kodiak/Getty Images

If you're new to the world of kimchi, consider its flavor intensity and level of spice. You can purchase different types of kimchi, from mild to very hot, and even white kimchi for those who can't take any heat. To be safe, kimchi should begin with a smaller amount or just the juices. If your palate is adventurous and your tastebuds crave heat, you may prefer large pieces of kimchi drenched in its juices for a more robust experience.

Ready for even more flavor? For an added dimension, consider adding other ingredients to complement the kimchi. A drizzle of toasted sesame oil or a sprinkling of sesame seeds adds another layer of flavor, a welcomed nuttiness. To amp up the umami, add a dash of soy sauce, fish sauce, or a sprinkle of furikake, a Japanese seasoning, to add complexity. Fresh herbs like chopped cilantro or green onions can introduce another bright, fresh element to the toast.

For those who love tangy sandwiches, you can't go wrong with a fresh squeeze of lime or lemon juice on the kimchi-topped avocado toast. Finally, a melty egg would add to the creaminess and bind all the fantastic flavors together.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.