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Pastrami-Kimchi Reuben

Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes 2 sandwiches

A Reuben is traditionally made with corned beef, which, like pastrami, is cured brisket. But because pastrami gets spiced and smoked, it packs way more flavor. At Wise Sons, they serve a classic rendition, but Beckerman and Bloom have also played with subbing kimchi for sauerkraut, which adds spicy flavor and crunch.


For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 tsp. dill pickle relish
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce

For the sandwiches

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick slices rye bread
  • 4 thin slices Swiss cheese
  • 8 to 10 oz. thinly sliced pastrami (store-bought or homemade), at room temperature or warmed
  • 1/2 cup store-bought kimchi, drained
  • 6 to 8 dill pickle slices

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 1190
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 790
  • Fat (g): 88
  • Saturated Fat (g): 34
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 27
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 23
  • Cholesterol (mg): 225
  • Sodium (mg): 1950
  • Carbohydrates (g): 46
  • Fiber (g): 6
  • Protein (g): 53


Make the dressing

  • In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Make the sandwiches

  • Butter 2 slices of bread and put them butter side down in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Spread a little dressing on the slices in the skillet, and then top each with 1 slice of the cheese, half the pastrami, kimchi, and pickles, and the remaining cheese. Spread more dressing on one side of the remaining slices of bread and top to make two sandwiches. Spread butter on the outside of the each sandwich and cook until crisp and golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook, pressing lightly with a spatula, until the second side is crisp and the cheese melts, about 4 minutes more. Slice in half and serve.


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