200+ Best Korean Side Dishes

Are you ready for mouth-watering traditional Korean side dishes 반찬 (banchan)? Here is a list that you can try when eating Korean food. Aside from delicious Korean cooking, Korean side dishes complete the whole dining experience. It’s very unusual to see a Korean meal without even a single traditional side dish on the table. Today we will discover some Korean side dishes served with Korean BBQ. We will also learn some Korean side dish recipes that you can prepare at home. If you are ready for all that and more, let’s dive into it!


What Are Korean Side Dishes?

Korean Side Dishes - 반찬 (Banchan)

반찬 (Banchan)

When you’re in a Korean BBQ or any other Korean restaurant, you will be first served with small plates with different snacks that are usually vegetables seasoned. These small dishes are called Korean side dishes.

Banchan (반찬) are little side dishes customarily served with rice and are designed to be shared by everyone at the meal. They’re more like small complimentary snacks within a meal than actual appetizers. Most Korean side dishes have staple ingredients like vegetables, sesame seeds, fish sauce, sesame oil, green onions, Korean red pepper flakes, and more.


Koreans Love For Side Dishes: Where It All Started?

Did you know that Koreans are one of the highest consumers of vegetables? This is because for 700 years, starting from the era of the Three Kingdoms, Koreans were influenced by strict Buddhist practices. Because of this, they don’t consume meat for a long time. Vegetables have been their only form of food, so the Koreans adapted and created different recipes. Korean side dishes or Korean banchan have always been a part of Korean culture.

Koreans also learned how to preserve their vegetables because of the harsh winters that they are experiencing. This is why fermentation is greatly used in Korean side dishes and Korean main dishes.

Today, even if Koreans also love meat, like pork belly, you cannot remove vegetable dishes and side dishes in a typical meal. It has and will always be part of their culture as Korean.


Types Of Korean Side Dishes

Fun fact, in a typical Korean meal, the table setting is named after the number of side dishes: 3 cheop (삼첩) for three side dishes, 5 cheop (오첩) for five,  7 cheop (칠첩) for seven and 9 cheop (구첩) for nine. The number of Korean side dishes served at a dining table should be in an odd number. They believe that serving even several Korean side dishes will bring bad luck. But, in the Korean royal cuisine, there are 12 Korean banchan dishes that are served.

Now, let us discover different Korean side dishes that are typically served in Korean meals.

Kimchi (김치)

Kimchi is a term that refers to salty and fermented vegetables. It is typically fermented in earthenware pots and stored underground to avoid being exposed to the cold winters, which can cause them to freeze and to keep the fermentation process from being hurried unduly.

There are hundreds of different kimchi recipes that use a variety of vegetables. The most popular kimchi Korean side dish is the napa cabbage kimchi.

Namul (나물)

Namul is the type of Korean side dish that refers to edible grass, leaves, herbs, and vegetables that are steamed, blanched, marinated. Koreans usually use green onion, sesame oil, sesame seeds, minced garlic, salt, sugar, soy sauce, and gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes) to season this side dish.

Jorim (조림)

Jorim is a slow-cooked Korean dish created by simmering vegetables, meat, seafood, fish, or tofu in seasoned broth until the liquid has been absorbed and reduced.

Jeol-in (절인)

Pickled side dishes are also common in Korean cuisine. Pickling is done by adding vinegar to the vegetables go through a rapid pickling process overnight. When stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they have a shelf life of around 2 weeks.

Bokkeum (볶음)

In Korean cuisine, bokkeum refers to stir-fried meals with a sauce such as fish sauce and soy sauce.


Famous Korean Side Dishes Perfect For Korean BBQ

Now, let us discover different Korean side dishes typically served in Korean meals and are perfect for Korean BBQ.

1. Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi

통배추김치 (Tongbaechu-kimchi)

Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi

This is the most popular Korean side dish in Korean cuisine. It is also one of the easy Korean side dishes anyone can make. You can see Koreans partner this with almost any Korean food.

It’s easy to make homemade kimchi using napa cabbage. Here are the ingredients that you’ll need:

  • 1 Large Napa Cabbage
  • 1 cup Korean coarse sea salt (for making kimchi)
  • 1 pound Korean radish
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3-4 scallions
  • 1/4 Korean pear
  • 1 piece dashima
  • 1 tbsp of glutinous rice powder
  • 1/2 cup gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
  • 3 – 4 raw shrimps
  • 3 tbsp  minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp myulchiaekjeot (fish sauce)
  • 1/4 cup salted shrimp
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup water or dashima

2. Korean Soybean Sprout Side Dish

콩나물 무침 (Kongnamul Muchim)

Korean Soybean Sprout Side Dish

The Korean soybean sprout is a famous Korean side dish that you can typically see at a Korean dining table. This easy-to-prepare side dish is slightly crunchy and well-seasoned with garlic, sesame oil, scallions, and salt. It also has a subtle flavor, but you can make it spicy if you want.

3. Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad

오이무침 (Oi Muchim)

Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad

The spicy cucumber salad is a Korean side dish with a sweet, salty, crunchy, spicy, and tangy flavor. Pickled cocktail cucumbers and Korean red pepper flakes provide flavor to this simple dish.

4. Korean Zucchini Side Dish

호박 볶음 (Hobak Bokkeum)

 Korean Zucchini Side Dish

This sweet and soft stir-fried Korean zucchini side dish is perfect for Korean meals, especially meat dishes. It is made with traditional Korean ingredients like medium zucchini, saeujeot (salted shrimp), garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, cooking oil, and scallions.

5. Korean Braised Potatoes

감자조림 (Gamja Jorim)

Korean Braised Potatoes

If you’re a potato lover, the Korean Braised Potatoes side dish is perfect for you. This Korean side dish is made with baby potatoes coated in a sweet and savory glaze. To make Korean Braised Potatoes, you need mini/baby potatoes, vegetable (or any neutral) oil, soy sauce, honey, garlic, gochugaru (Korean chili flakes ), water, sesame seeds, and green onions.

6. Korean Steamed Eggplant Side Dish

가지 나물 (Gaji Namul)

Korean Steamed Eggplant Side Dish

Gaji Namul is also one of the easiest Korean side dishes to prepare. It is a healthy side dish because it is made of steamed eggplant that is well-seasoned.

7. Korean Spinach Side Dish

시금치나물 (Sigeumchi Namul)

Korean Spinach Side Dish

Another side dish that is one of the Korean staples is the Spinach Side Dish. This side dish is best paired with many Korean dishes. It is made of baby spinach, scallion, guk ganjang (soup soy sauce), garlic, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. If you want it to be spicy, you can add gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste).

8. Korean Pickles In Soy Sauce

장아찌 (Jangajji)

 Korean Pickles in Soy Sauce

Jangajji is another common side dish usually served at the Korean dining table. It has salty, umami, sweet, crunchy, and spicy flavors. Creating jangajji is simple: prepare a brine using soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, bring it to a boil, then pour it over crisp and sturdy raw veggies to marinade.

Although jangajji is traditionally cooked with perilla leaves, cucumbers, garlic scapes, chayote squash, moo radish, and chile peppers, you can use any veggies that are in season and accessible.

9. Korean Radish Salad/Korean Spicy Radish Salad

무생채 (Musaengchae)

Korean Radish Salad/ Korean Spicy Radish Salad

Musaengchae is a radish-based meal. There are various varieties, such as sweet and sour radish salad and non-spicy radish salad. The Korean radish used in this side dish is similar to the Daikon radish of Japan, but it has quite a different texture and taste. The most famous and common variation served is the spicy radish salad.

10. Korean Steamed Eggs

Gyeran Jjim (계란찜)

Korean Steamed Eggs

The Korean steamed eggs are one of the crowd’s favorites. It is a Korean side dish made with eggs, broth, or water and seasoned with salt, sesame oil, and green onions. It is served in a pot to contain the heat. It is also called volcano steamed eggs because of the volcanic cone shape combined with the steam that releases from the eggs.


Other Easy Korean Side Dishes (Banchan)

RomanizationEnglish Translation
부추김치 buchu-kimchiAsian chive kimchi
취나물 chwinamulaster scaber side dish
아스파라거스무침 asparagus-muchimasparagus side dish
사골국물 sago-gukmulbeef bone broth
쇠고기전 soegogi-jeonbeef pancakes
쇠고기무국 soegogi-mugukbeef and radish soup
갈비탕 galbitangbeef short ribs soup
대구전 daegujeonbreaded cod fillets
검은콩조림 geomeun-kongjorimbraised black beans
막갈비찜 makgalbi-jjimbraised beef short ribs
고등어무조림 godeungeo-mujorimbraised mackerel with radish
코다리조림 kodari-jorimbraised semi-dried pollock
족발 jokbalbraised pig’s trotters
꽁치조림 kkongchi-jorimbraised saury
연근조림 yeon-geun-jorimbraised lotus roots
김치찜 kimchijjimbraised kimchi & pork
문어조림 muneo-jorimbraised octopus
갈비찜 galbi-jjimbraised beef short ribs
브로콜리 두부무침 broccoli dubu-muchimbroccoli with tofu
브로콜리 피클 , 브로콜리 장아찌 broccoli picklesbrokoli pikeul
뚝배기불고기 ttukbaegi-bulgogibulgogi stew in an earthenware pot
배추전 baechujeoncabbage pancake
겨자냉채 gyeoja-naengchaecold salad with spicy mustard sauce
오이냉국 oi-naenggukcold cucumber soup side dish
무우나물 , 무나물 muwoonamulcooked radish side dish
조개탕 jogaetangclam stew
오징어실채볶음 ojingeo-silchae-bokkeumcrunchy squid threads
차이오티 김치 chaioti gimchichayote kimchi
콘치즈 konchijeucorn cheese
가지냉국 gaji-naenggukcold eggplant side dish
콜라드그린 collard greenscollard greens side dishes
깍두기 kkakdugicubed radish kimchi
오이장아찌 oijangajjicucumber pickles
청경채 두부된장국 cheonggyeongchae dubu-doenjanggukdoenjangguk with bok choy and tofu
맥적 maekjeokdoenjang pork skewers
북어포 고추장무침 bugeopo gochujang-muchimdried shredded pollock seasoned with gochujang
북어국 bugeogukdried pollock soup
청국장찌개 cheonggukjang-jjigaeextra-strong fermented soybean paste stew
계란장조림 gyeran-jangjorimeggs in soy broth
가지나물 gaji-namuleggplant side dish
양배추김치 yangbaechu-kimchiemergency kimchi
명란젓 myeongnanjeotfermented pollock roe
오징어젓 ojingeojeotfermented squid side dish
된장찌개 doenjang-jjigaefermented soybean paste stew with scallops
김부각 gim-bugakfried seaweed paper coated with glutinous rice paste
약고추장 yak-gochujangfried gochujang
과일샐러드 gwa-il-saeleodeufruit salad
어묵 eomukfish cakes
껍질콩 마늘 볶음 kkeopjilkong maneul bokkeumgarlic green beans
김치전 kimchijeongrandma-style kimchi pancake
파김치 pa-kimchigreen onion kimchi
고추전 gochujeongreen chili pepper pancake
고추장아찌 gochu-jangajjigreen chili pepper pickles
굴비구이 gulbi-guigrilled salted & dried yellow Corvina
고등어구이 godeungeo-guigrilled mackerel
콩비지찌개 kongbiji-jjigaeground soybean stew
해파리냉채 haepari-naengchaejellyfish salad
호박전 hobak jeonKorean fried zucchini
버섯탕수 beoseot-tangsuKorean crispy mushrooms
치킨무 chicken-muKorean Pickled Radish
계란말이 yeran mari / gyeranmariKorean Egg rolls
마카로니 샐러드 makaloni saelleodeuKorean macaroni salad
상추 겉절이 sangchoo geotjeoriKorean lettuce salad
참치전 chamchijeonKorean tuna pancakes
두부조림 dubu jorimKorean tofu (braised)
마파두부 mapadubuKorean-style mapo tofu
궁중떡볶이 gungjung-tteokbokkiKorean Royal court stir-fried rice cakes
쌈장 ssamjangKorean spicy dipping sauce
참깨 브로콜리 chamkkae beulokolliKorean sesame broccoli
코울슬로 koulseulloKorean coleslaw
도미양념구이 domi-yangnyeom-guiKorean style fried snapper with seasoning sauce
케일장떡 kaeil-jangtteokkale Pancakes
천사채 cheonsachaekelp noodle salad/seaweed noodle salad
김치전 kimchijeonkimchi pancake
김치국 kimchi-gukkimchi soup
채식김치 chaesik-kimchivegetarian kimchi
김치찌개 kimchi-jjigaekimchi stew
김치 고등어통조림 찌개 kimchi godeungeo-tongjorim jjigaekimchi and mackerel camping stew
명아주무침 myeongaju-muchimlamb’s quarter’s side dish
마파두부 mapadubumapa tofu
미나리무침 minari-muchimminari side dish
치즈떡갈비 cheese tteokgalbiminced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs with cheese
떡갈비 tteokgalbiminced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs
버섯들깨탕 beoseotdeulkkae-tang – mushroom soup
빈대떡 bindaetteokmung bean pancakes
청포묵무침 cheongpomuk-muchimmung bean jelly side dishes
숙주오이나물 sukju-oi-namulmung bean sprout and cucumber side dish
숙주나물무침 sukjunamul-muchimmung bean sprout side dish
쑥국 ssukgukmugwort soup
안매운 콩나물국 an-maeun kongnamulguknon-spicy soybean sprout soup
소꼬리탕 sokkoritangoxtail soup
뼈해장국 ppyeo-haejanggukox bone hangover soup
완자전 wanja-jeonpan-fried meat and tofu patties
깻잎전 kkaennip-jeonpan-fried perilla leaves with fillings
두부부침양념장 dububuchim-yangnyeomjangpan-fried tofu with spicy sauce
깻잎김치 kkaenip-kimchiperilla leaf kimchi
깻잎장아찌 kkaennip-jangajjiperilla leaf pickles
감자전 gamjajeonpotato pancakes
감자샐러드 gamja-saladpotato salad
감자조림 gamja-bokkeumpotato & soy sauce side dish
총각김치 chonggak-kimchiponytail kimchi
동태전 dongtaejeonpollock pancake
동치미 dongchimiradish water kimchi
산마늘전 sanmaneul-jeonramp pancakes
무생채 musaengchaeradish salad
간장게장 ganjang-gejangraw crabs marinated in soy sauce
김구이 gim-guiroasted seaweed sheets
계란말이 gyeran-marirolled omelet
새우소금구이 saeu-sogeum-guisalt-roasted shrimp
장조림 jangjorimsalty beef side dish
애호박새우볶음 aehobak-saeu-bokkeumsautéed zucchini and shrimp
미역줄기볶음 miyeokjulgi-bokkeumsautéed sea plant
해물전 haemuljeonseafood pancakes
해물파전 haemul-pajeonseafood green onion pancake
쇠고기 미역국 soegogi miyeokgukseaweed soup with beef
김무침 gim-muchimseasoned seaweed
멸치무침 myeolchi-muchimseasoned dried anchovies
굴무침 gulmuchimseasoned fresh oysters
육회 yukhoeseasoned raw beef
무말랭이무침 mumallaengi-muchimseasoned dried radish strips
오징어채무침 ojingeochae-muchimseasoned dried shredded squid
가자미 양념튀김 gajami yangnyeom-twigimseasoned pan-fried flatfish
도토리묵무침 dotorimuk-muchimseasoned acorn jelly
새우전 saeujeonshrimp pancakes
감자전 gamjajeonsimple potato pancake
시금치조개 된장국 sigeumchi-jogae doenjangguksoybean paste soup with spinach and clams
된장방아 doenjang-bangasoybean paste based dipping sauce for raw fish
콩조림 kongjorimsoybean side dish
배추된장국 baechu-doenjangguksoybean paste soup with cabbage
콩나물무침 kongnamul-muchimsoybean sprout side dish
콩나물국밥 kongnamul-gukbapsoybean sprout soup with rice
콩나물국 kongnamulguksoybean sprout soup
오징어국 ojingeo-guksquid soup
물회 mulhoespicy raw fish soup
닭볶음탕 dakbokkeumtangspicy braised chicken breasts
도라지무침 doraji-muchimspicy bellflower root side dish
어묵볶음 eomuk-bokkeumspicy stir-fried fish cakes
육개장 yukgaejangspicy beef and vegetable soup
두부조림 dubu-jorimspicy braised tofu
짬뽕 jjamppongspicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup
떡볶이 tteokbokkispicy rice cakes
매운 무국 maeun mugukspicy radish and beef soup
닭개장 dakgaejangspicy chicken & vegetable soup
해물순두부찌개 haemul-sundubu-jjigaespicy soft tofu stew with seafood
낙지볶음 nakji-bokkeumspicy stir-fried octopus
고추소박이 gochu-sobagispicy stuffed green chili pepper kimchi
오징어통구이 ojingeo-tongguispicy grilled squid
매운 고추장 마요네즈 maeun gochujang mayonejeuspicy gochujang mayo
고기 순두부찌개 gogi sundubu-jjigaespicy soft tofu stew with beef
돼지불고기 dwaejibulgogispicy pork BBQ
돼지고기찌개 dwaejigogi-jjigaespicy pork stew
매운 뚝배기 계란찜 maeun ttukbaegi gyeranjjimspicy steamed eggs in an earthenware bowl
고추장 가지찜 gochujang gaji-jjimspicy stuffed steamed eggplant
김치순두부찌개 kimchi-sundubu-jjigaespicy soft tofu stew with kimchi and pork belly
돼지고기볶음 dwaejigogi-bokkeumspicy stir-fried pork
매운탕 maeuntangspicy fish stew
오이소박이 김치 oisobagi kimchispicy stuffed cucumber kimchi
시금치나물 sigeumchi-namulspinach side dish
꽃빵 kkotppangsteamed flower-shaped buns
깻잎찜 kkaennipjjimsteamed perilla leaves
꽈리고추찜 kkwarigochu-jjimsteamed shishito peppers
계란찜 gyeranjjimsteamed egg side dish
뚝배기 계란찜 ttukbaegi gyeranjjimsteamed egg in an earthenware bowl
고사리나물 gosari-namulstir-fried fern brake
김치볶음 kimchi-bokkeumstir-fried kimchi
멸치땅콩볶음 myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeumstir-fried dried anchovies and peanuts
도라지볶음 doraji-bokkeumstir-fried bellflower root
느타리버섯볶음 neutari-beoseot-bokkeumstir-fried oyster mushrooms
감자햄볶음 gamja-haem-bokkeumstir-fried potato and ham
부추잡채 buchu-japchaestir-fried chives, meat, and vegetables
고사리나물 gosari-namulstir-fried fern brake side dish
감자채볶음 gamjachae-bokkeumstir-fried shredded potato
마늘쫑볶음 maneuljjong-bokkeumstir-fried garlic scapes
잡채 japchaestir-fried noodles and vegetables
콩자반 kongjabansweet and salty soybeans
고구마밥 goguma-bapsweet potato rice
버섯 미나리 초무침 beoseot minari chomuchimsweet, sour, and spicy mushrooms with water dropwort
두부강정 dubu-gangjeongsweet and crunchy tofu
미역무침 miyeok-muchimsweet & sour seaweed salad
닭볶음탕 dakbokkeumtangtraditional-style spicy braised chicken
두부장아찌 dubu-jangajjitofu pickles
강된장 gang-doenjangthick soybean paste stew
채소국물 chaeso-gukmulvegetable stock
나박김치 nabak-kimchivegetable and fruit water kimchi
백김치 baek-kimchiwhite kimchi
단무지 danmujiyellow pickled radish
열무 물김치 yeolmu mulkimchiyoung summer radish water kimchi
부추전 buchujeonvegetable pancake with Asian chives


Go Beyond Korean Side Dishes, Learn Korean Now!

Pretty sure that you’ll satisfy your taste buds with the crave-worthy side dishes you have learned above. But, your Korean dining experience will never be complete without discovering some essential Korean vocabulary like ordering food, Korean food, and more. But, if you’re serious about learning Korean beyond just Korean food, Ling App is the perfect partner for you.

With the well-developed lessons and features, Ling App will give you a Korean language learning experience that is fun, engaging, and meaningful. Since it can be downloaded from your phone or accessed online, you can learn Korean anytime and anywhere you wish. So, be in a hurry and start your lesson in Korean with Ling App now!

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