28 Best Korean Foods & Drinks

1. Galbi

Galbi is a type of grilled meat dishes, usually made with beef short ribs. Galbi is marinated in a sweet and savory sauce often containing soy sauce, garlic, and sugar. The dish is served raw, then cooked on tabletop grills by the diners themselves. Once cooked, the meat is cut into pieces with scissors and wrapped in lettuce leaves or other leafy vegetables.

2. Bulgogi

Bulgogi is a type of grilled or roasted meat dishes, usually made with marinated thin pork or beef (Sirloin, rib eye or brisket) slices, grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle or stir-fried in a pan. The meat is marinated with a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ground black pepper, scallions, ginger, onions or mushrooms (white button mushrooms or matsutake). Similar to Galbi, Bulgogi is usually wrapped in lettuce leaves or other leafy vegetables.

3. Samgyeopsal

Samgyeopsal refers to a type of grilled dishes made from thick, fatty slices pork belly, sometimes with the skin. The pork often is not marinated, grilled on a slanted metal griddle or a gridiron at the diners’ table, inset with charcoal grills or convex gas burners by dinners themselves. Samgyeopsal is usually grilled with slices of garlic, onions, green chili peppers, mushrooms, and kimchi. The grilled foods are usually served with wraps such as lettuce leaves, perilla leaves, pickled radish paper and dipping sauces such as  ssamjang (made with chili paste and soybean paste) and gireum-jang (made with sesame oil, salt, and black pepper), pickled Siberian onion leaves or pickled onions, kimchi.

4. Naengmyeon

Naengmyeon is a noodle dish of long and thin handmade noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients, including buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot starch, and kudzu. Other varieties of naengmyeon are made from seaweed and green tea. The two main types of naengmyeon are mul naengmyeon and bibim naengmyeon. Mul naengmyeon is served as a cold soup with the noodles contained in a broth made from beef, chicken or dongchimi – a variety of kimchi consisting of Korean radish, napa cabbage, scallions, pickled green chilli, ginger, Korean pear, and watery brine. Bibim naengmyeon is served with a spicy dressing made primarily from gochujang (red chili paste) and eaten all mixed.

5. Jajangmyeon

Jajangmyeon noodle dish topped with a thick sauce, diced pork and vegetables or seafood.  Jajangmyeon uses thick noodles made from wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and water. The sauce, jajang, is made with fried chunjang – sweet bean paste with soy sauce, and/or oyster sauce, fragrants (scallions, ginger, and garlic),meat (usually pork, but sometimes beef), seafood (usually squid and/or shrimp), vegetables (usually onions, zucchini or Korean zucchini, cabbage), stock, and starch slurry. Toppings are julienned cucumber, egg garnish, boiled or fried egg, blanched shrimp, and/or stir-fried bamboo shoot slices. The dish is usually served with danmuji (yellow pickled radish), sliced raw onions, and chunjang sauce for dipping the onions. When eating, dinner mix the noodles and the sauce.

6. Japchae

Japchae is a sweet and savory stir-fried dish made from glass noodles and vegetables. The main ingredient for this food is dangmyeon – a type of cellophane noodles made from sweet potato starch. To serve, dangmyeon is topped with assorted vegetables, meat, and mushrooms, and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.

7. Gim

Gim is the Korean name for edible seaweed species. Along with miyeok (brown seaweed) and dasima (kelp), gim is one of the most widely cultivated and consumed types of seaweed in Korea. It is commonly eaten as a side dish and used to make seaweed rice rolls known as gimbap.

8. Gimbap

Gimbap is made from cooked rice vegetable and meat that are rolled in gim. Cooked rice is lightly seasoned with salt and sesame oil. Vegetable and meat ingredients for the filling include cheese, spicy cooked squid, kimchi, luncheon meat, tuna, yellow pickled radish, ham, beef, imitation crab meat, egg strips, ulgogi, spinach, carrot, burdock root, cucumber, tuna, perilla leaves).  They are seasoned and stir-fried or pan-fried. The food is typically served in bite-sized slices. In comparison to Japanese Sushi, Gimbap is bigger in diameter and the filling is made with more ingredients.

9. Soondubu

Soondubu is a stew made with freshly curdled soft tofu, vegetables, sometimes mushrooms, onion, optional seafood (commonly oysters, mussels, clams, and shrimp), optional meat (commonly beef or pork), and chili paste or chili powder. The dish is assembled, cooked, and served in a vessel. A raw egg can be put in the dish just before serving, and the dish is delivered while bubbling vigorously. Korean people usually eat this dish with a bowl of cooked white rice and several side dishes.

10. Doenjang jjigae

Doenjang-jjigae or soybean paste stew is a rich, silky stew made with soybean paste, often a small amount of red chili paste and available ingredients such as vegetables (scallions, aehobak, radishes, potatoes, chili pepper, mushrooms), tofu, seafood (shrimp, clams) and meat (beef, pork).

11. Kimchi jjigae

Kimchi jjigae is a stew-like dish made with kimchi and other ingredients, such as scallions, onions, diced tofu, pork or seafood. It is one of the most common jjigae in Korea.

12. Yukgaejang

Yukgaejang is a spicy, thick soup-like dish made from shredded beef, scallions, bean sprouts, bracken fern, taro stems, sliced onion, sweet potato noodles, chili powder, garlic, perilla seeds, soy sauce, black pepper, salt, sesame oil and/or vegetable oil, sometimes chili oil. All of the ingredients are simmered together for a long time. It is believed to be healthful and is popular due to its hot and spicy nature. Yukgaejang is generally served with a bowl of rice and kimchi.

13. Seolleongtang

Seolleongtang is a milky off-white, cloudy soup made from ox bones (mostly leg bones), brisket and other cuts. Dinners generally season the soup with salt, ground black pepper, red pepper, minced garlic, or chopped spring onions at the table according to personal taste. All of the ingredients are typically simmered over a low flame for several hours. The soup is normally eaten together with rice and several side dishes. the rice is sometimes added directly to the soup.

14. Budae jjigae

Budae jjigae is a stew made with ham, sausage, spam, baked beans, kimchi, red chili paste, and ramen noodles . The dish was created shortly after the armistice that ended the Korean War, using the scrounged or smuggled surplus foods from the U. S. army bases so that it is also called Army stew.

15. Gamjatang

Gamjatang is a spicy Korean soup made from the spine or neck bones of a pig, often potatoes, cellophane noodles, dried radish greens, perilla leaves, green onions, hot peppers, and ground sesame seeds. Red hot peppers make the soup deep red and spicy. The dish is usually served with kimchi and cooked rice for lunch/dinner/late night snack.

16. Samgyetang

Samgyetang or ginseng chicken soup consists primarily of a whole young chicken filled with sticky rice, garlic, Chinese date, ginkgo, cooked with daikon radish, ginger, and ginseng for many hours. This soup is a favorite food for hot summer days. It is eaten especially on 3 first days of the year in the lunar calendar.

17. Tteokguk

Tteokguk or sliced rice cake soup consists of the broth and thinly sliced rice cakes. It is usually garnished with thin julienned cooked eggs, marinated meat, and gim. This food is eaten on New Year’s Day to grant the consumer good luck for the year.

18. Jangjorim

Jangjorim or Soy braised beef is a side dish cooked from beef, soy sauce, green chile pepper, kelp, garlic, honey, sometimes hard-boiled egg.

19. Bibimbap

Bibimbap, literally means mixed rice, it consists of warm white rice, toppings including sautéed and seasoned vegetables (cabbage, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, mushroom), chili pepper paste, soy sauce, or a fermented soybean paste, commonly raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef). All should be stirred together thoroughly just before eating.

20. Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki or stir-fried rice cakes is made from small-sized long, white, cylinder-shaped rice cakes which can be called rice cake noodles. Some common ingredients used to add to the dish are fish cakes, boiled eggs, and scallions. It can be seasoned with either spicy chili paste or soy sauce-based sauce.

21. Mandu

Mandu are Korean dumplings which can be steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or deep-fried. There are many varieties of mandu fillings which can be made from meat, seafood, vegetables, kimchi, etc. Yibukshik Mandu – one of the most popular mandu is filled with kimchi, pork, beef, tofu, and bean sprouts.

22. Haemul pajeon

Haemul pajeon is a Korean pancake made from seafood and green onion. The food is typically served with cho-gochujang – a sweet, tangy and spicy Korean dipping sauce.

23. Twigim

Twigim is crispy fried vegetables which are made from okra, sweet potato, onion, carrot, served with soy sauce. It is one of the most famous Koreon street foods.

24. Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, with a variety of seasonings. There are hundreds of varieties of Kimchi made with different vegetables. The most common vegetables for Kimchi are cabbages (napa cabbage, bomdong, headed cabbages) and radishes (Korean radishes, ponytail radishes, gegeol radishes, yeolmu radishes). kimchi and Radish kimchi. Other kimchi vegetables include aster,  rapeseed leaves, scallions, soybean sprouts, cucumber, eggplant, garlic chives, garlic scapes, ginger, Korean angelica-tree shoots, Korean parsley, spinach, sugar beets, sweet potato vines, chamnamul, cilantro, balloon flower roots, burdock roots, celery, radish greens, cress, crown daisy greens, Korean wild chive, lotus roots, mustard greens, onions, perilla leaves, potatoes, pumpkins, and tomatoes. Seasonings include chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and salted seafood. In the past, Kimchi was stored in jars underground in order to keep cool, and unfrozen in the winter. In the recent, it is stored in refrigerators instead.

25. Hotteok

Hotteok is a  pancake which dough is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast and sweet filling of Hotteok made from brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. Handful-sized balls of the dough are filled with the filling, then placed on a greased griddled and pressed flat into a large circle.

26. Bungeoppang

Bungeoppang is a fish-shaped pastry stuffed with sweetened red bean paste/choux-cream, pizza toppings, chocolate, etc. The cakes are grilled in an appliance similar to a waffle iron.

27. Patbingsu

Patbingsu is a popular Korean shaved ice dessert topped with varieties of any combination of chopped fruit (persimmon, strawberry, kiwi, burberry, melon, banana, etc.), dried fruits, nuts, condensed milk, ice cream, cheese, chocolate, jam, fruit syrup, and red beans. Varieties of patbingsu which are not topped with red beans are called bingsu.

28. Makgeolli

Makgeolli is a milky, off-white and lightly sparkling rice wine. It has a slight viscosity that tastes slightly sweet, tangy, bitter, and astringent. Makgeolli has low proof, about six to nine percent alcohol by volume so that it is often considered a happy, communal beverage.

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