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200+ Best Korean Side Dishes

March 3, 2022

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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)

(Hangul)
Korean
RomanizationEnglish Translation
부추김치buchu-kimchiAsian chive kimchi
취나물chwinamulaster scaber side dish
아스파라거스무침asparagus-muchimasparagus side dish
사골국물sago-gukmulbeef bone broth
쇠고기전soegogi-jeonbeef pancakes
쇠고기무국soegogi-mugukbeef and radish soup
갈비탕galbitangbeef short ribs soup
대구전daegujeonbreaded cod fillets
검은콩조림geomeun-kongjorimbraised black beans
막갈비찜makgalbi-jjimbraised beef short ribs
고등어무조림godeungeo-mujorimbraised mackerel with radish
코다리조림kodari-jorimbraised semi-dried pollock
족발jokbalbraised pig's trotters
꽁치조림kkongchi-jorimbraised saury
연근조림yeon-geun-jorimbraised lotus roots
김치찜kimchijjimbraised kimchi & pork
문어조림muneo-jorimbraised octopus
갈비찜galbi-jjimbraised beef short ribs
브로콜리 두부무침broccoli dubu-muchimbroccoli with tofu
브로콜리 피클, 브로콜리 장아찌broccoli picklesbrokoli pikeul
뚝배기불고기ttukbaegi-bulgogibulgogi stew in an earthenware pot
배추전baechujeoncabbage pancake
겨자냉채gyeoja-naengchaecold salad with spicy mustard sauce
오이냉국oi-naenggukcold cucumber soup side dish
무우나물, 무나물muwoonamulcooked radish side dish
조개탕jogaetangclam stew
오징어실채볶음ojingeo-silchae-bokkeumcrunchy squid threads
차이오티 김치chaioti gimchichayote kimchi
콘치즈konchijeucorn cheese
가지냉국gaji-naenggukcold eggplant side dish
콜라드그린collard greenscollard greens side dishes
깍두기kkakdugicubed radish kimchi
오이장아찌oijangajjicucumber pickles
청경채 두부된장국cheonggyeongchae dubu-doenjanggukdoenjangguk with bok choy and tofu
맥적maekjeokdoenjang pork skewers
북어포 고추장무침bugeopo gochujang-muchimdried shredded pollock seasoned with gochujang
북어국bugeogukdried pollock soup
청국장찌개cheonggukjang-jjigaeextra-strong fermented soybean paste stew
계란장조림gyeran-jangjorimeggs in soy broth
가지나물gaji-namuleggplant side dish
양배추김치yangbaechu-kimchiemergency kimchi
명란젓myeongnanjeotfermented pollock roe
오징어젓ojingeojeotfermented squid side dish
된장찌개doenjang-jjigaefermented soybean paste stew with scallops
김부각gim-bugakfried seaweed paper coated with glutinous rice paste
약고추장yak-gochujangfried gochujang
과일샐러드gwa-il-saeleodeufruit salad
어묵eomukfish cakes
껍질콩 마늘 볶음kkeopjilkong maneul bokkeumgarlic green beans
김치전kimchijeongrandma-style kimchi pancake
파김치pa-kimchigreen onion kimchi
고추전gochujeongreen chili pepper pancake
고추장아찌gochu-jangajjigreen chili pepper pickles
굴비구이gulbi-guigrilled salted & dried yellow Corvina
고등어구이godeungeo-guigrilled mackerel
콩비지찌개kongbiji-jjigaeground soybean stew
해파리냉채haepari-naengchaejellyfish salad
호박전hobak jeonKorean fried zucchini
버섯탕수beoseot-tangsuKorean crispy mushrooms
치킨무chicken-muKorean Pickled Radish
계란말이yeran mari / gyeranmariKorean Egg rolls
마카로니 샐러드makaloni saelleodeuKorean macaroni salad
상추 겉절이sangchoo geotjeoriKorean lettuce salad
참치전chamchijeonKorean tuna pancakes
두부조림dubu jorimKorean tofu (braised)
마파두부mapadubuKorean-style mapo tofu
궁중떡볶이gungjung-tteokbokkiKorean Royal court stir-fried rice cakes
쌈장ssamjangKorean spicy dipping sauce
참깨 브로콜리chamkkae beulokolliKorean sesame broccoli
코울슬로koulseulloKorean coleslaw
도미양념구이domi-yangnyeom-guiKorean style fried snapper with seasoning sauce
케일장떡kaeil-jangtteokkale Pancakes
천사채cheonsachaekelp noodle salad/seaweed noodle salad
김치전kimchijeonkimchi pancake
김치국kimchi-gukkimchi soup
채식김치chaesik-kimchivegetarian kimchi
김치찌개kimchi-jjigaekimchi stew
김치 고등어통조림 찌개kimchi godeungeo-tongjorim jjigaekimchi and mackerel camping stew
명아주무침myeongaju-muchimlamb's quarter's side dish
마파두부mapadubumapa tofu
미나리무침minari-muchimminari side dish
치즈떡갈비cheese tteokgalbiminced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs with cheese
떡갈비tteokgalbiminced, seasoned, and grilled beef ribs
버섯들깨탕beoseotdeulkkae-tang - mushroom soup
빈대떡bindaetteokmung bean pancakes
청포묵무침cheongpomuk-muchimmung bean jelly side dishes
숙주오이나물sukju-oi-namulmung bean sprout and cucumber side dish
숙주나물무침sukjunamul-muchimmung bean sprout side dish
쑥국ssukgukmugwort soup
안매운 콩나물국an-maeun kongnamulguknon-spicy soybean sprout soup
소꼬리탕sokkoritangoxtail soup
뼈해장국ppyeo-haejanggukox bone hangover soup
완자전wanja-jeonpan-fried meat and tofu patties
깻잎전kkaennip-jeonpan-fried perilla leaves with fillings
두부부침양념장dububuchim-yangnyeomjangpan-fried tofu with spicy sauce
깻잎김치kkaenip-kimchiperilla leaf kimchi
깻잎장아찌kkaennip-jangajjiperilla leaf pickles
감자전gamjajeonpotato pancakes
감자샐러드gamja-saladpotato salad
감자조림gamja-bokkeumpotato & soy sauce side dish
총각김치chonggak-kimchiponytail kimchi
동태전dongtaejeonpollock pancake
동치미dongchimiradish water kimchi
산마늘전sanmaneul-jeonramp pancakes
무생채musaengchaeradish salad
간장게장ganjang-gejangraw crabs marinated in soy sauce
김구이gim-guiroasted seaweed sheets
계란말이gyeran-marirolled omelet
새우소금구이saeu-sogeum-guisalt-roasted shrimp
장조림jangjorimsalty beef side dish
애호박새우볶음aehobak-saeu-bokkeumsautéed zucchini and shrimp
미역줄기볶음miyeokjulgi-bokkeumsautéed sea plant
해물전haemuljeonseafood pancakes
해물파전haemul-pajeonseafood green onion pancake
쇠고기 미역국soegogi miyeokgukseaweed soup with beef
김무침gim-muchimseasoned seaweed
멸치무침myeolchi-muchimseasoned dried anchovies
굴무침gulmuchimseasoned fresh oysters
육회yukhoeseasoned raw beef
무말랭이무침mumallaengi-muchimseasoned dried radish strips
오징어채무침ojingeochae-muchimseasoned dried shredded squid
가자미 양념튀김gajami yangnyeom-twigimseasoned pan-fried flatfish
도토리묵무침dotorimuk-muchimseasoned acorn jelly
새우전saeujeonshrimp pancakes
감자전gamjajeonsimple potato pancake
시금치조개 된장국sigeumchi-jogae doenjangguksoybean paste soup with spinach and clams
된장방아doenjang-bangasoybean paste based dipping sauce for raw fish
콩조림kongjorimsoybean side dish
배추된장국baechu-doenjangguksoybean paste soup with cabbage
콩나물무침kongnamul-muchimsoybean sprout side dish
콩나물국밥kongnamul-gukbapsoybean sprout soup with rice
콩나물국kongnamulguksoybean sprout soup
오징어국ojingeo-guksquid soup
물회mulhoespicy raw fish soup
닭볶음탕dakbokkeumtangspicy braised chicken breasts
도라지무침doraji-muchimspicy bellflower root side dish
어묵볶음eomuk-bokkeumspicy stir-fried fish cakes
육개장yukgaejangspicy beef and vegetable soup
두부조림dubu-jorimspicy braised tofu
짬뽕jjamppongspicy mixed-up seafood noodle soup
떡볶이tteokbokkispicy rice cakes
매운 무국maeun mugukspicy radish and beef soup
닭개장dakgaejangspicy chicken & vegetable soup
해물순두부찌개haemul-sundubu-jjigaespicy soft tofu stew with seafood
낙지볶음nakji-bokkeumspicy stir-fried octopus
고추소박이gochu-sobagispicy stuffed green chili pepper kimchi
오징어통구이ojingeo-tongguispicy grilled squid
매운 고추장 마요네즈maeun gochujang mayonejeuspicy gochujang mayo
고기 순두부찌개gogi sundubu-jjigaespicy soft tofu stew with beef
돼지불고기dwaejibulgogispicy pork BBQ
돼지고기찌개dwaejigogi-jjigaespicy pork stew
매운 뚝배기 계란찜maeun ttukbaegi gyeranjjimspicy steamed eggs in an earthenware bowl
고추장 가지찜gochujang gaji-jjimspicy stuffed steamed eggplant
김치순두부찌개kimchi-sundubu-jjigaespicy soft tofu stew with kimchi and pork belly
돼지고기볶음dwaejigogi-bokkeumspicy stir-fried pork
매운탕maeuntangspicy fish stew
오이소박이 김치oisobagi kimchispicy stuffed cucumber kimchi
시금치나물sigeumchi-namulspinach side dish
꽃빵kkotppangsteamed flower-shaped buns
깻잎찜kkaennipjjimsteamed perilla leaves
꽈리고추찜kkwarigochu-jjimsteamed shishito peppers
계란찜gyeranjjimsteamed egg side dish
뚝배기 계란찜ttukbaegi gyeranjjimsteamed egg in an earthenware bowl
고사리나물gosari-namulstir-fried fern brake
김치볶음kimchi-bokkeumstir-fried kimchi
멸치땅콩볶음myeolchi-ttangkong-bokkeumstir-fried dried anchovies and peanuts
도라지볶음doraji-bokkeumstir-fried bellflower root
느타리버섯볶음neutari-beoseot-bokkeumstir-fried oyster mushrooms
감자햄볶음gamja-haem-bokkeumstir-fried potato and ham
부추잡채buchu-japchaestir-fried chives, meat, and vegetables
고사리나물gosari-namulstir-fried fern brake side dish
감자채볶음gamjachae-bokkeumstir-fried shredded potato
마늘쫑볶음maneuljjong-bokkeumstir-fried garlic scapes
잡채japchaestir-fried noodles and vegetables
콩자반kongjabansweet and salty soybeans
고구마밥goguma-bapsweet potato rice
버섯 미나리 초무침beoseot minari chomuchimsweet, sour, and spicy mushrooms with water dropwort
두부강정dubu-gangjeongsweet and crunchy tofu
미역무침miyeok-muchimsweet & sour seaweed salad
닭볶음탕dakbokkeumtangtraditional-style spicy braised chicken
두부장아찌dubu-jangajjitofu pickles
강된장gang-doenjangthick soybean paste stew
채소국물chaeso-gukmulvegetable stock
나박김치nabak-kimchivegetable and fruit water kimchi
백김치baek-kimchiwhite kimchi
단무지danmujiyellow pickled radish
열무 물김치yeolmu mulkimchiyoung summer radish water kimchi
부추전buchujeonvegetable 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!

Say goodbye to school books

Fun mini-games and quizzes help you mastering a new language quickly.
Practice hundreds of dialogues on the go. Talk to our chatbot about daily life topics.
Master the language with extensive grammar tips and instructions.
Sheiwen Aglibot

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