15 EASY KOREAN RECIPES
Once you have a few key things in your cupboard, Korean recipes come together quickly and rely on a few core ingredients (tofu, kimchi, and pork belly spring to mind).
THE ART OF KOREAN FOOD COOKING
My initial exposure to Korean cuisine was sparked by the “Hallyu tsunami” of KPop and Korean television dramas that swept the world.
Most high school and college students have watched at least one episode of a Korean drama in which a woman sobs over a bowl of kimchi and rice, or in which an extraordinarily attractive Korean man stuffs his face with bulgogi and lettuce wraps.
A few kimchi pancakes and a simple kimchi fried rice were all that was needed to get things started. It wasn’t long before I started preparing my own kimchi stews (called “jigae”), which were always shockingly simple to put together.
If you’re new to Korean cooking, this collection of basic dishes from your favorite Korean restaurants, as well as a few fusions, should serve as a solid introduction.
A terrific Korean YouTuber named Maangchi has wonderful recipes and entertaining videos for those who want to learn more about Korean cooking. Many of these recipes were based on information she provided, but she also has a plethora of other authentic, traditional, and lesser-known recipes posted on her website as a result of her contributions.
FIVE MINUTE KOREAN RECIPES TO TRY
JIGAE SOONDUBU (KOREAN SOFT TOFU STEW)
One of the most well-known and hearty Korean soups. Kimchi, pork, and an egg on top complete the dish. True authenticity comes from using Korean chili flakes of the correct consistency and using the correct base stock, both of which are much simpler than you may imagine.
Summertime is the best time of year to enjoy this vibrant noodle dish. Cold or room temperature is fine for a light and healthful meal. These gluten-free Korean glass noodles are prepared with sweet potato starch.
EASY KOREAN BEEF BIBIMBAP
There is a secret to bibimbap: It is a fairly casual dish that just entails sprinkling rice with a variety of cold items (banchan). The ground beef makes it simple, and we keep the veggie components basic with items that, for the most part, you can purchase at your local grocery store.
NOODLES OF KOREAN BLACK BEANS (JAJANGMYEON)
This popular black bean noodle dish is stuffed to the brim with vegetables and meat. Serve it with pickled radish, crunchy onion, cucumber, and more black bean paste, if desired.
There is a joke about kimchi bacon cupcakes on How I Met Your Mother, but we’re quite convinced that homemade french fries with kimchi, bacon bits, cheddar, and green onion are really necessary.
EASY AND QUICK KIMCHI RAMEN RECIPE
It’s a great alternative if you like the flavor of Korean instant noodles but don’t want to deal with the salt and MSG. Kimchi and loads of mushrooms make this dish quite filling. Even a few slices of chicken breast or pork could be added.
A PANCAKE WITH KIMCHI IN IT (KIMCHIJEON)
In college, I ate kimchi pancakes for breakfast frequently. A fried or hard boiled egg is a fantastic accompaniment to this dish, which is less time-consuming than creating conventional sweet breakfast pancakes. Making it as an appetizer with any of the other recipes on this page is also a great idea!
THE KIMCHI STEW (KIMCHI JIGAE)
This dish is similar to soondubu jigae, except instead of using silken tofu, it utilizes normal tofu instead. As expected, staples like kimchi and pork belly are readily available.
THE KOREAN-MEXICAN FUSION DISH: BEEF BULGOGI TACOS
Now that the Korean-Mexican food craze has caught on, we decided to give it a whirl ourselves. In a warm corn tortilla, you’ll find a delicious combination of crunch and flavor. Mmm.
SALMON BIBIMBAP KOREAN RICE BOWL
Salmon is a good substitute for pork and beef in bibimbap, which is a popular dish in Korea. Veggies aplenty, a fried egg, and some flaked salmon, anyone? Yes, please.
BOWLS OF BEEF BULGOGI
There is a lot of flavor in these Beef Bulgogi Bowls. It’s time to get your hands on some white rice, some kimchi, a few slices of long hot green peppers, and some ssamjang, which is a spicy sauce made from fermented soy sauce and Asian pear. It may have a kimchi breath, but it’s totally worth it.
12 MINUTE KOREAN CRISPY PORK BELLY KIMCHI BOWLS
This dish may be made in only 10 minutes. Fast Dubu Kimchi Recipe from my pre-photography vault is a similar dish. Adding a few rice cakes and serving them with a couple blocks of regular/soft tofu would make this dish dubu-kimchi-ified.
TENDERS OF FRIED CHICKEN IN KOREA
This isn’t your typical saucy Korean fried chicken; instead, it’s served with a sticky sweet gochujang ketchup and a buttermilk-and-flour double dip for MAX crunchies. It’s pretty good. It could be that my 11-year-old palette is driving me to this conclusion, but hey, my inner 11-year-old thinks these are quite cool.
FRIED RICE WITH BEEF, KIMCHI, AND OTHER SEASONINGS
This traditional Korean dish is simple to cook at home, and the kimchi and spice content can be easily increased. Greater kimchi juice, with more flavor, is a good rule of thumb.
QUICK AND EASY KOREAN BBQ WITH PORK BELLY.
Pre-good photography and KPop frenzy days, here’s another old recipe. (Many of these recipes owe a debt of gratitude to my KPop compulsion.) Although Korean BBQ can be expensive, making it at home is quite simple. Slice up some pork belly, add some onion, and mushrooms to a pan, and cook for a few minutes. Red lettuce leaves for bundlin’ and ssamjang to finish it off are all that’s needed for this Korean dish.