Cheesy Scallion Stuffing with Sesame Seeds

This incredibly tasty casserole is full of alliums, butter, and cheese, all punctuated with a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil.

Cheesy Scallion Stuffing with Sesame Seeds
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
13 hrs 30 mins
6 to 8 servings

Thanksgiving is Eric Kim's favorite holiday. He began preparing the feast at age 13, joining forces with his cousins to feed their families in Atlanta. The New York Times columnist has since prepared it 22 times. His best-selling debut cookbook, Korean American, includes a special section and menu devoted to Thanksgiving.

"I remember always telling my mom, 'No kimchi on the table!'" Kim said, describing his early Thanksgiving-cooking forays. Because his parents, aunts, and uncles weren't versed in preparing American dishes, they were happy to let the kids loose in the kitchen. The teens roasted chickens (turkeys blew their budget), prepared boxed stuffing, and served Stouffer's mac and cheese. "We wanted to be like everyone else," he said.

Over the years, as Kim developed his knowledge of Eastern and Western foodways, he cleverly reimagined Thanksgiving mainstays to include his Korean American heritage. A prime example is his Cheesy Scallion Stuffing with Sesame Seeds. Instead of the cornbread-and-sage stuffing of his youth, he now prepares a sourdough-scallion casserole topped with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and toasted sesame seeds that evokes the sweet umami richness and slight crispness of Korean pajeon (pancakes). The combination of ingredients is well calibrated and delicious. Marrying Korean flavors with iconic holiday dressing, the incredibly tasty casserole is full of alliums, butter, and cheese, all punctuated with a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil. It echoes the pleasures of eating Korean pajeon, white wine–laden cheese fondue, and the crusty top of French onion soup.

Kim's remarkable recipes reflect his journey to self-acceptance. "These recipes really acknowledged that tension between wanting to be American but knowing that you're also Korean," Kim said. His flavors honor that story.

Want to skip the 12-hour bread drying time? Bake torn bread pieces in a 300°F oven in a single layer on a baking sheet until bread dries out but has not developed any color, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through baking time. Set bread pieces aside at room temperature until ready to use. — Andrea Nguyen


  • 1 (1-pound) sourdough bread loaf

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, plus softened unsalted butter, for greasing

  • 1 large (12-ounce) red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 21/2 cups)

  • 7 large scallions (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced diagonally (about 2 cups)

  • 2 medium celery stalks (about 2 ounces), thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 ½ cups turkey stock or vegetable stock

  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups), divided

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, divided

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Tear bread into 1- to 2-inch pieces, removing and discarding crusts. (You should have about 9 cups torn bread pieces.) Arrange bread pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet, and let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until bread dries out and becomes crusty, at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 11- x 7-inch baking dish with softened butter; set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, scallions, celery, sugar, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften slightly but remain bright in color, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

  3. Add stock, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, soy sauce, and sesame oil to vegetable mixture, and stir to combine. Add eggs, and gently whisk until mixture is well combined. Add bread pieces, and toss until evenly coated. Let mixture stand at room temperature until bread slightly absorbs excess liquid in bowl, about 10 minutes. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish, and top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and remaining 1 teaspoon sesame seeds.

  4. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven until stuffing mixture is set and liquid is completely absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake until stuffing is browned and lightly crisp and cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, and serve.

Make Ahead

Assembled stuffing may be covered and stored in refrigerator up to 24 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.

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