124 Top Korean Dishes

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The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Korea Foundation, the National Institute of the Korean Language and other experts in the field of food, cookery and foreign languages has come up with a standard Romanization for the 124 top Korean dishes frequently served both at home and in restaurants.

We have taken the liberty to change the order of the list by grouping dishes together as per its main ingredient. This will make it easier for foreigners visiting Korea for the first time to recognize not only the dishes but also where to order and savor these dishes.

The very basic element of a Korean dish is Rice, which is served with most of the dishes

밥(bap) / Cooked White Rice
Steamed short-grain rice.

For a quick bite you can head on to any convenient store or eating shack and look for

김밥(gimbap) / Dried Seaweed Rolls(Korean Rolls)
Vegetables and cooked egg are placed on seasoned rice. The ingredients are then rolled in dried seaweed and sliced into bite-sized pieces.

떡볶이(topokki) / Stir-Fried Rice Cake
A Korean dish that is stir-fried with rice cake, vegetables and fish cake in a spicy sauce.

쌈밥(ssambap) / Rice with Leaf Wraps
A traditional meal, where diners wrap their rice in various leafy vegetables. Ssam means three o ssambap is triangular in shape.

The Korean Roll - Gimbap

But if you are really hungry then you can head to a siktang (Korean Restaurant) and order

김치볶음밥(kimchi-bokkeumbap) / Kimchi Fried Rice
A spicy dish consisting of fried rice and chopped kimchi. Beef or pork may also be added.

비빔밥(bibimbap) / Rice Mixed with Vegetables and Beef
Rice topped with various cooked vegetables, such as zucchini, mushrooms and bean sprouts, plus beef and a fried egg. Served with red chili paste, which should be mixed in thoroughly.

만두(mandu) / Mandu
Steamed mandu (Korean-style dumplings) made with meat and vegetables. The dough is distinctively delicate. Served boiled, steamed or fried.

김치찌개(kimchi-jjigae) / Kimchi Stew
Spicy stew made with ripened kimchi, pork, and tofu.

된장찌개(doenjang-jjigae) / Soybean Paste Stew
Stew made with soybean paste, tofu, clams, and vegetables. It is served piping hot in an earthenware pot.

순두부찌개(sundubu-jjigae) / Spicy Soft Tofu Stew
Spicy stew containing soft tofu, seafood, and sometimes egg. It is served piping hot in an earthenware pot.

오징어덮밥(ojingeo-deopbap) / Spicy Sautéed Squid with Rice
Stir-fried squid and vegetables, typically onion and carrot, in a spicy sauce. It is served on rice and mixed thoroughly.

콩나물국밥(kongnamul-gukbap) / Bean Sprout Soup with Rice
Bean sprouts cooked in an aromatic anchovy stock. Rice added before serving and it is seasoned with shrimp sauce.

물냉면(mul-naengmyeon) / Chilled Buckwheat Noodle Soup (served specially during Summer)
Noodles made with buckwheat and starch. Served in a chilled beef broth with pickled radish, sliced Korean pear and a hard-boiled egg. It is often served with a side dish of vinegar and mustard.

비빔국수(bibim-guksu) / Mixed Noodles
Thin noodles mixed with a variety of vegetables in a hot, sweet sauce.

비빔냉면(bibim-naengmyeon) / Spicy Mixed Buckwheat Noodles
Buckwheat noodles and vegetables, typically radish and Korean pear, in a red chili sauce.

Most of the dishes above would be accompanied by a variety of Side Dishes

나물(namul) / Vegetable Side Dishes
Blanched or stir-fried vegetables, seasoned in various ways.

도토리묵(dotorimuk) / Acorn Jelly Salad
Acorn jelly salad mixed with carrot, cucumber, chili, and suk-gat (edible chrysanthemum). It is dressed with a soy sauce seasoning.

오이선(oiseon) / Stuffed Cucumber
Cucumber stuffed with colorful ingredients, such as beef, carrot, and egg. It is dressed with a vinegar sauce.

잡채(japchae) / Noodles with Sautéed Vegetables
A colorful dish made with glass noodles, beef, carrot, and spinach in a soy sauce seasoning.

탕평채(tangpyeongchae) / Mung Bean Jelly Mixed with Vegetables and Beef
Slices of mung bean jelly mixed with stir-fried beef, green bean sprouts, minari (Korean parsley), and dried seaweed. Soy sauce provides the seasoning.

해파리냉채(haepari-naengchae) / Jellyfish Platter
Thinly-sliced jellyfish and cucumber with a vinegar-mustard sauce. It is served cold.

갈치조림(galchi-jorim) / Braised Cutlassfish
Braised cutlassfish with radish and chili, in a soy sauce or red chili sauce.

고등어조림(godeungeo-jorim) / Braised Mackerel
Braised mackerel with radish and chili, in a soy sauce or red chili sauce.

두부조림(dubu-jorim) / Braised Pan-Fried Tofu
Pan-fried tofu slices, braised in a soy sauce and chili powder.

은대구조림(eundaegu-jorim) / Braised Cod
Braised cod with radish, in a soy sauce.

궁중떡볶이(gungjung-topokki) / Royal Court Rice Cake
Stir-fried rice cake with beef, mushrooms and assorted vegetables, in a soy sauce.

낙지볶음(nakji-bokkeum) / Stir-Fried Octopus
Octopus, onion and carrot, stir-fried in a red chili sauce.

두부김치(dubu-kimchi) / Tofu with Stir-Fried Kimchi
Sliced tofu, served with stir-fried kimchi and pork.


Some Restaurants specialize in serving only one or two of the dishes. Some of the specialist restaurants would serve only

Mixed Rice – Bibimbap

돌솥비빔밥(dolsot-bibimbap) / Sizzling Stone Pot Bibimbap
This meal is served piping hot in an earthenware pot, consisting of rice, cooked vegetables and beef, mixed with red chili paste. The rice is deliciously crispy at the bottom. It is the one of the most popular variations of bibimbap.

산채비빔밥(sanchae-bibimbap) / Mountain Vegetable Bibimbap
Rice topped with lots of freshly picked mountain shoots and leafy green vegetables. Red chili paste or soy sauce seasoning is then added and mixed. It’s served with red chili paste or soy sauce seasoning which should be mixed in thoroughly.

영양돌솥밥(yeongyang-dolsotbap) / Nutritious Stone Pot Rice
Rice, ginseng, chestnut, and jujubes, cooked and served in a hot stone pot. It comes with a soy sauce.

Korean Barbecue 

불고기(bulgogi) / Bulgogi
Thin slices of beef, marinated in a soy sauce, and usually grilled at the table.

삼겹살(samgyeopsal) / Korean-Style Bacon
Rashers of bacon, grilled at the table and dipped in a mixture of sesame oil and salt.

불고기덮밥(bulgogi-deopbap) / Bulgogi with Rice
Stir-fried bulgogi (beef in a soy sauce marinade), served on a bed of rice.

Stew Specialties

부대찌개(budae-jjigae) / Spicy Sausage Stew
Stew consisting of ham, sausage, pork, kimchi, and tofu in a beef stock. It is cooked at the table.

청국장찌개(cheonggukjang-jjigae) / Rich Soybean Paste Stew
Thick, wholesome soybean paste stew, which is made with tofu, kimchi, and chilies.

해물순두부찌개(haemul-sundubu-jjigae) / Seafood Soft Tofu Stew
Spicy stew containing soft tofu and seafood. It is served piping hot in an earthenware pot.

Chicken Specialties – Local restaurant very rarely serve chicken dishes. So some restaurants serve only chicken dishes like

삼계탕(samgyetang) / Ginseng Chicken Soup
Whole young chicken stuffed with ginseng, sticky rice, Korean dates and garlic. It is widely recognized as an energy- boosting meal during summer.

춘천닭갈비(Chuncheon-dak-galbi) / Spicy Grilled Chicken
Stir-fried chicken with onion, cabbage, and sweet potato in a spicy red chili seasoning.

닭찜(dak-jjim) / Braised Chili Chicken
Chicken, potato, carrot, and onion braised in a red chili sauce.

닭백숙(dak-baeksuk) / Whole Chicken Soup
Simmered whole young chicken

Soup Specialties

갈비탕(galbitang) / Short Rib Soup
Soup made with simmered beef ribs and radish.

감자탕(gamjatang) / Pork-on-the-Bone Soup with Potatoes
Pork backbone soup, made with potatoes, green cabbage leaves, and aromatic wild sesame seeds.

곰탕(gomtang) / Thick Beef Bone Soup
Slowly simmered beef bone soup, served up with chopped green onion and salt.

설렁탕(seolleongtang) / Ox Bone Soup
Nutritious soup made with beef bones and slices of beef. It is typically simmered overnight. Salt or seasoning may be added once served.

우거지갈비탕(ugeoji-galbitang) / Cabbage and Short Rib Soup
Soup made with green cabbage leaves and soybean paste, in a short rib broth.

육개장(yukgaejang) / Spicy Beef Soup
Spicy soup made with beef, leek, green bean sprouts, and bracken. It is widely recognized as an invigorating meal in the summertime.

된장국(doenjangguk) / Soybean Paste Soup
Soup made with soybean paste, onion, zucchini, potato, and tofu, in an anchovy or beef stock.

떡국(tteokguk) / Sliced Rice Cake Soup
Soup with sliced ovals of rice cake (Korean-style unsweetened rice cake) in a clear beef broth.

떡만둣국(tteok-mandutguk) / Rice cake and Mandu Soup
A clear soup, made with rice cake (Korean-style rice cake) and mandu(Korean-style dumplings).

만둣국(mandutguk) / Mandu Soup
Clear mandu(Korean-style dumplings) soup. Thin-skinned dumplings, filled with minced meat and vegetables.

매운탕(maeuntang) / Spicy Fish Soup
Stew consisting of seasonal freshwater fish, radish, and suk-gat (edible chrysanthemum). It has a rich, spicy flavor.

미역국(miyeokguk) / Seaweed Soup
Seaweed soup made in a beef or anchovy stock. It is a popular birthday meal.

북엇국(bugeotguk) / Dried Pollock Soup (Hangover Soup)
Clear soup made with dried pollock, green onion, and garlic. A beaten egg is added just before serving.

수제비(sujebi) / Sujebi(Korean Style Pasta Soup)
Soup made with small pieces of sujebi (handmade dumplings) in a stock.

Korean Barbecue - Bulgogi

Seafood Specialties

해물탕(haemultang) / Spicy Seafood Soup
Spicy stew made with seasonal seafood, radish, minari (Korean parsley), and suk-gat (edible chrysanthemum).

해물찜(haemuljjim) / Braised Seafood
A spicy seafood dish, typically made with shrimp, squid and crab. It is braised with bean sprouts and minari (Korean parsley).

생선회(saengseonhoe) / Sliced Raw Fish
Thinly-sliced raw fish. It is served with wasabi and soy sauce and a chili and vinegar dip.

Noodles Specialties

잔치국수(janchi-guksu) / Banquet Noodles
Thin noodles in a hot, clear stock. Topped with zucchini, chopped kimchi, and dried seaweed. It is often enjoyed on special occasions, especially weddings.

쟁반국수(jaengban-guksu) / Jumbo Sized Buckwheat Noodles
A large platter of cold buckwheat noodles and vegetables, in a red chili sauce.

칼국수(kalguksu) / Noodle Soup
Soup made with flat fresh wheat noodles, zucchini and potato. Soy sauce seasoning may also be added.

Hot Pots

곱창전골(gopchang-jeongol) / Spicy Beef Tripe Hot Pot
Beef tripe and vegetable hot pot. It is cooked at the table.

국수전골(guksu-jeongol) / Noodles Hot Pot
Beef and vegetable hot pot, cooked at the table. Noodles are added just before it is served.

두부전골(dubu-jeongol) / Tofu Hot Pot
A moderately spicy and well-presented hot pot, made with tofu, beef, and vegetables. It is cooked at the table.

만두전골(mandu-jeongol) / Mandu Hot Pot
A mandu (Korean-style dumplings) hot pot containing pork and vegetables, in a beef stock. It is cooked at the table.

불낙전골(bullak-jeongol) / Bulgogi and Octopus Hot Pot
A spicy hot pot made with bulgogi (beef in a soy sauce marinade ) and octopus, cooked at the table.

신선로(sinseollo) / Royal Hot Pot
A colorful assortment of pan-fried delicacies, in a clear stock. Historically, this meal was reserved for royalty.

뚝배기불고기(ttukbaegi-bulgogi) / Bulgogi Hot Pot
Bulgogi (beef in a soy sauce marinade) cooked with vegetables and glass noodles, in a broth. It is cooked and served in an earthenware pot.

Pork Specialties

갈비찜(galbijjim) / Braised Short Ribs
Short ribs, cooked in a soy sauce seasoning with assorted vegetables, such as carrots, mushrooms and radish.

보쌈(bossam) / Napa Wraps with Pork
Thin slices of boiled pork, served with kimchi that is used to wrap the meat.

수육(suyuk) / Boiled Beef or Pork Slices
Thinly-sliced boiled beef, served with a shrimp sauce dip.

아귀찜(agwijjim) / Spicy Angler Fish with Soybean Sprouts
Angler fish, braised in a spicy sauce with bean sprouts and minari (Korean parsley).

족발(jokbal) / Pigs’ Trotters
Pigs’ feet cooked in a spiced soy sauce. It often comes with a shrimp sauce dip.


Stir Fried and Grilled Dishes

오징어볶음(ojingeo-bokkeum) / Stir-Fried Squid
Stir-fried squid with vegetables, in a red chili sauce.

제육볶음(jeyuk-bokkeum / dwaejigogi-bokkeum) / Stir-Fried Pork
Stir-fried pork with onion, served in a spicy red chili sauce.

곱창구이(gopchang-gui) / Grilled Beef Tripe
Grilled beef tripe, served up with a seasoned sesame sauce.

더덕구이(deodeok-gui) / Grilled Deodeok
Grilled deodeok (a variety of bellflower) root, marinated in a red chili sauce.

돼지갈비구이(dwaeji-galbi-gui) / Grilled Spareribs
Grilled spareribs, marinated in soy sauce or red chili sauce.

떡갈비(tteokgalbi) / Grilled Short Rib Patties
Ground and grilled short ribs with green onion and garlic with soy sauce.

생선구이(saengseon-gui) / Grilled Fish
Grilled salted fish.

로스편채(roseu-pyeonchae) / Pan-Fried Beef with Vegetables
Lean slices of beef, pan-fried and then eaten with julienned vegetables. It comes with a vinegary soy sauce dip and a mustard sauce.

소갈비구이(so-galbi-gui) / Grilled Beef Ribs
Grilled beef ribs, often marinated in a soy sauce.

오리구이(ori-gui) / Grilled Duck
Slices of seasoned duck, typically grilled at the table.

황태구이(hwangtae-gui) / Seasoned and Grilled Dried Pollock
Dried pollock, soaked and then grilled in a red chili sauce.

감자전(gamjajeon) / Pan-Fried Potato
Pancake made with ground potato.


김치전(kimchijeon) / Kimchi Pancake
Pancake made with finely chopped kimchi.

모듬전(modeumjeon) / Assorted Pan-fried Delicacies
Assorted pan-fried delicacies, including beef, fish fillets, mushrooms and zucchini. It comes with a soy sauce and vinegar dip.

빈대떡(녹두빈대떡)(bindaetteok = nokdu-bindaetteok) / Mung Bean Pancake
Pancake made with ground mung bean, pork and kimchi. It comes with a soy sauce and vinegar dip.

파전(pajeon) / Green Onion Pancake
A colorful pancake consisting of green onion, squid, shrimp, and oyster. It comes with a soy sauce and vinegar dip.

해물파전(haemul-pajeon) / Seafood and Green Onion Pancake Pancake made with green onion and seafood.

계란말이(gyeran-mari) / Rolled Omelette
Thin, rolled omelette made with chopped carrot and spring onion.

Pickled and Marinated

육회(yukhoe) / Korean Beef Tartare
Julienned raw beef seasoned with salt, garlic, and sesame oil. It is served with Korean pear and garlic on top.

홍어회무침(hongeohoe-muchim) / Spicy Skate in Vinegar
Sliced and pickled skate, mixed with radish, Korean pear and minari (Korean parsley) in a red chili seasoning.

겉절이(geotjeori) / Fresh Kimchi
Unfermented napa cabbage leaves dressed in kimchi sauce, served as a side dish.

깍두기(kkakdugi) / Radish Kimchi
Diced radish kimchi seasoned with chili powder, leek, garlic, and fish sauce.

나박김치(nabak-kimchi) / Chilled Water Kimchi
A pink-tinged kimchi made with napa, thinly-sliced radish, minari (Korean parsley), in water.

배추김치(baechu-kimchi) / Kimchi
Cured and fermented napa cabbage kimchi, mixed with julienned white radish, leek, garlic, ginger, red chili powder, salt and fish sauce. This is the most common kind of kimchi.

백김치(baek-kimchi) / White Kimchi
A mild variety of kimchi, made with cured napa cabbage, Korean pear, and minari (Korean parsley).

보쌈김치(bossam-kimchi) / Wrapped Kimchi
Royal court kimchi wrapped around oyster, squid, Korean pear, and radish.

오이소박이(oi-sobagi) / Cucumber Kimchi
Cucumber kimchi filled with chives, chili powder and garlic, seasoned with fish sauce.

장아찌(jangajji) / Pickled Vegetables
Vegetables pickled in either soybean paste, soy sauce or red chili paste. Commonly used vegetables include radish, cucumber, chili, and garlic.

간장게장(ganjang-gejang) / Soy Sauce marianted Crab
Fresh crab, marinated in a spiced soy sauce seasoning.

젓갈(jeotgal) / Salted Seafood
Salted and fermented seafood side dishes. Commonly used ingredients are clam, shrimp, oyster, and pollock roe.

Set Menus

구절판(gujeolpan) / Platter of Nine Delicacies
A colorful platter of 8 julienned vegetables and beef, served with crepes in the center. It comes with a vinegar-soy sauce or mustard dip.

한정식(hanjeongsik) / Traditional Korean Set Menus
Korean Table d’Hote
Slap-up meals (Korean traditional set menus) consisting of rice, stew, soup, plenty of side dishes, and desserts.

Preferably for Breakfast

잣죽(jatjuk) / Pine Nut Porridge
Smooth porridge made with rice and ground pine nuts.

전복죽(jeonbokjuk) / Rice Porridge with Abalone
Rice porridge cooked with minced abalone. It is regarded as a delicacy.

호박죽(hobakjuk) / Pumpkin Porridge
Sweet, mellow porridge made with pumpkin and sticky rice flour. Beans or glutinous rice balls may also be added.

흑임자죽(heugimjajuk) / Black Sesame and Rice Porridge
Smooth porridge made with rice and ground black sesame seeds. Salt or sugar may also be added.

Korean Tea

Dessert / Korean Sweets

경단(gyeongdan) / Sweet Rice Balls
Sticky rice balls, rolled in cinnamon, black sesame, or soybean powder.

꿀떡(kkultteok) / Rice Cakes with Honey inside
Round, colorful rice cakes containing soft honey centers.

백설기(baekseolgi) / Snow-White Rice Cakes
Steamed rice cakes.

약식(yaksik) / Sweet Rice with Nuts and Jujubes
Steamed glutinous rice made with chestnuts, jujubes, pine nuts and cinnamon, in a honey and soy sauce seasoning.

화전(hwajeon) / Flower Rice Cakes
Round, flat, glutinous rice cakes, decorated with edible flowers. They are often served with syrup.

강정(gangjeong) / Sweet Rice Puffs
Sweet, hollow puffs made with glutinous rice flour and liquor. They are coated in honey and other ingredients, such as black bean, sesame seed, cinnamon, and pine nuts.

다식(dasik) / Tea Confectionery
Sumptuous treats made with pine pollen or mung bean flour, and served with tea.

약과(yakgwa) / Honey Cookies
Deep-fried cookies made with flour, sesame oil, Korean liquor, and honey.

Korean Tea

녹차(nokcha) / Green Tea
Tea made using the youngest and greenest leaves.

매실차(maesilcha) / Asian Apricot Tea
Sweetened Asian apricot concentrate, diluted with hot or cold water to make a refreshing tea.

수정과(sujeonggwa) / Cinnamon Punch
A classic, sweet punch, flavored with ginger, cinnamon, and persimmon.

식혜(sikhye) / Rice Punch
A traditional, sweet-tasting drink made with malt and rice. It is also known as dansul. Always served cold.

오미자화채(omija-hwachae) / Omija Punch
A pink, sweet-and-sour punch made from omija (magnolia fruit) decorated with Korean pear and pine nuts.

유자차(yujacha) / Citron Tea
Sweetened citron concentrate, diluted with hot or cold water to make a refreshing tea.

인삼차(insamcha) / Ginseng Tea
Traditional tea made from ginseng. A drop of honey is often added.


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