With no Korean restaurants near where we live in Europe, we are left to make our own Korean recipes at home. Whether making a full Korean meal or adding some of these Korean side dish recipes to any meat or fish dish, these recipes are a great way to spice up your meal.
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Cooking Korean Food At Home
We started cooking both Japanese and Korean recipes at home because during the five years, we’ve lived in Europe, we’ve lived in cities without either cuisine. The horror! We started by cooking Korean fried chicken, expanding into bulgogi and Korean barbeque.
Now, we are consistently trying to find different ways to cook Korean at home. This includes adding Korean side dishes to different main meals.
Sure, a daikon salad, fried rice, or kimchi pairs well with Korean fried chicken or BBQ, but some of these dishes make great Korean snacks on their own or pair well with grilled or roasted meats and fish as well.
Learn more about Korean cuisine:
Banchan – Side Dish In Korean
Although several of the Korean side dish recipes below include Korean vegetables and stir-fries, several of the recipes below can also be characterized as banchan.
Korean banchan refers to a side dish served alongside rice and other dishes. Sometimes, these dishes are placed on the table before the main course and are meant to be snacked on throughout the meal.
Kimchi always is present on the table as are a variety of other often fermented and pickled vegetables. They offer a fabulous mix of sour, spicy, sweet, and sour flavors that pair well with most Korean meals.
Examples of Banchan side dishes below include cucumber kimchi and Korean soybean sprouts.
What To Serve With Korean BBQ
Eating Korean BBQ in Korea is one of our favorite things to do! Although it can be slightly intimidating the first few times, it’s a fun and tasty way to spend an evening in South Korea, particularly when paired with local beer and shochu, one of our favorite drinks in Korea!
There are a variety of Korean side dishes that pair well with Korean barbeque. Sure, when eating bbq in Korea you will be served several options at a time, but even a simple daikon salad or kimchi pancake works well when serving bbq at home.
The Best Tasty Korean Side Dish Recipes
Korean Pickled Radish
This Korean pickled radish is crunchy, sour, and sweet! It’s a great side dish to serve alongside fried food such as Korean fried chicken. This is the perfect Korean side dish for Korean fried chicken, one of our favorite foods to eat in Seoul. One of my favorites, we ate this side dish at every Korean restaurant we visited in Korea.
This quick cucumber kimchi side dish recipe is so full of flavor! These are a take on Korean cucumbers (called Oi Kimchi) that are spicy, quick-pickled, and a little vinegary. The blend of spice and vinegar makes this one of the best side dishes for Korean BBQ. This is Eric’s second favorite Korean food to eat. Kimchi being his favorite.
Daikon Radish Kimchi
Sharp and spicy, this Daikon Radish Kimchi is delicious when served with spicy marinade pork or fish. Ginger, garlic, and scallions give the kimchi a boost of flavor while Korean chili powder (gochugaru) lends a bit of heat. It’s one of the more easy Korean side dishes and great if you are on gluten free diet.
Korean Soybean Sprouts
This has got to be one of the most popular Banchan side dishes! A non-spicy banchan, this Korean soy bean sprout side dish is well-seasoned, gluten free, delicious, easy to make, and done in 10 minutes! We make this bean sprouts dish even when we are not cooking Korean food.
These savory, kimchi pancakes are a Korean side dish, typically served with Breakfast but can also be eaten as a snack or appetizer.
The kimchi, garlic, and soy sauce add loads of flavor to these unique pancakes and the sweet and sour sauce complements them perfectly.
Tteokbokki – Spicy Korean Rice Cakes
Tteokbokki is commonly served as both street food and a side dish. It’s made of chewy rice cakes cooked in a deliciously spicy gochujang sauce!
This is one of our favorite things to eat in Seoul, particularly at some of the night markets.
Japchae – Korean Glass Noodles
Japchae is a popular Korean side made of glass noodles and vegetables. It’s flavored with a sweet and savory sauce made of sugar and soy sauce!
Korean Glass Noodle Vegetable Stir Fry
Ditch takeout with this Korean Glass Noodle Veggie Stir Fry. Simple ingredients, loads of veggies, and just 25 minutes from start to finish. Just don’t call them ramen noodles. Eric loves to eat this with bulgogi thinly sliced pork.
Korean Stir-Fried Vegetables
Spice up your sides, with baby corn and green beans stir-fried with oil, garlic, chilli and soy sauce. Lastly, a trickle of honey added for a bit of sweetness. A fantastic Korean stir-fried vegetable side.
Korean Fried Cauliflower
Korean fried cauliflower uses Korean chili paste for spice and brown sugar for a hint of sweet to balance the heat. It goes well with many different main dishes.
This is one of my favorite Korean sides because it’s a great way to make one of our favorite vegetables.
Stir-Fried Korean Zucchini
Made in a quick 10 minutes, this stir-fried Korean zucchini side dish (hobak bokkeum) is sweet and tender with quintessential Korean ingredients such as garlic, sesame seeds, and scallions. This is a super tasty Korean zucchini side dish.
Korean Steamed Eggs
Korean steamed eggs, also called Gyeran Jjim, is an easy side dish ready in just 10 minutes! Eggs are mixed with broth and steamed until light and fluffy!
This is a dish we ate for the first time as a Korean BBQ side dish because the fluffiness and creaminess offset the flavor of the Korean bbq.
Korean Marinated Eggs
These Mayak Eggs are a big hit in Korea. Now you can discover these amazingly addictive little morsels! These mayak eggs are great sides for noodle bowls and soups. And they are one of the best easy Korean side dishes to make.
Korean Cucumber Salad
Crunchy, sweet & spicy quick pickled radish recipe that is sugar-free and ready to eat in just 45 minutes. Garnish your routine dal-rice, tacos, or salad with this no-sugar radish pickle, and enjoy. This Korean radish side dish takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth it.
Injeolmi Rice Cake – Korean Sweet Rice Cake
Injelomi rice cakes are a sweet side perfect for balancing lighter meals or as a replacement for dessert. Try serving them alongside soup or salad. It is one of the most traditional Korean sides.
FAQs – Korean Side Dishes
Believe it or not, side dishes in Korea are sometimes more delicious than the main course. Some of the most common side dishes you’ll find include spicy cucumber salad (oi muchim), Korean bean sprouts (kongnamul muchim), and of course kimchi. When eating in Korea, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for additional side dishes.
When eating a Korean meal, you will be given several small dishes called banchan. Banchan features between 6 and 10 small plates of food. These dishes are meant to act as an appetizer but also to complement the main meal.