The Mayo Brand You Need For Momofuku-Worthy Grilled Cheese

The ages have been filled with many a culinary quest, but who among us has not strived to perfect that most illustrious of culinary prizes: the grilled cheese? What is it about this seemingly simple sandwich that strikes at the core of our inner foodie? On paper, there is nothing miraculous about a sandwich of melty cheese and crispy bread. However, we all know this is not the case. The grilled cheese is a comfort food that appeals to everyone. It can be simple or decadent. It can be made with a variety of cheeses and breads, creating that perfect combination of warm and salty that never fails to make us smile.

So, how can we possibly perfect something that is already perfect? Momofuku chef Paul Carmichael decided to find out. According to Gear Patrol, Carmichael made a grilled cheese so unbelievably delicious that the outlet hounded the chef for his recipe. While Carmichael insisted there was nothing special about his grilled cheese, upon revealing the recipe, there was one special ingredient that helped elevate his sandwich to new heights: a special brand of Japanese mayonnaise.

That extra bit of umami

We've all heard of umami. It's been a culinary buzzword for some time, and Life Time Vibes insists that umami paste — a paste made from umami-rich ingredients like mushrooms and anchovies — is going to be the next big culinary trend. To be clear, "umami" is the Japanese word for savory, and while it may seem elusive, at the end of the day, it is just another flavor, per First We Feast.

However, there is already an umami-rich paste that can add a level of richness to your grilled cheese. It's the OG Japanese mayonnaise, Kewpie. While this mayo has been popular in Japan since it first appeared on grocery store shelves in 1925, it has become something of a recent phenomenon in the states. Bon Appétit explains that Kewpie has a very rich, eggy flavor that is simultaneously sweetly tangy and gorgeously savory. It's these characteristics that make it the key ingredient to Carmichael's grilled cheese. According to Gear Patrol, the Kewpie mayo is added at the beginning of the grilling process and spread on one side of the bread, while salted butter is spread on the other. Make sure the Kewpie is on the outside when you grill your sandwich. What you end up with is a beautifully crispy, warm, gooey, and umami-rich sandwich that will no doubt make you crazy for seconds.