The diverse history, geography, and culture of South Korea have all contributed to the fascinating and complex Korean recipe traditions. South Korean recipes has been gaining popularity around the world in recent years due to its focus on fresh and fermented ingredients, bold and spicy flavors, and a wide range of side dishes.
South Korean food, from the ubiquitous kimchi to the beloved bibimbap and the fiery gochujang sauce, has something for everyone. South Korean recipes offers something for everyone, whether you’re a vegetarian or a carnivore, like your food spicy or prefer something more subtle.
Ancient South Korean recipes were developed for medicinal purposes and is often based on the yin and yang theory. Tofu and other plant-based foods gained popularity in Korean cooking after the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century, which led to a rise in vegetarianism.
The introduction of chili peppers and other new ingredients from the Americas, the influence of Chinese cuisine during the Joseon dynasty, and the occupation by the Japanese in the early 20th century are just a few examples of the many cultural and historical events that have shaped South Korean recipes over the centuries.
Contemporary South Korean cooking is a thriving and exciting culinary tradition that is constantly developing and improving. There is always something new and exciting to discover in South Korean recipes, whether you are interested in trying out traditional Korean recipes or exploring fusion cuisine.
This article will introduce you to some of the best South Korean recipes that you can make at home. We will introduce you to the rich and varied flavors of South Korean recipes, from well-known staples like bulgogi and japchae to lesser-known specialties like dakbokkeumtang and jeon, and help you take your taste buds on an adventure.
Want more ideas to round-out your Recipe Box?
A lot of great options are in these posts!
- 25 Of My Favorite Vegetarian Korean Recipe Choices
- 25 Great Korean Instant Pot Recipes
- 17 Easy Singaporean Recipes To Try At Home
22 Easy South Korean Recipes To Try
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One of the hottest trends in the food world right now, these Korean Marinated Eggs (aka Mayak Eggs) are basically jammy eggs that have been marinated in the most delicious sweet-salty sauce. Each bite is bursting with flavor and yet so simple to make. These jewels of deliciousness are perfect with any rice or noodle dish, and even as a snack!
These Korean Marinated Eggs are one of life’s simplest pleasures – basic pantry ingredients that when combined together, becomes something so spectacular. They are famously known as Mayak Gyeran in Korea, which directly translates into Drug Eggs – no drugs used in this Korean recipe, but isn’t that an indication of just how addictive these babies are?!
Yukgaejang is a hearty, spicy beef soup made with shredded beef, lots of scallions and other vegetables. Perfect soup for cold days ahead. Yukgaejang (육개장) is a hearty, spicy beef soup that’s highly popular in Korea. Made with shredded beef, lots of scallions (pa, 파) and other vegetables such as gosari (fernbrake fiddleheads), beansprouts, and mushrooms, this is a substantial soup that has a great depth of flavor.
You won’t need anything other than a bowl of rice for a completely satisfying meal on a cold winter day. In Korea, yukgaejang is also popular as nourishing soup that helps fight the summer heat.
As we do with many Korean soups, we often enjoy this soup with some rice mixed in. Some people prefer to keep the rice and soup separately while eating. What’s your preference?
South Korean Bibimbap is arguably one of their most popular dishes. Bibimbap literally means” mixed rice”. It is often served in a large stone bowl called a “dolsot” that keeps the rice sizzling and whole dish warm. It is pronounced Bib-im-bap.
I decided to make this dish for lunch after our South Korean feast. I had most of the ingredients as left over banchan. I just reheated them and added it to the rice. Add in a special sauce, some seasoned seaweed and a sunny side up egg and just like that you have a delicious meal. There are numerous ingredients that can be used in bibimbap.
Aside from the banchan I made for the meal, fernbrake or gosari as it called in Korean or Platycodon root called doraji are also popular in the dish. Any greens can also be added as well.
Mandu are delicious Korean dumplings filled with pork, cabbage, chives and Korean glass noodles. This homemade mandu Korean recipe will help you make juicy dumplings from scratch with these step-by-step instructions.
“I just made these today and my family LOVES them. I had to use dried chives instead of fresh Asian chives, and grape juice instead of sweet rice wine but it still tasted amazing to us. My great-aunt said that they tasted as good as restaurant dumplings. Thank you so much!”
A super easy Korean recipe for BBQ beef with the most flavorful marinade! The thin slices of meat cook quickly, and it’s so tender!!!
It was always a treat when my mom would whip this up on those busy weeknights – marinating the beef just a few hours while I was at swim practice. And then she’d throw these onto a hot skillet, filling up the house with the best kind of beef aroma – you know, the smell at the Korean BBQ restaurants that get you so hungry.
Bok choy is mild in flavor and the stems are lightly sweet and crunchy. It also takes on any flavor it’s cooked with, so it’s the perfect canvas for these Korean spices! This bok choy namul is a quick and easy 10-minute veggie side dish that is hearty, healthy, and full of Korean flavors like gochujang and sesame oil.
Looking for an easy dinner idea? Make this Pajeon Korean recipe: combine carrots and green onions with a simple batter and fry up some Korean Savory Pancakes with a delicious honey, garlic, soy sauce for dipping! While the texture is different (more of a crispy-fluffy pancake instead of a flakey-layered pancake), the flavor of this Korean scallion pancake Korean recipe totally hits home.
Also, we all know that the dipping sauce is what it’s all about.
I’ve been making this Korean Pajeon recipe for quite a while now, but it’s taken me a long time to take pictures of it because the sauce smells so good while it’s cooking. I end up stuffing my face and you end up without a Korean savory pancake recipe.
Porridge is hugely popular in Korea as a breakfast or a light meal. This creamy porridge made with chicken is one of the best when it comes to comfort food, especially on cold winter days! Are you a fan of porridge? Porridge is hugely popular in Korea as a breakfast or a light meal.
Because it’s healthy and easy to digest, porridge is also commonly served to the ill, elderly, and babies. Dakjuk ( chicken porridge) is a family favorite! This chicken-flavored creamy porridge is one of the best when it comes to comfort food, especially on cold winter days!
Made with all sorts of grains, proteins, and vegetables, there are endless variations of porridges in Korea. Along with this chicken porridge (dakjuk), red bean, pumpkin , pine nuts and abalone jeonbokjuk, porridges are some of the popular varieties.
Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes) is a popular Korean street food made from a simple yeast dough with a sweet syrupy filling made with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. It makes a tasty snack or dessert, and could even be enjoyed at breakfast!
The chewy hotteok dough is fried in a little oil in a hot pan to make a golden crispy outer shell surrounding a cinnamony, hot, syrupy center laced with chopped walnuts.
Hotteok actually reminds me a lot of what we call Utah scones or Indian fry bread since it’s basically a simple yeast dough made from flour, water, yeast and a little sugar, salt, and oil, then divided into individual portions and fried in hot oil until crispy and chewy.
A no-caffeine tea with a nutty flavor, roasted Korean barley tea (boricha/ mugicha/ damaicha) needs only 2 ingredients. This refreshing drink can be drunk hot or cold- iced boricha is the perfect summer drink! It’s a tea made from roasted barley .found all over South Korea and often served at casual restaurants.
A very similar drink is found in other East Asian countries: in China, it’s called DaMaiCha .and in Japan, Mugicha. Chilled barley tea is a must-have popular drink in the hot summer and goes really well with sashimi and many other dishes.
You can buy this barley drink in 2 forms: un-hulled barley (whole grain) or pre-ground into powder (packed in a tea bag). However, it’s really easy (and cheaper) to roast the barley yourself and goes really well with Korean foods such as this Gimbap Sandwich!
Dalgona or Korean sponge candy is a fun Korean street food that will bring out the kid in you!! or at least in my husband… With a sweet caramel flavor and a lightly crunchy but also melt-in-your-mouth texture, this is my husband’s childhood favorite. Lately, it’s gained popularity due to this candy appearing in Netflix’s Squid Game.
Dalgona is a Korean candy that was sold in every neighborhood street when my husband and I were kids in Korea. Until now, I thought Dalgona was kind of a unique candy from Korea but then I thought I might have tasted something similar in the US… Well, after some research, I learned that similar candies exist all throughout the world!
A simple and delicious Korean recipe for creamy, gooey Korean Corn Cheese. Minimal ingredients and made in under 20 minutes. Serve with chips or bread for dipping as a yummy appetizer, or keep it simple and serve as a side dish. We love it with freshly grilled meat.
It’s a simple and delicious side dish most commonly served and eaten with Korean BBQ. At restaurants it’s often made in an insert around the grill right at the table, or brought to the table in a sizzling, bubbling, hot dish. This dish also makes a great dip to be served with tortilla chips or toasted bread.
Easy Korean toast – Korean recipe for egg toast! In essence, it’s a savory, filling and mildly addictive toast! Korean egg toast, also known as gilgeori toast/ street toast , is a popular “on the go” breakfast in Korea. It has been around for 20 or so years and it’s a popular Korean street food.
When I was in uni back in the days, I used to see people lining up to grab this egg toast on their way to lectures. Seriously, the buttery smell that came out of the store was so tempting and heart warming that you will want to line up there too.
Though I believe the highlight of this toast is the crunchy textured egg omelette. I don’t know who came up with this combination – cabbage and egg, but I think it’s brilliant! It’s a perfect breakfast and/or brunch option for anyone (unless you don’t like the egg).
Yakgwa or Yakwa is a traditional Korean sweet pastry or cookie that is rich with flavors of ginger and honey. Yakgwa was my most favorite snack growing up and I tasted hundreds of Yakgwa in my life but I have never tasted one that is as light and flavorful as this one.
This Yakgwa Korean recipe that I learned from my mother-in-law is the most authentic recipe since I learned that Yakgwa was created by an ancestor of my husband, 450 years ago. (Story of Yakwa and Yaksik) Once you taste this Korean recipe, you will never be happy eating the stuff sold at markets. The Yakgwa/Yakwa sold at markets are chewy and almost gummy whereas these are flaky and has a melt-in-your-mouth crumbly texture.
Vegetarian Bibimbap Recipe with loads of vegetables and homemade Korean-inspired bibimbap sauce that tastes savory, sweet, tangy, and little spicy! Don’t forget to add the super crispy fried egg to your bibimbap rice bowl and mix it all up into one big bowl of deliciousness!
Bibimbap is one of my must-have dishes whenever I crave Korean food! It’s filled with loads of fresh vegetables and an intensely flavored Bibimbap sauce. What I love about this dish is that you can pick-and-choose any vegetables and proteins and you can make all of the components in advance! The vegetables taste EVEN BETTER when chilled. Perfect for hot summer!
Everything you need to know about how to make kimchi! With this small batch Korean recipe, you’ll find it not that difficult to make good authentic kimchi at home.
Kimchi is a collective term for vegetable dishes that have been salted, seasoned, and fermented. The its history goes back to ancient times. Originated from pickled vegetables, there are now hundreds of kimchi varieties in Korea. You can find some of the most common ones in my 15 easy kimchi recipes.
Over the last decade or so, Korean kimchi has gained a global recognition as a healthy probiotic food. It’s a good source of useful lactic acid bacteria, has excellent anti-oxidation and anti-cancer effects, and helps prevent aging.
If you love Korean food, Japchae is already well on your radar. For the rest of you, let me introduce Korea’s most beloved dish, celebrated on special festive occasions and get togethers… Japchae!!
It’s a beautiful, stunning and colorful stir fry with chewy, slippery and fun sweet potato glass noodles (dangmyeon), tons of veggies and tender beef strips. The secret to the best tasting Japchae is perfectly balanced sweet and savory japchae sauce.
You can make the dish as colorful and meaty as you want, or you can go the vegan way. Learn how to make Korea’s most popular dish in your kitchen.
Korean egg bread is a popular Korean street food. It makes a perfect brunch or snack. Now, let’s make it at home! Egg bread is a popular winter street food in Korea along with Sweet pancakes (Hotteok, 호떡). Based on other people’s descriptions, it has a somewhat similar taste to corn muffin with egg and has a slight sweet and salty taste at once. Below is a picture of egg bread sold in Seoul.
There are a couple of variations to this egg bread. Some look like a sandwich as in the above picture: the egg is in between bread batter. For other ones, egg is right on top of the bread, so you can clearly see the egg yolk. Also, interestingly, some people mentioned that some vendors squeeze in some tomato sauce on top of the bread too.
Today I’m showing you the Korean recipe for a much-requested dish: Budae-jjigae a.k.a “Army Base Stew.” It’s a spicy, savory, Korean-American fusion dish made from an umami-rich broth, Korean hot pepper paste, flakes, kimchi, and American Spam, beans, and sausage. This dish was invented after the Korean war (1950-1953) when the American army was stationed in the city of Uijeongbu, near Seoul.
They had their own food on the base, things like canned beans, meat, Spam, ham, and sausages. This food was totally new to Koreans. Eventually these ingredients made their way into surrounding area of the base and some creative Koreans made stew from them. They boiled spam, ham, sausages, and baked beans with kimchi, garlic, and hot pepper paste and flakes, creating a Korean-style stew with American ingredients.
The Korean recipe is pretty straight forward. Make a simple rub with sweet paprika, garlic salt, olive oil and a pinch of sugar. Coat the chicken with the rub before grilling. I like to do this a few hours in advance but, sometimes I’ve been in a hurry and even 30 minutes marinating time produced delicious results!
The second layer of incredible flavor comes from the Korean-inspired glaze. Simply combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, Korean Gochujang (more about this condiment in the Café Tips below), fresh ginger, sesame oil, garlic and sesame seeds. Stir it all together and bring the mixture to a boil till it’s thick and fragrant.
Fire up the grill and start cooking. When the first side is nicely golden (just 3-4 minutes), flip each thigh and start brushing on the sweet, spicy glaze. You’ll flip the chicken a few more times, layering on the glaze until it takes on a gorgeous, deep mahogany hue.
This is my version of an easy Japchae and I have tried to not bastardize the popular Korean dish. These glass noodles have an amazing chew to them and deserve to be more popular. This dish is more commonly made with beef but you can use any protein you like.
If you want a more traditional version, I’ve made this one beforeand it was delish! Also Sue is from South Korea, and from my experience Koreans are generally better at making Korean food than those of us raised in Alliston, Ontario. However my easy shrimp version is also dope on a rope.
The best Korean Fried Chicken – crispy coated buttermilk fried chicken smothered in a spicy Korean-inspired gochujang sauce. The sauce is so rich, flavorful and complex and it comes together very easily – just throw all the ingredients in a pan and bubble it up. We love to eat this with rice, noodles, or my personal favorite – stuffed into bao buns!
One thing that I absolutely love as a Korean recipe creator, is when I put a plate of food down in front of people, and the conversation stops the moment the first bite is taken. Just quiet, wide-eyed, satisfied munching, with the occasional ‘Mmmmm’ and ‘oh my god, it’s so good’ until it’s all gone.
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