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How to Make a Better Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The best of comfort food is elevated in this recipe with an umami-rich Japanese mayonnaise.


The following excerpt is reprinted from Milk Bar Life: Recipes and Stories by Christina Tosi with photos by Gabriele Stabile and Mark Ibold. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Paul Carmichael is the chef de cuisine at Má Pêche, the Momofuku outpost in Midtown Manhattan that also houses a Milk Bar. Many moons ago, when we were both cooks at wd-50, he made the most delicious grilled cheese sandwiches for family meal. I talked about them for years, though he swears there’s nothing fancy about it at all.

While we were putting this book together, I finally convinced him to hand over his recipe so we could make them for ourselves. That’s when we discovered the secret to his perfect grilled cheese: Kewpie mayonnaise. This realization confirmed what we already knew, Kewpie is the secret to any good recipe with mayonnaise as an ingredient. (Except for any recipe that calls for Hellmann’s mayonnaise, in which case, Hellmann’s is the secret for that recipe…)

Grilled Cheese a la Pauly Carmichael

Makes 4 sandwiches
8 teaspoons Kewpie mayonnaise
8 slices good sliced sandwich bread
8 teaspoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 slices American cheese


For the Filling:
1. Spread 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise evenly over one side of each slice of bread and 1 teaspoon butter over the other side.
2. Top the butter side of 4 slices of bread with 2 slices of cheese each and then top that with the remaining slices of bread, mayonnaise side up. Butter on the inside, Kewpie mayonnaise on the outside — that’s all you need to know.
3. Fry the sandwiches in lightly greased pans or a griddle over medium heat until golden brown and crispy, roughly 3 minutes per side. Eat while gooey and warm.

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