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!
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
In Korean cuisine, bokkeum refers to stir-fried meals with a sauce such as fish sauce and soy sauce.
Now, let us discover different Korean side dishes typically served in Korean meals and are perfect for Korean BBQ.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
|부추김치||buchu-kimchi||Asian chive kimchi|
|취나물||chwinamul||aster scaber side dish|
|아스파라거스무침||asparagus-muchim||asparagus side dish|
|사골국물||sago-gukmul||beef bone broth|
|쇠고기무국||soegogi-muguk||beef and radish soup|
|갈비탕||galbitang||beef short ribs soup|
|대구전||daegujeon||breaded cod fillets|
|검은콩조림||geomeun-kongjorim||braised black beans|
|막갈비찜||makgalbi-jjim||braised beef short ribs|
|고등어무조림||godeungeo-mujorim||braised mackerel with radish|
|코다리조림||kodari-jorim||braised semi-dried pollock|
|족발||jokbal||braised pig's trotters|
|연근조림||yeon-geun-jorim||braised lotus roots|
|김치찜||kimchijjim||braised kimchi & pork|
|갈비찜||galbi-jjim||braised beef short ribs|
|브로콜리 두부무침||broccoli dubu-muchim||broccoli with tofu|
|브로콜리 피클, 브로콜리 장아찌||broccoli pickles||brokoli pikeul|
|뚝배기불고기||ttukbaegi-bulgogi||bulgogi stew in an earthenware pot|
|겨자냉채||gyeoja-naengchae||cold salad with spicy mustard sauce|
|오이냉국||oi-naengguk||cold cucumber soup side dish|
|무우나물, 무나물||muwoonamul||cooked radish side dish|
|오징어실채볶음||ojingeo-silchae-bokkeum||crunchy squid threads|
|차이오티 김치||chaioti gimchi||chayote kimchi|
|가지냉국||gaji-naengguk||cold eggplant side dish|
|콜라드그린||collard greens||collard greens side dishes|
|깍두기||kkakdugi||cubed radish kimchi|
|청경채 두부된장국||cheonggyeongchae dubu-doenjangguk||doenjangguk with bok choy and tofu|
|맥적||maekjeok||doenjang pork skewers|
|북어포 고추장무침||bugeopo gochujang-muchim||dried shredded pollock seasoned with gochujang|
|북어국||bugeoguk||dried pollock soup|
|청국장찌개||cheonggukjang-jjigae||extra-strong fermented soybean paste stew|
|계란장조림||gyeran-jangjorim||eggs in soy broth|
|가지나물||gaji-namul||eggplant side dish|
|명란젓||myeongnanjeot||fermented pollock roe|
|오징어젓||ojingeojeot||fermented squid side dish|
|된장찌개||doenjang-jjigae||fermented soybean paste stew with scallops|
|김부각||gim-bugak||fried seaweed paper coated with glutinous rice paste|
|껍질콩 마늘 볶음||kkeopjilkong maneul bokkeum||garlic green beans|
|김치전||kimchijeon||grandma-style kimchi pancake|
|파김치||pa-kimchi||green onion kimchi|
|고추전||gochujeon||green chili pepper pancake|
|고추장아찌||gochu-jangajji||green chili pepper pickles|
|굴비구이||gulbi-gui||grilled salted & dried yellow Corvina|
|콩비지찌개||kongbiji-jjigae||ground soybean stew|
|호박전||hobak jeon||Korean fried zucchini|
|버섯탕수||beoseot-tangsu||Korean crispy mushrooms|
|치킨무||chicken-mu||Korean Pickled Radish|
|계란말이||yeran mari / gyeranmari||Korean Egg rolls|
|마카로니 샐러드||makaloni saelleodeu||Korean macaroni salad|
|상추 겉절이||sangchoo geotjeori||Korean lettuce salad|
|참치전||chamchijeon||Korean tuna pancakes|
|두부조림||dubu jorim||Korean tofu (braised)|
|마파두부||mapadubu||Korean-style mapo tofu|
|궁중떡볶이||gungjung-tteokbokki||Korean Royal court stir-fried rice cakes|
|쌈장||ssamjang||Korean spicy dipping sauce|
|참깨 브로콜리||chamkkae beulokolli||Korean sesame broccoli|
|도미양념구이||domi-yangnyeom-gui||Korean style fried snapper with seasoning sauce|
|천사채||cheonsachae||kelp noodle salad/seaweed noodle salad|
|김치 고등어통조림 찌개||kimchi godeungeo-tongjorim jjigae||kimchi and mackerel camping stew|
|명아주무침||myeongaju-muchim||lamb's quarter's side dish|
|미나리무침||minari-muchim||minari side dish|
|치즈떡갈비||cheese tteokgalbi||minced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs with cheese|
|떡갈비||tteokgalbi||minced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs|
|버섯들깨탕||beoseot||deulkkae-tang - mushroom soup|
|빈대떡||bindaetteok||mung bean pancakes|
|청포묵무침||cheongpomuk-muchim||mung bean jelly side dishes|
|숙주오이나물||sukju-oi-namul||mung bean sprout and cucumber side dish|
|숙주나물무침||sukjunamul-muchim||mung bean sprout side dish|
|안매운 콩나물국||an-maeun kongnamulguk||non-spicy soybean sprout soup|
|뼈해장국||ppyeo-haejangguk||ox bone hangover soup|
|완자전||wanja-jeon||pan-fried meat and tofu patties|
|깻잎전||kkaennip-jeon||pan-fried perilla leaves with fillings|
|두부부침양념장||dububuchim-yangnyeomjang||pan-fried tofu with spicy sauce|
|깻잎김치||kkaenip-kimchi||perilla leaf kimchi|
|깻잎장아찌||kkaennip-jangajji||perilla leaf pickles|
|감자조림||gamja-bokkeum||potato & soy sauce side dish|
|동치미||dongchimi||radish water kimchi|
|간장게장||ganjang-gejang||raw crabs marinated in soy sauce|
|김구이||gim-gui||roasted seaweed sheets|
|장조림||jangjorim||salty beef side dish|
|애호박새우볶음||aehobak-saeu-bokkeum||sautéed zucchini and shrimp|
|미역줄기볶음||miyeokjulgi-bokkeum||sautéed sea plant|
|해물파전||haemul-pajeon||seafood green onion pancake|
|쇠고기 미역국||soegogi miyeokguk||seaweed soup with beef|
|멸치무침||myeolchi-muchim||seasoned dried anchovies|
|굴무침||gulmuchim||seasoned fresh oysters|
|육회||yukhoe||seasoned raw beef|
|무말랭이무침||mumallaengi-muchim||seasoned dried radish strips|
|오징어채무침||ojingeochae-muchim||seasoned dried shredded squid|
|가자미 양념튀김||gajami yangnyeom-twigim||seasoned pan-fried flatfish|
|도토리묵무침||dotorimuk-muchim||seasoned acorn jelly|
|감자전||gamjajeon||simple potato pancake|
|시금치조개 된장국||sigeumchi-jogae doenjangguk||soybean paste soup with spinach and clams|
|된장방아||doenjang-banga||soybean paste based dipping sauce for raw fish|
|콩조림||kongjorim||soybean side dish|
|배추된장국||baechu-doenjangguk||soybean paste soup with cabbage|
|콩나물무침||kongnamul-muchim||soybean sprout side dish|
|콩나물국밥||kongnamul-gukbap||soybean sprout soup with rice|
|콩나물국||kongnamulguk||soybean sprout soup|
|물회||mulhoe||spicy raw fish soup|
|닭볶음탕||dakbokkeumtang||spicy braised chicken breasts|
|도라지무침||doraji-muchim||spicy bellflower root side dish|
|어묵볶음||eomuk-bokkeum||spicy stir-fried fish cakes|
|육개장||yukgaejang||spicy beef and vegetable soup|
|두부조림||dubu-jorim||spicy braised tofu|
|짬뽕||jjamppong||spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup|
|떡볶이||tteokbokki||spicy rice cakes|
|매운 무국||maeun muguk||spicy radish and beef soup|
|닭개장||dakgaejang||spicy chicken & vegetable soup|
|해물순두부찌개||haemul-sundubu-jjigae||spicy soft tofu stew with seafood|
|낙지볶음||nakji-bokkeum||spicy stir-fried octopus|
|고추소박이||gochu-sobagi||spicy stuffed green chili pepper kimchi|
|오징어통구이||ojingeo-tonggui||spicy grilled squid|
|매운 고추장 마요네즈||maeun gochujang mayonejeu||spicy gochujang mayo|
|고기 순두부찌개||gogi sundubu-jjigae||spicy soft tofu stew with beef|
|돼지불고기||dwaejibulgogi||spicy pork BBQ|
|돼지고기찌개||dwaejigogi-jjigae||spicy pork stew|
|매운 뚝배기 계란찜||maeun ttukbaegi gyeranjjim||spicy steamed eggs in an earthenware bowl|
|고추장 가지찜||gochujang gaji-jjim||spicy stuffed steamed eggplant|
|김치순두부찌개||kimchi-sundubu-jjigae||spicy soft tofu stew with kimchi and pork belly|
|돼지고기볶음||dwaejigogi-bokkeum||spicy stir-fried pork|
|매운탕||maeuntang||spicy fish stew|
|오이소박이 김치||oisobagi kimchi||spicy stuffed cucumber kimchi|
|시금치나물||sigeumchi-namul||spinach side dish|
|꽃빵||kkotppang||steamed flower-shaped buns|
|깻잎찜||kkaennipjjim||steamed perilla leaves|
|꽈리고추찜||kkwarigochu-jjim||steamed shishito peppers|
|계란찜||gyeranjjim||steamed egg side dish|
|뚝배기 계란찜||ttukbaegi gyeranjjim||steamed egg in an earthenware bowl|
|고사리나물||gosari-namul||stir-fried fern brake|
|멸치땅콩볶음||myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeum||stir-fried dried anchovies and peanuts|
|도라지볶음||doraji-bokkeum||stir-fried bellflower root|
|느타리버섯볶음||neutari-beoseot-bokkeum||stir-fried oyster mushrooms|
|감자햄볶음||gamja-haem-bokkeum||stir-fried potato and ham|
|부추잡채||buchu-japchae||stir-fried chives, meat, and vegetables|
|고사리나물||gosari-namul||stir-fried fern brake side dish|
|감자채볶음||gamjachae-bokkeum||stir-fried shredded potato|
|마늘쫑볶음||maneuljjong-bokkeum||stir-fried garlic scapes|
|잡채||japchae||stir-fried noodles and vegetables|
|콩자반||kongjaban||sweet and salty soybeans|
|고구마밥||goguma-bap||sweet potato rice|
|버섯 미나리 초무침||beoseot minari chomuchim||sweet, sour, and spicy mushrooms with water dropwort|
|두부강정||dubu-gangjeong||sweet and crunchy tofu|
|미역무침||miyeok-muchim||sweet & sour seaweed salad|
|닭볶음탕||dakbokkeumtang||traditional-style spicy braised chicken|
|강된장||gang-doenjang||thick soybean paste stew|
|나박김치||nabak-kimchi||vegetable and fruit water kimchi|
|단무지||danmuji||yellow pickled radish|
|열무 물김치||yeolmu mulkimchi||young summer radish water kimchi|
|부추전||buchujeon||vegetable pancake with Asian chives|
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.
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