A List of Marvelous Modern Korean Dishes and Drinks

Korea has a wealth of traditional foods and recipes, but it's also a goldmine of modern dishes. Some of the "new" dishes are modernized takes on traditional dishes, while others are fusion cuisine. This list even includes some old favorites livened up with global ingredients.

  • 01 of 11
    Yuzu citron
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    Yuja, the Korean citron fruit, has a zingy, tart flavor that combines elements of mandarin oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. Although yuja chung, the Korean yuzu marmalade, is traditionally used for making hot tea, it can add vitality and contemporary glamor to mixed drink cocktails.

  • 02 of 11
    homemade green tea ice cream
    isaac'licious/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    Green tea ice cream is popular all over Korea, and you can also find it in Korean restaurants and grocery stores all over the world. It's an easy and addictive ice cream to make if you have natural green tea powder, which you can find in Asian grocery stores and online. The Korean label might say: “Nokcha Karu” while Japanese brands will say “Matcha.”

  • 03 of 11

    Shrimp and Linguine Salad with Spicy Korean Dressing

    shrimp
    Juanmonino/Getty Images

    Bright and fresh, this shrimp salad is packed with vegetables and topped with a spicy-sweet dressing. You can increase the amount of pasta and shrimp if you want to serve this as a full meal.

  • 04 of 11

    Korean Tuna Croquettes Recipe (Chamchi Jun)

    Fried fish cakes
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    Canned tuna fish is popular in Korea for the same reasons it is popular in many other parts of the world: it's convenient, tasty and a good source of healthy protein. These tuna croquettes (or tuna pancakes or patties) are delicious when eaten hot, but they are also a popular snack or lunchbox food that can be eaten at room temperature.

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  • 05 of 11
    Budae Jiggae, Korean Spicy stew
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    Budae Chigae was invented during the famine years of the Korean war and post-war period. Koreans managed to use leftover meat discarded or handed out from the U.S. army bases to make this dish (" Budae" means military base and "Chigae" means stew in Korean). It's a recent invention with a thousand variations, but it's mostly a lip-smacking mixture of Western meat, ramen noodles, vegetables, and spices.

  • 06 of 11

    Fresh Salad with Garlic and Yogurt Dressing

    Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes
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    This vegetable salad has a lot of peppery notes and crunch. It's perfect topped with a smooth yogurt and garlic dressing.

  • 07 of 11
    Confetti Coleslaw Close Up
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    This is an easy Korean 'salad' that can be made with Western cabbage (yang baechu). These days, now that you can easily find bagged coleslaw in grocery stores, this Korean coleslaw is easy to make. There's no mayo, so this coleslaw is light and pairs well with both picnic food and Korean meals.

  • 08 of 11

    Fresh Spring Rolls with Spicy Korean Dipping Sauce

    Homemade spring rolls
    T.Tseng/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    This is not a traditional Korean recipe, but these spring rolls are made with perilla leaves and kochujang (spicy Korean chili pepper paste), two common Korean ingredients.

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  • 09 of 11
    Plate of potato salad
    Seiko Hayase/Getty

    Potato salad is popular in Korea, which surprises many non-Asians. It's either included in meals as a side dish or makes a meal as a sandwich filling. Unlike Western versions, it includes fruit, vegetables, and sometimes ham, and it doesn't have a vinegary component. I usually omit the ham if I'm using it as banchan (side dish) but include it if I'm expecting to use the salad for lunch or picnic sandwiches.

  • 10 of 11
    Soju
    Ryan Claussen/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

    A yogurt cocktail might sound crazy if you're new to soju, but yogurt soju is popular in Korea and all over Asia. Both yogurt and soju go well with the fiery aspects of Korean cuisine, so it makes sense that they'd be mixed by Koreans. But be careful, as the most common complaint about yogurt soju is that it's so easy to drink that you're drunk before you know it.

  • 11 of 11

    Sparkling Ginger Cocktail

    Ginger ale with ice cubes in drinking glass
    Jamie Grill/Tetra Images/Getty Images

    Although this is not a traditional Korean drink, both soju and ginger are important and essential parts of Korean cuisine.