Recipes for Popular Korean Side Dishes

Pickled cucumber and squid make this list

Every Korean meal includes anywhere from two to 12 side dishes (banchan). The most important and well-known is kimchi, of which there are more than 100 varieties. However, there are also hundreds of other types of side dishes, including stewed crab and egg custard.

This list of popular non-kimchi banchan includes vegetarian, meat and fish side dishes for your table.

  • 01 of 07
    Eggs for Gaeran Mari
    Riou/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    This Korean rolled egg omelet (gaeran mari) recipe is as easy as any American omelet. It not only looks beautiful on the table, but it's an easy side dish for any meal. Healthful, delicious and full of protein, gaeran mari is a complete breakfast and an easy addition to a bento lunch or a Korean dinner. In addition to protein, eggs are also a great source of selenium

  • 02 of 07
    Korean Scallion Pancake (Pa Jun)
    Naomi Imatome

    This Korean scallion pancake recipe is easy to make and is always a big crowd-pleaser. It works as a hearty snack, an appetizer or a side dish to a Korean or Asian meal. As with most Korean recipes and dishes, you can tweak it to your own tastes. That means if you have the typical Western palette and don't like spicy food, you can reduce the number of spices to your liking.

  • 03 of 07

    Recipe for Korean Tofu and Meat Patties (Wanja Jun)

    Korean Beef and Tofu Patties (Wanja Jun)
    Naomi Imatome

    Wanja jun belong to the Korean group of food called jun-ya, or any vegetables, meat, or seafood that are covered in flour and egg and then pan-fried. These Korean mini "hamburger" patties have many names in both Korean and English.

    For example, you can call them meat fritters, kogi jun, beef patties, dhon jeon, and the list goes on. Whatever you call them, wanja jun look deceptively simple; the well-seasoned meat, tofu, and vegetable patties are bursting with flavor. Think of them as...MORE spicy, Korean-style sliders.

  • 04 of 07

    How to Prepare Korean Pickled Cucumber (Oi Jee)

    Korean Pickled Cucumber
    Naomi Imatome

    These crisp Korean cucumber pickles are delicious and easy to make. To serve, slice the pickles and serve plain or garnish them with scallions or chives. You can also adjust the salt level by rinsing the pickle slices with water or letting them sit in a bowl of water. If you have high blood pressure or another medical condition that requires you to watch your sodium intake, this is a good move to make.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Seasoned Korean Kaenip (Perilla Leaves)

    Seasoned Korean Kaenip
    Naomi Imatome

    Kaenip kimchi is one of my favorite summertime side dishes since we always grew kaenip in our garden at home. Kkaenip (kkaennip, Korean perilla leaves) translates from the Korean as “sesame leaf,” but it’s actually a misnomer because it is not related to the sesame plant. This kaenip kimchi recipe is easy, ready to eat in a few hours, and perks up any Korean meal.

  • 06 of 07
    Korean Manul Changachi
    Naomi Imatome

    Manul Changachi (Korean pickled garlic) is crunchy, salty and a little bit spicy. It's not the flashiest banchan (side dish), but it can get addictive. A number of Koreans like garlic in almost any form, but if you are new to popping whole cloves of garlic in your mouth, then it's best to start with the youngest garlic cloves for pickling.

  • 07 of 07

    Spicy Pickled Squid (Ojinguh Jut)

    Korean Seasoned Squid (OjinguhJut)
    Naomi Imatome

    This spicy Korean pickled squid (ojinguh jut) packs a lot of flavors, so it's the perfect accompaniment to a traditional Korean meal with rice and soup or stew.