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 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 been 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 an odd number. They believe that serving even several Korean side dishes will bring bad luck. But, in Korean royal cuisine, 12 Korean banchan dishes 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 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.

Korean side dishes traditional cabbage kimchi

1. Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi

통배추김치 (Tongbaechu-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
Korean side dishes soybean sprout

2. Korean Soybean Sprout Side Dish

콩나물 무침 (Kongnamul Muchim)

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.

Korean side dishes spicy cucumber

3. Korean Spicy Cucumber Salad

오이무침 (Oi Muchim)

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.

Korean side dishes Zucchini hobak

4. Korean Zucchini Side Dish

호박 볶음 (Hobak Bokkeum)

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.

Korean side dishes braised potatoes

5. Korean Braised Potatoes

감자조림 (Gamja Jorim)

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.

Korean side dishes steamed eggplant

6. Korean Steamed Eggplant Side Dish

가지 나물 (Gaji Namul)

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)

Another side dish that is one of the Korean staples is 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).

Korean side dishes pickles in soy sauce

8. Korean Pickles In Soy Sauce

장아찌 (Jangajji)

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.

Korean side dishes spicy radish salad

9. Korean Radish Salad/Korean Spicy Radish Salad

무생채 (Musaengchae)

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.

Korean side dishes steamed egg

10. Korean Steamed Eggs

Gyeran Jjim (계란찜)

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)

English Translation(Hangul)
Asian chive kimchi부추김치buchu-kimchi
aster scaber side dish취나물chwinamul
asparagus side dish아스파라거스무침asparagus-muchim
beef bone broth사골국물sago-gukmul
beef pancakes쇠고기전soegogi-jeon
beef and radish soup쇠고기무국soegogi-muguk
beef short ribs soup갈비탕galbitang
breaded cod fillets대구전daegujeon
braised black beans검은콩조림geomeun-kongjorim
braised beef short ribs막갈비찜makgalbi-jjim
braised mackerel with radish고등어무조림godeungeo-mujorim
braised semi-dried pollock코다리조림kodari-jorim
braised pig’s trotters족발jokbal
braised saury꽁치조림kkongchi-jorim
braised lotus roots연근조림yeon-geun-jorim
braised kimchi & pork김치찜kimchijjim
braised octopus문어조림muneo-jorim
braised beef short ribs갈비찜galbi-jjim
broccoli with tofu브로콜리 두부무침broccoli dubu-muchim
brokoli pikeul브로콜리 피클
브로콜리 장아찌
broccoli pickles
bulgogi stew in an earthenware pot뚝배기불고기ttukbaegi-bulgogi
cabbage pancake배추전baechujeon
cold salad with spicy mustard sauce겨자냉채gyeoja-naengchae
cold cucumber soup side dish오이냉국oi-naengguk
cooked radish side dish무우나물, 무나물muwoonamul
clam stew조개탕jogaetang
crunchy squid threads오징어실채볶음ojingeo-silchae-bokkeum
chayote kimchi차이오티 김치chaioti gimchi
corn cheese콘치즈konchijeu
cold eggplant side dish가지냉국gaji-naengguk
collard greens side dishes콜라드그린collard greens
cubed radish kimchi깍두기kkakdugi
cucumber pickles오이장아찌oijangajji
doenjangguk with bok choy and tofu청경채 두부된장국cheonggyeongchae dubu-doenjangguk
doenjang pork skewers맥적maekjeok
dried shredded pollock seasoned with gochujang북어포 고추장무침bugeopo gochujang-muchim
dried pollock soup북어국bugeoguk
extra-strong fermented soybean paste stew청국장찌개cheonggukjang-jjigae
eggs in soy broth계란장조림gyeran-jangjorim
eggplant side dish가지나물gaji-namul
emergency kimchi양배추김치yangbaechu-kimchi
fermented pollock roe명란젓myeongnanjeot
fermented squid side dish오징어젓ojingeojeot
fermented soybean paste stew with scallops된장찌개doenjang-jjigae
fried seaweed paper coated with glutinous rice paste김부각gim-bugak
fried gochujang약고추장yak-gochujang
fruit salad과일샐러드gwa-il-saeleodeu
fish cakes어묵eomuk
garlic green beans껍질콩 마늘 볶음kkeopjilkong maneul bokkeum
grandma-style kimchi pancake김치전kimchijeon
green onion kimchi파김치pa-kimchi
green chili pepper pancake고추전gochujeon
green chili pepper pickles고추장아찌gochu-jangajji
grilled salted & dried yellow Corvina굴비구이gulbi-gui
grilled mackerel고등어구이godeungeo-gui
ground soybean stew콩비지찌개kongbiji-jjigae
jellyfish salad해파리냉채haepari-naengchae
Korean fried zucchini호박전hobak jeon
Korean crispy mushrooms버섯탕수beoseot-tangsu
Korean Pickled Radish치킨무chicken-mu
Korean Egg rolls계란말이yeran mari / gyeranmari
Korean macaroni salad마카로니 샐러드makaloni saelleodeu
Korean lettuce salad상추 겉절이sangchoo geotjeori
Korean tuna pancakes참치전chamchijeon
Korean tofu (braised)두부조림dubu jorim
Korean-style mapo tofu마파두부mapadubu
Korean Royal court stir-fried rice cakes궁중떡볶이gungjung-tteokbokki
Korean spicy dipping sauce쌈장ssamjang
Korean sesame broccoli참깨 브로콜리chamkkae beulokolli
Korean coleslaw코울슬로koulseullo
Korean style fried snapper with seasoning sauce도미양념구이domi-yangnyeom-gui
kale Pancakes케일장떡kaeil-jangtteok
kelp noodle salad/seaweed noodle salad천사채cheonsachae
kimchi pancake김치전kimchijeon
kimchi soup김치국kimchi-guk
vegetarian kimchi채식김치chaesik-kimchi
kimchi stew김치찌개kimchi-jjigae
kimchi and mackerel camping stew김치 고등어통조림 찌개kimchi godeungeo-tongjorim jjigae
lamb’s quarter’s side dish명아주무침myeongaju-muchim
mapa tofu마파두부mapadubu
minari side dish미나리무침minari-muchim
minced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs with cheese치즈떡갈비cheese tteokgalbi
minced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs떡갈비tteokgalbi
deulkkae-tang – mushroom soup버섯들깨탕beoseot
mung bean pancakes빈대떡bindaetteok
mung bean jelly side dishes청포묵무침cheongpomuk-muchim
mung bean sprout and cucumber side dish숙주오이나물sukju-oi-namul
mung bean sprout side dish숙주나물무침sukjunamul-muchim
mugwort soup쑥국ssukguk
non-spicy soybean sprout soup안매운 콩나물국an-maeun kongnamulguk
oxtail soup소꼬리탕sokkoritang
ox bone hangover soup뼈해장국ppyeo-haejangguk
pan-fried meat and tofu patties완자전wanja-jeon
pan-fried perilla leaves with fillings깻잎전kkaennip-jeon
pan-fried tofu with spicy sauce두부부침양념장dububuchim-yangnyeomjang
perilla leaf kimchi깻잎김치kkaenip-kimchi
perilla leaf pickles깻잎장아찌kkaennip-jangajji
potato pancakes감자전gamjajeon
potato salad감자샐러드gamja-salad
potato & soy sauce side dish감자조림gamja-bokkeum
ponytail kimchi총각김치chonggak-kimchi
pollock pancake동태전dongtaejeon
radish water kimchi동치미dongchimi
ramp pancakes산마늘전sanmaneul-jeon
radish salad무생채musaengchae
raw crabs marinated in soy sauce간장게장ganjang-gejang
roasted seaweed sheets김구이gim-gui
rolled omelet계란말이gyeran-mari
salt-roasted shrimp새우소금구이saeu-sogeum-gui
salty beef side dish장조림jangjorim
sautéed zucchini and shrimp애호박새우볶음aehobak-saeu-bokkeum
sautéed sea plant미역줄기볶음miyeokjulgi-bokkeum
seafood pancakes해물전haemuljeon
seafood green onion pancake해물파전haemul-pajeon
seaweed soup with beef쇠고기 미역국soegogi miyeokguk
seasoned seaweed김무침gim-muchim
seasoned dried anchovies멸치무침myeolchi-muchim
seasoned fresh oysters굴무침gulmuchim
seasoned raw beef육회yukhoe
seasoned dried radish strips무말랭이무침mumallaengi-muchim
seasoned dried shredded squid오징어채무침ojingeochae-muchim
seasoned pan-fried flatfish가자미 양념튀김gajami yangnyeom-twigim
seasoned acorn jelly도토리묵무침dotorimuk-muchim
shrimp pancakes새우전saeujeon
simple potato pancake감자전gamjajeon
soybean paste soup with spinach and clams시금치조개 된장국sigeumchi-jogae doenjangguk
soybean paste based dipping sauce for raw fish된장방아doenjang-banga
soybean side dish콩조림kongjorim
soybean paste soup with cabbage배추된장국baechu-doenjangguk
soybean sprout side dish콩나물무침kongnamul-muchim
soybean sprout soup with rice콩나물국밥kongnamul-gukbap
soybean sprout soup콩나물국kongnamulguk
squid soup오징어국ojingeo-guk
spicy raw fish soup물회mulhoe
spicy braised chicken breasts닭볶음탕dakbokkeumtang
spicy bellflower root side dish도라지무침doraji-muchim
spicy stir-fried fish cakes어묵볶음eomuk-bokkeum
spicy beef and vegetable soup육개장yukgaejang
spicy braised tofu두부조림dubu-jorim
spicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup짬뽕jjamppong
spicy rice cakes떡볶이tteokbokki
spicy radish and beef soup매운 무국maeun muguk
spicy chicken & vegetable soup닭개장dakgaejang
spicy soft tofu stew with seafood해물순두부찌개haemul-sundubu-jjigae
spicy stir-fried octopus낙지볶음nakji-bokkeum
spicy stuffed green chili pepper kimchi고추소박이gochu-sobagi
spicy grilled squid오징어통구이ojingeo-tonggui
spicy gochujang mayo매운 고추장 마요네즈maeun gochujang mayonejeu
spicy soft tofu stew with beef고기 순두부찌개gogi sundubu-jjigae
spicy pork BBQ돼지불고기dwaejibulgogi
spicy pork stew돼지고기찌개dwaejigogi-jjigae
spicy steamed eggs in an earthenware bowl매운 뚝배기 계란찜maeun ttukbaegi gyeranjjim
spicy stuffed steamed eggplant고추장 가지찜gochujang gaji-jjim
spicy soft tofu stew with kimchi and pork belly김치순두부찌개kimchi-sundubu-jjigae
spicy stir-fried pork돼지고기볶음dwaejigogi-bokkeum
spicy fish stew
spicy stuffed cucumber kimchi오이소박이 김치oisobagi kimchi
spinach side dish시금치나물sigeumchi-namul
steamed flower-shaped buns꽃빵kkotppang
steamed perilla leaves깻잎찜kkaennipjjim
steamed shishito peppers꽈리고추찜kkwarigochu-jjim
steamed egg side dish계란찜gyeranjjim
steamed egg in an earthenware bowl뚝배기 계란찜ttukbaegi gyeranjjim
stir-fried fern brake고사리나물gosari-namul
stir-fried kimchi김치볶음kimchi-bokkeum
stir-fried dried anchovies and peanuts멸치땅콩볶음myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeum
stir-fried bellflower root도라지볶음doraji-bokkeum
stir-fried oyster mushrooms느타리버섯볶음neutari-beoseot-bokkeum
stir-fried potato and ham감자햄볶음gamja-haem-bokkeum
stir-fried chives, meat, and vegetables부추잡채buchu-japchae
stir-fried fern brake side dish고사리나물gosari-namul
stir-fried shredded potato감자채볶음gamjachae-bokkeum
stir-fried garlic scapes마늘쫑볶음maneuljjong-bokkeum
stir-fried noodles and vegetables잡채japchae
sweet and salty soybeans콩자반kongjaban
sweet potato rice고구마밥goguma-bap
sweet, sour, and spicy mushrooms with water dropwort버섯 미나리 초무침beoseot minari chomuchim
sweet and crunchy tofu두부강정dubu-gangjeong
sweet & sour seaweed salad미역무침miyeok-muchim
traditional-style spicy braised chicken닭볶음탕dakbokkeumtang
tofu pickles두부장아찌dubu-jangajji
thick soybean paste stew강된장gang-doenjang
vegetable stock채소국물chaeso-gukmul
vegetable and fruit water kimchi나박김치nabak-kimchi
white kimchi백김치baek-kimchi
yellow pickled radish단무지danmuji
young summer radish water kimchi열무 물김치yeolmu mulkimchi
vegetable pancake with Asian chives부추전buchujeon
learn korean with Ling app

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, the Ling app is the perfect partner for you.

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

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

What makes learning with Ling special

Interactive exercises

Improve your pronunciation by starting a conversation with our app’s interactive chatbot

Engaging activities

Practice your skills with mini-games and track your progress with fun quizzes

Mix of languages

Choose from over 60 languages, both big and small, and listen to audio from native speakers

Proven results

Backed by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time