Cauliflower Kimchi Dip

by Kim • February 6, 2023

Yield: makes 6 to 8 servings • Total Time: 30 minutes

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photo by Kim Sunée

This baked cauliflower dish gets depth from caramelized kimchi and zing from a vinegar-based “wing” sauce such as Frank’s or Texas Pete plus just enough cream cheese to bring it all together. A perfect, make-ahead vegetable dip that’s both satisfying and flavor-packed. For a heartier version, stir in some cooked pulled chicken or broccoli or mushrooms. Serve with soft pretzels, celery and carrots. Leftovers are excellent with scrambled eggs in soft corn tortillas for breakfast tacos.   


  • 2 small heads cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds, cored and cut into very small florets)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup kimchi (cabbage kimchi)
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s or Texas Pete (if NOT using kimchi, use up to 3/4 cup hot sauce)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles or 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 to 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (optional)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • For serving: Celery sticks, red bell pepper slices, soft pretzels, tortilla chips


  1. Heat oven to 375°. Trim cauliflower and cut into very small florets (or blitz them in a food processor into coarse “crumbles”). Toss with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  2. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or regular skillet if using another dish for baking the dip after) over high heat. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, one minute. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and steam/cook over high heat 7 to 9 minutes, adding a bit more water, as needed. Uncover skillet and add butter; reduce heat to medium-high. Drain kimchi and reserve any excess liquid. Chop kimchi and add to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kimchi begins to caramelize and cauliflower is fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Once cauliflower is fork tender, stir in hot sauce and any liquid drained from the kimchi, and green chiles, if using, and simmer until sauce has reduced, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cream cheese and sour cream. Taste and add more pepper or hot sauce, as needed. Sprinkle with Cheddar and blue cheese, if using, and bake until bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.