Kimchi Tomato Spaghetti

Kimchi Tomato SpaghettiA friend of friend of friend of mine has a little farm up in the highland of Malaysia, grow tomatoes and other vegetables. So I got a boxful of vine ripe tomatoes because my heart was telling me that I should. (I tend to follow my instinct which is not necessarily the logical method of life processing skill)

They are good, juicy and flavorful. I have been eating tomatoes for breakfasts, for lunches, for snacks, and used them in the recipes for dinners in the past few days. I fed to my husband and my kids, and even take some as a housewarming gift to a friend who invited me for lunch.

And I still see lots of tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter.

I think I am so tomato-fied.  And I think… I smell like tomato.

So today, I would like to present a recipe that uses lots of tomatoes! (Hope you like tomatoes)  I will call it “Kimchi Tomato Spaghetti“.  Yes, it is a Korean-Italian fusion dish.


Kimchi Tomato spaghettie

Did you know that it was only in the late 1800’s that tomatoes were used in food, such as pasta and pizza? Ironically it was about the same time period that chilies were used in Kimchi.

As much as the invention of tomato sauce has brought a great sensation in Italian cuisine, chili has changed the way that Korean make their kimchi. Interestingly, both tomatoes and chilies were from South America, the new world.

I have to tell you this.  Tomatoes and kimchi are so good together.  It is hard to describe the combined flavor but I was quite happy about the outcome of this fusion pasta dish. And as you can tell from the tutorial below, it is ridiculously easy and quick to make.

The taste? Even my little not-so-kimchi-loving-son liked it. That means something.


Here are very fermented kimchi and tomatoes. Let’s start cooking up!


First, boil water and dump your spaghetti and cook according to the package direction.


Slice your kimchi. No need to chop.


Slice the tomatoes, onion and garlic, too. You will also need a little bit of fresh basil leaves.


Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute onion and garlic until onion gets soft and garlic slices turns slightly gold.


Dump your kimchi and saute for 3-4 minutes.


Add 2/3 of the tomatoes. Continue to cook one more minute.

Here is a joke. What did macaroni say to tomato? “Don’t get saucy with me!”  Ha ha ha…! I guess I am the only one who is laughing at my own joke.



Add cream.


Add Kimchi juice.


And simmer until the sauce gets thicken a little. The tomatoes will get very soft. Season with salt, if needed, and pepper.


Add the hot spaghetti,


Toss well.


Add the rest of the tomatoes, basil leaves and toss everything well. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

I can picture some grilled chicken, shrimp, crumbled bacon, or anything you like to be added in this dish. This is the basic fusion and the possibilities are somewhat endless.


Okay, I’m gonna share another joke.

‘Did you know why tomato did go out with prune?’

‘Because he couldn’t find a date.’


You are supposed to laugh at this. But I don’t imagine anyone laughing. As you can tell.. I am very bad at telling jokes. Maybe next time, I will come up with some kimchi jokes to see if that works.

Hope some of you can try this fusion dish. You will be surprised.

Thanks for reading. Holly is out now.




Kimchi Tomato Spaghetti

Kimchi Tomato Spaghetti

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: about 4

Kimchi Tomato Spaghetti


  • 1 lb vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1-1/4 cup fermented cabbage kimchi, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup kimchi juice
  • salt and pepper
  • a few fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • Spaghetti


  1. Cook spaghetti in a boiling water according to your package direction.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until onion is soft and garlic is slightly brown.
  3. Add kimchi and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add 2/3 of the tomatoes and continue to cook 1 minutes.
  4. Pour cream and kimchi juice and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce to thicken a little bit. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Drain the spaghetti from the water and add to the sauce in the skillet. Add the remained tomatoes and toss all together. Sprinkle basil leaves and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Note: grilled chicken, shrimp, or crumbled bacon would be nice addition.

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  1. 1


    Amazing! I’d never have thought to make pasta with kimchi, but this actually sounds so good! And don’t worry, I found myself laughing at your jokes!

  2. 3


    That’s a very good dad joke (or should i say mum joke), Holly! I can picture you telling it and chuckling to yourself, hehehe…. This dish is really interesting, one of those easy quick meals people can cook in a weeknight. Can you share me some of those beautiful tomatoes?

  3. 4


    I love the idea of kimchi and tomato and pasta! This must taste tremendous. We’re a few months from prime tomato season here, but I can’t wait. Love this dish, and good pictures. Thanks so much.

  4. 5

    Christina says

    This looks delicious!

    Where did you buy the Lescure cream? I would like to try the recipe with that as well.

    Thank you :)

  5. 6


    Awesome–I’ve long thought Italian and Korean would be an inspired combination, though I never thought about the chilli–>Korea and tomato–>Italy parallel before. I love the way you’ve done it here with this recipe–I should try this soon!

  6. 8


    I would never have thought of combining these ingredients, but it looks so delicious, I can practically taste the dish via your photos. Also, I love your jokes. I’m saving them for my 4-year-old niece!

  7. 9


    Oh, I love Korean fusion dishes. In fact, not long ago, I made Kimchi pasta with crispy cooked bacon and mushroom and surprisingly it was really yummy! I bet this one tastes delicious too!! know what?! I didn’t get that tomato and prune joke at first, so I just called my hubby to ask him to explain it to me. (Because he loves this kind jokes.. aka daddy joke) Hehe .. Anyway, as I was reading the sentences out loud, I actually understood what it meant. 😀 I think it was funny, Holly! Look forward to hearing another joke next time.

  8. 11


    I also laughed at both your jokes! Your recipe looks so yummy! I just finished reading your about me section, and you are a wonderful mother. Being that I lost my mom a few months ago, I remember her trying to teach me her ways of cooking korean food. Thanks for this blog, and keep on sharing with us! :)

  9. 12


    What a unique pasta. I’ve never tried Spaghetti with kimchi before and I think I will LOVE it! What a great creation. And those are some gorgeous tomatoes! How lucky!

  10. 13

    Bonnie says

    Holly, this recipe is TO DIE FOR! I tried it last night and I couldn’t believe how yummy it was! It appeased my Korean husband’s taste buds and mine. Thank you so much….I am new to cooking and like I said, my husband is Korean, so I truly appreciate your easy-to-follow recipes!

    • 14

      Holly says

      So happy to hear that you and your husband loved it. I was very pleased with this fusion experiment as well. Thanks for the comment, Bonnie!

  11. 17

    Babsang says

    wow! I love your blog, and I love your recipe! your blog is recommended on fb by Hansik, taste of Korea. Well I thank the fb page for discovering such an amazing blog. please please post more fun stuffs (+ I did laugh at your second joke, hahaha) and a lot of vegetarian dishes as well! I also wonder if there are any cheesy korean food? Korean food dont use much of cheese, other than packaged cheese slices,, or I am just not aware of. I dont have creativity but I would love to see my favorite stuffs in korean style and share recipes with my non korean friends. – Warmest regards, babsang


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