Top 20 Korean Dishes That Are A Must Try

Top 20 Korean Dishes That Are A Must Try
Top 20 Korean Dishes That Are A Must Try

Korea is a region in East Asia, also called the land of Kimchi. It’s famous nowadays for K-Pop music, K-Dramas, soju and of course Korean Fried Chicken. Korean cuisine actually is considered one of the healthiest cuisines due to its large focus on vegetables, meat, eggs and fermented vegetables or Kimchi. Korean cuisine consists of various Rice based or Noodle based dishes. Being a peninsula, seafood also has huge importance in the Korean cuisine. The sweet dishes from Korea have not gained as much International importance as some of the savory dishes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a try. So let’s look at some of the most popular dishes from Korea.

1. Bulgogi

This is a stir fried beef dish. It consists of thinly sliced marinated beef tossed with sliced onions, bell peppers and garlic giving it a charry, smoky flavor. The meat is marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, onions, black pepper and sugar which enhances the dish’s flavor and tenderizes the meat. It can be served with lettuce and spinach to wrap the meat.


2. Kimchi

This is a fermented vegetable dish typically made with Napa Cabbage but may also consist of onions, ginger, scallion and radish. The vegetables are fermented with salted seafood, crushed garlic and chilly powder. It can be eaten with a variety of dishes like white rice and is also a base for a variety of other dishes like kimchi stew.


3. Bibimbap

This is a wholesome and nutritive Korean dish and consists of rice topped with various things like vegetables, chicken, beef, raw egg or sunny side up egg and seasoned with soy sauce and chilly paste. This dish can also be made vegetarian by omitting the meat. Occasionally, seaweed strips can be added for a little texture.


4. Korean Corndog

Korean corndogs are similar to American ones but still so different! It is a popular street food in Korea and has gained popularity Internationally as well. Sausages / hot dogs and in some variations Mozzarella cheese are coated in a thick batter similar to a pancake, then either a thin layer of small diced potatoes or breadcrumbs and deep fried until crispy and golden brown. Dusted with a little sugar and topped with condiments like mustard and ketchup, it is the perfect sweet and salty combination.

Korean Corndog

5. Korean Fried Chicken

Who doesn’t love fried chicken! But this Korean fried chicken has it’s own unique flair. It is fried twice to ensure it’s extra crispy and not greasy. The meat is marinated, fried and then coated or glazed in a sweet an tangy sauce made with soy sauce, honey and garlic. It is best served with beer.

Korean Fried Chicken

6. Mandu 

Mandu are basically Korean dumplings. They can be filled with vegetables, meat and tofu in a wheat flour based dumpling wrapper and then steamed, fried or pan-fried or steamed in soup as per your like. Usually, mandu is eaten with a dipping sauce made with chili, soy sauce and vinegar.


7. Tteokkbokki

Similar to a pasta in appearance, tteokkbokki are actually rice cakes. They are a staple street food of South Korea. Thick slices of cooked rice cakes, fish cakes, garlic, onions, vegetables, salt and sugar are all stir fried together in a sweet chilly sauce which gives the characteristic red-orange color. The sauce may also contain soybean paste or ketchup.


8. Dalgona Coffee

Surely, we all have heard about this Korean beverage, made very popular by platforms like Tik Tok. It is a chilled beverage made by adding smooth, frothy coffee on top of milk. It is super easy to make yet so delicious and perfect for hot summery days. It can be ready in no time if you use a beater to beat the coffee, as by hand it would take so long and would be tiresome.

Dalgona Coffee

9. Korean Donuts

These are twisted and knotted donuts dusted with cinnamon sugar and have a delightful aroma that would fill your kitchen. They are made with a simple yeast leavened dough and then twisted to give the characteristic shape of the Korean donut. The perfect way to eat these is hot, fresh out of the oil with milk.

Korean Donuts

10. Jajangmyeon

This is a hearty and wholesome Korean-Chinese fusion dish. Handmade, thick whole wheat noodles are topped with diced pork seasoned with salty black soybean paste, vegetables and raw cucumber slices. This black colored dish is especially popular among locals and isn’t expensive as well.


11. Jjigae

It is a type of Korean stew and contains a flavorful broth seasoned with chilly paste(gochujang), soybean paste, fermented miso (gaenjang), or salted fermented shrimp (saeujeot)along with meat, seafood and vegetables. It is usually served as a palate cleanser to lighten in between other heavy dishes. One version of jjiggae called army stew contains spam, bacon, sausages, noodles and rice cakes.


12. Samgyeopsal

This is a very popular dish among the working in Korea and can be made without exemplary culinary skills. Thick slices of pork belly are grilled and wrapped in green leafy vegetables like perilla leaves, lettuce or sesame leaf. It can be eaten with dipping sauces or side dishes such as mushrooms, green onions, kimchi, garlic and raw onion


13. Dalgona Candy

This very popular Korean Candy we all have seen in Squid Games, is a sort of honeycomb. It is made by caramelizing sugar in a pan till it’s a golden brown color, and then adding a pinch of baking soda to make the texture light and crunchy. Fun shapes can be engraved on these candies which make it attractive especially among children.

Dalgona Candy

14. Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang)

Koreans love to eat piping hot dishes even on hot summery days. This dish is the most representative of them all. It is a thick, glutinous soup and has a whole chicken stuffed with chestnuts, ginseng, garlic, glutinous rice and boiled with it. The boiling process decreases a lot of the bitterness and brings out an aromatic, appealing chicken broth that is deeply flavorful.

Ginseng Chicken Soup Samgyetang

15. Galbi 

Galbi literally translates to ribs. They are marinated in soy sauce, garlic, sugar, Asian pear and grilled on an open flame. This can be a fine dining as well as a easy home cooked meal. Galbi is eaten traditionally with rice, soybean paste stew, kimchi and wrapped in perilla leaves along with a bit of dipping sauce. Green chilies and sliced garlic can also be added occasionally.

Galbi 1

16. Bossam

It can be put as Korean Pork Belly or steamed pork. Thick slices of pork belly are steamed and wrapped in leafy vegetables like perilla leaves, lettuce or kimchi. It is usually eaten with a dipping sauce which can either be a salty, pickled shrimp sauce or a mixture of chili sauce and soybean paste.


17. Gimbap

They are basically a type of Korean sushi or rice rolls. The rice are seasoned with sesame oil and various fillings like ham, eggs, meats, cheese or bulgogi complete the roll. It is usually eaten with Kimchi instead of wasabi like Japanese sushi. Korean sushi can be eaten cold as well as freshly prepared.


18. Bingsu

It is a Korean shaved ice sweet treat, perfect for a hot summery day. Ice shavings are topped with sweetened red beans, rice cakes and some variations may also include condensed milk, syrup, ice cream, chopped fruits and cornflakes. The newer variations may also include Oreo or breakfast cereal on top of shaved ice.


19. Hoeddok (Sweet Syrupy Pancakes)

These filled Korean pancakes are soft, sweet and chewy. The filling can be made with walnuts/peanuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and honey. It is cooked on a griddle until the outside is crunchy, golden but the inside is soft with a delicious, irresistible flavor. This street food dish is especially popular in winters.

Hoeddok Sweet Syrupy Pancakes

20. Japchae

This is a stir fry noodle dish, specifically glass noodles, also called cellophane noodles which are made from sweet potato and get a glass like appearance. The noodles are tossed in soy sauce, assorted vegetables (like mushroom, carrots, onion and leek), spices, meats like pork and garnished with sesame seeds. This can be eaten as a side dish and is very popular in feasts and potlucks.