Delicious Korean recipes to satisfy your cravings
Ever since the #stayhome period started, we know that many of you had been missing a good Korean meal at the restaurant. Well, why not satisfy your cravings by recreating your favourite dishes at home. As intimidating as cooking Korean food may sound, it’s actually not that hard. Our tip for you is to start with the basics!
The best part about cooking is being able to play around with different ingredients and creating something new from the recipe you mastered. To help start you off, we’re showing you not only the basic recipes to some of Korea’s favourites, but also on how you can customise it with ingredients from your local supermarket. So, here are three go-to recipes to inspire you on your cooking journey.
Taking a bite of this seaweed rice roll is as colourful as it looks. The fillings are usually made up of carrot, eggs, danmuji (yellow pickled radish), burdock root, spinach and beef. You can always substitute the fillings with anything you like such as crab sticks, cucumber slices, chicken or omit the meat if you’re making a vegetarian version. Getting each ingredient ready may take time but you can always make extra and pack them up for the next day. Making kimbap at home can also be a fun activity to do with family and friends especially with the kids.
5 sheets of seaweed paper
4 cups cooked rice
½ pound or 500g beef skirt steak or chicken, sliced into strips (omit if making a vegetarian version)
1 large carrot, julienned
5 strips of yellow pickled radish
1 bunch spinach, blanched, rinsed in cold water & strained
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp brown (or white) sugar
1½ tsp salt
2½ tbsp sesame oil
Ground black pepper
- Mixed cooked rice with 2 tsp sesame oil and ¼ tsp salt.
- Marinate beef or chicken strips in soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove, ground black pepper, sugar and 2 tsp sesame oil. Stir fry and set aside.
- Sauté carrot with ¼ tsp salt.
- Mix spinach with 2 minced garlic clove, 2 tsp sesame oil and ½ tsp salt.
- Beat eggs with ¼ tsp salt. Heat egg mixture to get a thin sheet then cut into thin long strips.
- Spread a thin layer of rice on the seaweed paper. Add all the fillings and roll it to make kimbap.
Find the original recipe from Maangchi.
Interested to elevate your kimbap game? You should check out this Spicy ChEASY Kimbap recipe video by Cookat then. This recipe will open your eyes to the many possibilities of kimbap-making. For example, you can always season the white rice with kimchi and Korean spicy sauce. If you’re not a fan of veggies, you can replace the fillings with chicken, beef or just melted cheese for that oozing cheese pull!
Once you’ve mastered the art of rolling kimbap, let’s rollover to Korea’s Tongyeong city for their specialty, the Chungmu Kimbap —and you’ve got to try it! Rather than rolling in the fillings, they serve only rice and seaweed rolls with accompanying side dishes such as radish kimchi, spicy cuttlefish or mussel dish with hot pepper paste. And because it used to be a sailor’s staple food on long voyages, you’ll find more seafood in their side dishes.
If you ever visit Korea, you’ll notice a lot of food trucks, roadside booths, market stalls and restaurants serving tteokbokki. The sauce is so good that the Koreans would even dip their kimbap or fried foods in it. This super popular Korean street food has won the hearts of many because of its chewy texture together with that sweet and spicy flavour. It’s really addictive, you have been warned!
350g Korean rice cakes, separated
150g Korean fish cakes, rinsed over hot water & cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups soup stock, made from boiled dried kelp and dried anchovy in water.
60g onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
1 stalk green onion, finely chopped
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- In a pot, dissolve sauce in soup stock.
- Add rice cakes, fish cakes and onion. Boil until rice cakes are cooked.
- Let it simmer until the sauce thickens. Garnish and serve.
Find the original recipe from My Korean Kitchen.
When it comes to tteokbokki, the variations are endless—people have discovered other sauces for tteokbokki such as curry, jjajang or sweet soy sauce that is kid-friendly. For starters, check out a video on how this Honeykki’s Spicy Cream Tteokbokki recipe takes western ingredients such as milk, cream and sausages, and turns it into a rich Italian meal.
Can’t get enough of tteokbokki? Then you’ll need a tteokbokki mukbang tour at the Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town. It is an alley full of tteokbokki restaurants and each of them has their own unique take on the dish with recipes passed down through generations—don’t play play!
Kimchi Fried Rice
An easy recipe that is also a step up from your regular ‘nasi goreng’. This is one of those dishes that will taste so much better when you use leftover rice and old ripened kimchi. The key to making the best kimchi fried rice is the kimchi juice. It’s like a flavour concentrate that will help season the dish as well as give it a spicy kick. But it’s okay if you don’t add the juice.
3 bowls cooked rice
1 cup chopped kimchi
¼ cup kimchi juice
¼ cup water
2-3 tbsp gochujang
3 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 spring onion, chopped
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1 sheet of seaweed, roasted and shredded
- In a heated pan, add the oil and stir fry the kimchi.
- Add rice, kimchi juice, water and gochujang. Mix well.
- Mix in sesame oil and remove from heat.
- Garnish and serve.
Find the original recipe from Maangchi.
Take it to the next level and impress your guest by serving this kimchi fried rice crepe* by Cookat. By adding eggs, see how they layered the kimchi fried rice and egg crepes just like the mille crepe cake, and topped with a creamy omurice egg. The best thing is you can improvise—omit or replace the layers with seafood and protein of your liking. Thus, this simple rice and egg dish have transformed into a show-stopping star of the meal. And who knows, you might even be starting your own cooking channel on social media after this.
Since kimchi is such a huge deal in Korea, the Koreans have a festival dedicated to celebrating all things kimchi. If you’re a big kimchi fan, be sure to check out the Gwangju Kimchi Cultural Festival in Kimchitown (literally!), which happens every October. From seminars to exhibitions to performances and food bazaar, this festival is a great place to learn everything about kimchi. Some activities for you to look forward to are the kimchi making classes, Kimchi King Contest, Kimchi Bazaar and the Open-air Food Market.
Better start planning that trip now!
*This recipe video contains non-halal ingredients, please replace the protein/meat as per your preference.