34 Korean Recipes You’ll Want to Put Into Heavy Rotation

updated Sep 22, 2023
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jjanjangmyeon being eaten with chopsticks
Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Korean food is an ideal starter cuisine for the beginner home cook. It delivers complex, savory-meets-spicy favors, often with a more simple preparation than you might think. Here, we’ve compiled several classic recipes — from the most basic cabbage kimchi to fiery bulgogi — plus a few recipes that have fun with the classics, like cheesy, savory oatmeal with kimchi and honey butter rice krispies tteok treats.

We think these 34 recipes are perfect whether you’re just starting out in the kitchen or if you’re looking to switch things up. All you need is a trip to H Mart, a curious mind, and a voracious appetite.

Korean Recipes

1 / 34
This easy recipe for hot and crispy Korean pancakes, filled with brown sugar and cinnamon, is perfect for fall.
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Cabbage Kimchi

You and your family can make kimchi your own. Rely on your own sense of smell and taste and you’ll end up with a fine batch. Two words of caution from my mother-in-law, however: too much garlic can make the kimchi bitter, and too much ginger can make it sticky. Kimchi can be mild or fiery, it’s your choice.

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Weeknight-Style Bulgogi

Bulgogi — translating to “fire meat” — is all about the marinade. Just as important, though, are the thin slices of brisket you’ll use to prepare this dish. If they’re thin enough to use in a quick beef stir-fry, then you’re good to go.

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Korean BBQ Marinade

A deeply flavored, salty and sweet marinade for bulgogi.

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Hobakjuk (Pumpkin Porridge with Rice Dumplings)

Think of hobak juk (or pumpkin porridge) as the Korean dessert version of butternut squash soup. It’s creamy, extra sweet, and topped with chewy rice balls that make the whole dish a little more filling and fun to eat. In true Korean tradition, it’s usually enjoyed on special occasions, but, hey, you made it through another work or school day — that’s reason enough for celebration, right?

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Rabokki (Ramen + Tteokbokki)
Rabokki is served in bunsikjips, or snack shops, all across South Korea as more of a lighter bite; but it can quickly and easily stretch into a heartier main course.
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Ah, gimbap. These rice rolls are the lunch-on-the-go of choice of Koreans everywhere. Fair warning that it takes a bit of practice to pack your rice rolls tight enough for the insides to stay put when you slice them, so don’t be discouraged if yours come loose at first try. Also, you don’t need to buy a bamboo rolling mat to make gimbap — feel free to make do with a folded sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper.

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Jjajangmyeon (Black Bean Noodles)
Extremely slurpable noodles smothered in a thick sauce made of black bean paste, diced pork belly, and vegetables.
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Duru Chigi (Spicy Pork Belly)

Pork belly is marinated in a garlicky chili, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil paste and then sauteed with scallions.

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Sweet potato glass noodles get stir-fried in a sweet-savory sauce with baby spinach and thinly sliced carrots, onions, mushrooms.
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Cheesy Budae Ramyun with Jammy Eggs
A less stew-y, more cheesy and noodle-heavy version of Korean Army Stew.
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Korean Corn Cheese Dip
This cheesy, flavor-packed dip comes together in less than 30 minutes.
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Quick Brussels Sprouts Kimchi
This fresh kimchi doesn’t need to be fermented and only takes about 20 minutes to make.
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Cheesy, Savory Oatmeal with Kimchi
Traditional oatmeal gets upgraded with scallions, kimchi, garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce and has two types of cheese.
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Honey Butter Rice Krispies Tteok Treats
This fun treat features a chewy sweet rice cake sandwiched between layers of buttery, honey-sweetened Rice Krispies treats.
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Korean-Style Fried Chicken Wings

These wings are dipped in a thin batter and fried twice — which gives them an extra crunchy exterior — and brushed with a spicy-sweet sauce spiked with plenty of ginger and garlic.

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Oi Sobaegi Kimchi (Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi)

Think of this as “gateway kimchi” — it’s only lightly fermented, so it isn’t as pungent as many other kimchis, and it has crisp texture that any pickle lover should appreciate.

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Tofu Kimchi Dumplings

Make and freeze a big batch of these tofu and kimchi-filled Korean mandu ahead of the busy holiday season. They’re easy to heat up as a bite to eat between running to events and make a nice appetizer for guests, too.

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Kimchijeon (Kimchi Pancakes)

These savory kimchi pancakes make a scrumptious snack, side dish, or appetizer. It’s easy to make them gluten-free and vegan, too. Just grab a skillet and a few simple ingredients.

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Korean-Style Chicken Sliders with Braised Kale & Kimchi

A Korean take on the usual pulled-meat slider; a juicy sandwich loaded with gingery, chile-spiked shredded chicken and tender kale braised with garlicky kimchi.

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Gyeran Jjim (Steamed Eggs)

When steamed in a hot water bath, the eggs set into the loveliest custard with the texture of silken tofu. The softness and saltiness are the perfect complements to steamed rice. Give it a try for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Galbi Jjim
These Korean braised short ribs are the definition of umami-rich winter comfort food.
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Korean-ish Brown Butter Blondies
Savory, then sweet — as if a butterscotch blondie and a salted chocolate chip cookie got together … then added doenjang, a Korean fermented soybean paste, to the party.
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Kimchi Chigae
This simple recipe layers the intense kimchi flavors you love into a rich stew called Kimchi Chigae.
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Traditional Korean soybean paste stew starts with a rich, comforting beef broth, then adds on various vegetables and tender tofu. Our version keeps it simple with an Instant Pot.
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Patbingsu (Shaved Ice Dessert)

Similar to Hawaiian shaved ice and snow cones, this Korean dessert starts with shaved ice but is topped with a variety of fresh chopped fruit, sweetened condensed milk, sweet red bean paste, mochi and sometimes, ice cream and colorful cereal like Fruity Pebbles for fun.

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Yangnyeomjang Seasoning Sauce

Comprised of several of my pantry essentials like soy sauce, sesame oil, and gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder), this sauce is spicy, salty, nutty, a little sweet, and rich with flavor.

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Ultimate Korean Short Ribs
The trick to making Korean BBQ at home and on a weeknight no less is in a marinade that brings the flavor and tenderness. Here's how to do it.
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Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad)

This quick and easy salad makes a great potluck dish, or a fiery alternative to kosher dill or bread and butter pickles alongside sandwiches.

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Slow-Cooker Korean Short Ribs

These short ribs are quickly browned under the broiler. The sauce is a cinch to throw together in the blender, yielding a lot of delicious braising liquid leftover to keep the meat moist. Don’t forget the fresh cilantro at the end — it helps add some bright flavors!

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Yachae Kalguksu (Knife Noodles with Vegetables)

Thick and wide, these noodles only require flour and oil to make. They go perfectly in this clear soup, which is more often made with chicken, but doesn’t lose its comforting essence in this vegetarian-friendly version. Cook the noodles separately for a clearer broth, or simply boil them with the vegetables if you prefer a thicker consistency.

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Korean Curry Rice

This mild dish uses beef short ribs, and it is cooked with carrots, potatoes, and serve over white rice.

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Sujeonggwa (Persimmon Punch)

Sujeonggwa is a Korean punch or tea, made by simmering ginger and cinnamon sticks and then adding sugar and dried persimmons. Although it’s served chilled, the warmth imparted by the ginger and cinnamon make it wholly appropriate for winter days.

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Korean-Style Beef and Broccoli Bowl
Love the sweet and spicy flavors of Korean bulgolgi? This weeknight riff with flank steak is ready faster than takeout.
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