30 Delicious Korean Side Dishes You Cannot Resist


Quick Answer: Best Korean Side Dishes?

Some of the most delightful Korean side dishes are— Salads like Korean Cucumber Salad, Sweet and Sour Radish Salad; Spicy delights like Kimchi, Spicy Korean Rice Cakes, Korean Braised Potatoes; Korean specials like Steamed Eggplant, Korean Seasoned Spinach, and many more. Read to know more!

Here are 30 Korean side dishes that will unite you with the tasty dishes you see on the K-dramas.

Each of these side dishes holds the essence of Korean cooking style and is bound to make you do the finger-heart.

My best friend loves Korean culture and has been learning to cook authentic Korean meals for a few years from a trained chef.

With the help of her and her teacher and Korean recipe books, I have enlisted in this guide the most mouth-watering and popular side dishes in Korean cuisine.

So let’s get to it!

RecipesTotal Calories
Total Time Taken
Korean Cucumber Salad
Sweet and Sour Radish Salad
Steamed Eggplant
Korean Seasoned Spinach
Spicy Korean Rice Cakes
Korean Soybean Sprouts
Sweet Crispy Mushrooms
Korean Coleslaw
Korean Macaroni Salad
Tuna Pancakes
180 20
Korean Rolled OmeletteNA15
Sweet and Savory SoybeanNA35
Sweet and Salty Lotus Roots7435
Korean Lettuce Salad87.510
Three Color VegetablesNA20
Spicy Tofu84.320
Creamy Fruit Salad5710
Korean Cheese CornNA15
Korean Fried ZucchiniNA20
Korean Braised Potatoes18230
Korean Sesame BroccoliNA15
Cabbage Doenjang Soup2910
Spicy Gochujang Mayo5362
Ssamjang Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce2255
Korean Spicy TunaNA8
Sautéed Bellflower Roots
Korean Shiitake Mushrooms
Korean Style Sausage Stir Fry
Crab Omelette8130

1. Korean Cucumber Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 80
Total preparation time: 10 minutes

If you love cucumber salads, then Korean Cucumber Salad will be the new love of your life.

With few ingredients and refreshing cucumbers, this side dish is remarkably delicious and can be made in no time.

Cucumber, gochugaru, garlic, and vinegar have beautiful chemistry which results in a tarty, spicy, savory with a hint of sweetness and crunchy dish.

This side dish is perfect to be served at cookouts and BBQ weekends!

Here is a quick and easy recipe by Maangchi

2. Kimchi

Total calories (per 100g): 21
Total preparation time: 60 minutes

Korean cuisine and Kimchi have become synonymous with the rising fame of Korean dramas.

Most of you have wished to have ramen with some kimchi, just for the feels. But interestingly, Kimchi can be a side to a lot of dishes.

In the simplest sense, Kimchi is made of vegetables that have been salted, seasoned and fermented. It has a wicked sour taste with slight tones of umami and spice.

Check out this easy recipe by CiCi Li – Asian Home Cooking

3. Sweet and Sour Radish Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 133.3
Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Traditionally known as ‘Musaengchae’, this Korean side dish will leave you fantasizing about a simple salad.

Sweet and Sour Radish Salad is crafted from julienned radishes tossed with spicy kimchi seasonings like gochugaru, garlic, salted shrimp, sugar, and vinegar.

This dish is amplified by Korean radishes which have firm flesh with a sweet and peppery flavor.

Crunchy and flavorful, this is best served with meat dishes.

Here is a simple recipe by Seonkyoung Longest

4. Steamed Eggplant

Total preparation time: 15 minutes

A staple Korean side dish.

It is a summer side dish made from slender, shiny eggplants with tender and sweet flesh.

These eggplants are steamed till they are tender yet firm. This side dish garners its flavors from the delicious Korean soy sauce seasoning.

With its distinctive Korean taste and satisfying texture, this side dish will become your ultimate weeknight side dish.

It pairs absolutely well with rice.

Check out this easy recipe by Maangchi

5. Korean Seasoned Spinach

Total calories (per 100g): 64
Total preparation time: 15 minutes

Sigumchi Namul, or Seasoned Spinach, is quite popular in Korea. This side dish turns healthy spinach into a scrumptious delicacy.

For this dish, the fresh spinach is blanched and then seasoned with sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, salt, garlic, and a pinch of sugar.

It beautifully accompanies Bibimbap and Kimbap as a side dish.

Here is a quick recipe by Future Neighbor

6. Spicy Korean Rice Cakes

Total calories (per 100g): 237
Total preparation time: 25 minutes

Korean Rice Cakes, or Tteokbokki, is yet another K-drama famed side dish.

This Korean delicacy is made with garaetteok which is a cylindrical-shaped white rice cake. And the spicy element is contributed by the Tteokbokki sauce.

The sauce is made by combining two ingredients— gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) and gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes.)

Disclaimer: These spicy-sweet, chewy rice cakes are addictive.

Check out this recipe by Nino’s Home

7. Korean Soybean Sprouts

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

This side dish not only enhances the flavors of your main dish but also stands on its unique ground.

The crunchy soybean sprout has a natural nutty flavor and hence is lightly seasoned so as to keep its original taste.

Usually, gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes) and a little soy sauce are added to its recipe to give it a spicy tone.

Crunchy and flavorful— this side dish offers taste with health.

Here is a simple recipe by Seonkyoung Longest

8. Sweet Crispy Mushrooms

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Traditionally known as ‘Beoseot Tangsu/ Gangjeong’ in Korea, this side dish is loved for embracing the natural taste and texture of its elements.

Sweet Crispy Mushrooms are made from deep frying the mushrooms and then coating them in an appetizing sauce.

The sauce is sweet and savory with a slight spicy kick added by the use of gochujang (Korean red chili paste). You can customize the recipe for a milder version.

Top it with chopped nuts or seeds and serve.

Check out this easy recipe by Maangchi

9. Korean Coleslaw

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Every cuisine has its own version of coleslaw, and this version from Korea will blow your mind.

Fresh cabbage, carrots, and onions are mixed with garlic, soy sauce, sesame, and vinegar dressing to mould this zesty coleslaw.

Its flavor profile will remind you of kimchi; if tangy with slight sweetness isn’t enough for you, throw in some Korean crushed red pepper for the desired heat.

It’s perfectly suited for potlucks and picnics.

Here is a quick and easy recipe by Chef Julie Yoon

10. Korean Macaroni Salad

Total preparation time: 202.9
Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Yet another side dish that is visible in one or another style in every cuisine.

Korean Macaroni Salad differs from the western macaroni salad in terms of the number of ingredients and the way it is prepared.

Additional to the common ingredients like macaroni pasta, shredded carrots, and mayo dressing, the Korean version includes bell peppers, corn kernels, and cucumbers.

Red onions, imitation crab, apple, etc are also added in some recipes.

It pairs gorgeously with Korean BBQ.

Check out this recipe by Seonkyoung Longest

11. Tuna Pancakes

Total calories (per 100g): 180
Total preparation time: 20 minutes

Known as Chamchijeon in Korea, these Tuna Pancakes are irresistible and yummy.

It is usually put together using canned tuna, eggs, diced vegetables, flour, fine sea salt, and black pepper.

Savory and delightful, this dish is beloved by both, adults and kids. Serve it with a pancake dipping sauce.

DIY recipe—

12. Korean Rolled Omelette

Total preparation time: 15 minutes

Visually pleasing and tasteful, this is a popular lunch box side dish in Korea.

Korean Rolled Omelette or Gyeran Mari is made with eggs whipped with one or two chopped vegetables.

It is usually made with carrots and scallion but you can also add bell peppers, garlic chives, bits of ham or bacon, or even cheese.

DIY recipe—

13. Sweet and Savory Soybean

Total preparation time: 35 minutes

Kongjang or Soy Braised Soybean is a staple side dish in Korean households.

It is typically made by braising soybean in a sweet and savory liquid. It has a shiny and wrinkly appearance due to slow braising.

It has a slightly chewy texture and its flavors beautifully complement rice as a side dish.

DIY recipe—

14. Sweet and Salty Lotus Roots

Total calories (per 100g): 74
Total preparation time: 35 minutes

Lotus roots are actually the stem part of the lotus plant and are naturally sweet with a starchy, crunchy texture.

In this side dish, they are braised in dashima broth or dried shiitake mushroom soaked water which turns the roots into a sweet-savory and crunchy delicacy.

DIY recipe—

15. Korean Lettuce Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 87.5
Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Korean Lettuce Salad, locally known as Sangchu-geotjeori, is a spicy and tangy salad.

It is seasoned with chopped cloves, toasted sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce, fish sauce, and hot pepper flakes to add a spicy kick.

Bright, spicy, and lightly seasoned, this salad goes immensely well with everything.

DIY recipe—

16. Three Color Vegetables

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

This side dish appeals to the eyes, tongue, and heart.

Samsaek Namul, as it is called in Korea, is a side made with three vegetable dishes of different colors— white, black/brown, and green.

For the white part- radish; for the brown part- bracken fiddleheads; and for the green part- leafy vegetables are used.

DIY recipe>

17. Spicy Tofu

Total calories (per 100g): 84.3
Total preparation time: 20 minutes

If you have a thing for heat, then this side dish is for you.

The soft tofu is braised with a spicy sauce made with garlic, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili powder.

Known as Dubu Jorim, this spicy and savory side dish is easy to make and healthy.

DIY recipe—

18. Creamy Fruit Salad

Total calories (per 100g): 57
Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Full of sweet and savory flavors, the Korean-style Fruit Salad goes well with all types of cuisine.

Cold, creamy, crispy, and nutty— this Creamy Fruit Salad is usually made in fall but can be had all year long.

Prepare it a day ahead and refrigerate for enhanced taste.

DIY recipe—

19. Korean Cheese Corn

Total preparation time: 15 minutes

This side dish is a must when serving Korean BBQ dishes.

In its essence, it is a corn and cheese casserole. It is made over melted butter which gives it an appetizing aroma and it is seasoned with mayo and little sugar.

It is best served with some crisps, chips, or even crackers.

DIY recipe—

20. Korean Fried Zucchini

Total preparation time: 20 minutes

In Korean, this dish is called Hobak Jun or Jeon.

For this dish, the zucchini is coated in an egg, and the flour batter is sautéed in a lightly greased pan. These golden coins and then served with a soy dipping sauce.

It complements all Korean dishes, especially roasted fish, Bulgogi, or any Korean soup.

DIY recipe—

21. Korean Braised Potatoes

Total calories (per 100g): 182
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

It is prepared using potatoes and a handful of ingredients which makes it easy to prepare and economical.

For this recipe, the potatoes are short braised in a soy-based sauce which has a slightly sweet tone. You can make this spicy by adding a tablespoon of gochujang.

Serve this with rice and kimchi for a filling meal.

DIY recipe—

22. Korean Sesame Broccoli

Total preparation time: 15 minutes

In this dish steamed/blanched broccoli is dressed in a generous amount of sesame oil and sesame seeds, and then seasoned with some salt.

There are some people who are horrified by broccoli because of their first childhood encounter with it.

But this tasty side dish will change the story.

DIY recipe—-

23. Cabbage Doenjang Soup

Total calories (per 100g): 29
Total preparation time: 10 minutes

Doenjang is fermented soybean paste and is used as a base for this cabbage soup.

Cabbage Doenjang Soup is an earthy and spicy soup that is popular in Korea as comfort food which is usually made during the fall.

Light and mild, this soup is served with rice and Kimchi.

DIY recipe—

24. Spicy Gochujang Mayo

Total calories (per 100g): 536
Total preparation time: 2 minutes

It is made with two ingredients— mayonnaise and gochujang i.e. the red chili pepper paste. If you wish to add some zing and cut down creaminess then add lime juice.

It is has a mild tanginess and rich umami flavor.

This can be served as a dipping sauce or used as a condiment for Korean dishes.

DIY recipe—

25. Ssamjang Korean Spicy Dipping Sauce

Total calories (per 100g): 225
Total preparation time: 5 minutes

Ssamjang is a thick, spicy, savory paste that owes its umami flavors to the chemistry of Gochujang and Doenjang.

Its name translates to ‘sauce for wraps’ and it is typically prepared for being spread on a lettuce leaf and creating a bite with grilled meat, kimchi, cucumber, and carrots.

DIY recipe—

26. Korean Spicy Tuna

Total preparation time: 8 minutes

In Korea, there is a special canned tuna known as called ‘Gochu Chamchi’ which translates to ‘chili tuna’.

It has a well-balanced flavor profile of sweet, tangy, and spicy. The contents of the canned tuna are cooked with vegetables, tuna sauce, and sesame oil for this recipe.

Make a meal by serving it with rice or pasta.

DIY recipe—

27. Sautéed Bellflower Roots

Total preparation time: 15 minutes

This side dish is for those who wish to savor delicate flavor dishes.

Doraji Namul or Sautéed Bellflower roots is a traditional Korean side dish made with Doraji which is a purple flowering plant which is found in East Asia.

This dish has simple flavors with a slightly bitter after taste and is served in a traditional Bibimbap.

DIY recipe>

28. Korean Shiitake Mushrooms

Total calories (per 100g): 56
Total preparation time: 9 minutes

One of the easiest and quickest Korean side dishes; it is perfect for Bibimbap and Kimbap.

Shiitake Mushrooms have a bold, hearty and earthy texture and when they are stir-fried in sesame oil and garlic, they just become irresistible.

It has a lot of umami flavors with a meaty texture. Just serve it with some rice and enjoy!

DIY recipe—

29. Korean Style Sausage Stir Fry

Total preparation time: 10 minutes

This side dish is loved by kids and adults alike and is popular in lunchboxes.

Locally known as Sausage Yachae Bokkeum this side dish is typically made with Korean-style Vienna sausages and colorful vegetables.

The veggies and sausages are covered in flavor enhancers crafted from ketchup and sugar which makes this dish extremely scrumptious.

DIY recipe—

30. Crab Omelette

Total calories (per 100g): 81
Total preparation time: 30 minutes

This is one adorable side dish that is perfect to express your love subtly in form of food.

These mini egg omelettes are made with imitation crab meat and molded into a heart shape.

With a cute shape and burst of flavors, this side dish can make your intimate dinner a success!

DIY recipe>

The Bottom Line

We hope this wholesome guide gave you a glimpse of the Korean side dish world. 

If you have any tips or suggestions, please let us know below.

Do share this guide with your family and friends

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.

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