Chef Judy Joo’s kimchi mac & cheese for an Asian-inspired Thanksgiving side

PIX11 Morning News

The PIX11 Morning News kicked off our cultural Thanksgiving celebration with celebrity chef Judy Joo, who is a Korean-American chef, restaurateur, writer and TV personality.

Joo, who’s written two best-selling cook books, shared some of the dishes you might find at an Asian family’s Thanksgiving celebration.

One of those recipes is kimchi macaroni and cheese, which she showed us how to make. Find the full recipe below.

Kimchi macaroni and cheese
Celebrity chef Judy Joo’s Korean spin on mac and cheese; kimchi macaroni and cheese. (Credit: Judy Joo)

Kimchi Macaroni and Cheese


  • 35g (1¼oz) salt
  • 350g (12oz) dried elbow macaroni
  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 20g (¾oz) plain flour
  • 150ml (5fl oz) whole milk
  • 400g (14oz) mixed cheese (blue, goat’s, Cheddar, Parmesan), grated
  • 450ml (15fl oz) double cream
  • 250g (9oz) cabbage kimchi, chopped
  • Chives, finely chopped, to serve

Panko crust:

  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 100g (3½oz) panko breadcrumbs


  • Bring 3.5 liters (6 pints) water to the boil with the salt. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 70°C fan/90°C/200°F/gas ¼.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for just under 1 minute. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for 10–15 minutes until you have a thickened and smooth sauce, whisking constantly.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat, add the cheese and cream, and stir until it is well combined and the cheese is melted, then add the chopped kimchi.
  • Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer to a deep suitably-sized ovenproof dish. Keep warm in the oven.
  • For the panko crust, melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add the panko. Keep tossing and stirring until golden in color. Remove the crumbs from the heat and sprinkle them evenly over the mac and cheese.
  • Scatter with chopped chives to finish and serve immediately.

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