Kimchi is Korea's national dish, but there’s a lot more to explore in Korean cuisine. From veggies, meat, rice, and lentils to mouth-watering spices and condiments, Koreans love to play with exotic flavors—and have developed several unique, must-try dishes over the centuries.

Savoring local cuisine is the best way to make the most of Korean culture. Traditional Korean cuisine is chock-full of subtle ingredients, aromas, and taste palettes from Japan, China, and Mongolia.

If you're interested in exploring Korean food beyond the classic kimchi, continue reading this blog to learn about seven finger-licking good Korean dishes.

1.    Korean Fried Chicken

You can't get enough of this classic! Korean fried chicken is one of the most popular Korean dishes worldwide. It refers to a variety of deep-fried chicken dishes, such as huraideu-chicken and yangnyeom chicken. Generally, it’s consumed as an appetizer or a snack.

A plate with spicy Korean fried chicken with sauces

It’s not similar to traditional American fried chicken—it has “a thin, crackly and almost transparent crust," says Julia Moskin of the NYTimes.

2.    Galbi

Galbi is a traditional grilled dish in Korean cuisine. It literally means ribs, and is served raw, after which it is cooked live on tabletop grills.

Depending on your personal preference, galbi can be marinated in savory or sweet sauces such as soy sauce, ginger, garlic, or caramel sauce. The Korean barbecue cuisine features both marinated and non-marinated beef/pork meat, cooked on high heat for a short time-span.

3.    Bossam

A delicious pork dish in Korean cuisine, bossam consists of boiled, marinated, finely sliced pork shoulder that’s made using the traditional gimjang technique. Although beef can also be used, natives like pork more. You can devour this classic with yummy sides such as spicy radish salad, salted shrimp, kimchi, ssam, or the inner leaves of Napa cabbage.

4.    Hangover Stew

Koreans call it Haejang-guk; the uber-famous Korean hangover stew is the perfect dish to savor after a night out drinking. It is also called “a soup to chase a hangover” and is made with dried Napa cabbage and other veggies in a warm, delicious beef broth.

5.    Korean Ramen

Do you love to binge-watch K-dramas? Then don't forget to buy some delicious Korean ramen noodles to enjoy during a TV marathon. Whether you want to slurp warm, tasty noodles during exam prep, or enjoy exotic Korean flavors in a noodle bowl, Korean ramen is the perfect choice!

6.    Soft Tofu Stew

Known as Sundubu-jiggai in Korea, this dish is made with freshly curdled soft tofu cheese, and is sure to gratify your taste buds. You can add mushrooms, onions, meat, seafood, gocha guru, and various vegetables to take its taste up a notch. The dish offers well-balanced nutritional benefits, and guess what? Soft tofu stew helps with weight loss too! 

7.    Bingsu

A refreshing summer delight, Bingsu is a popular Korean shaved ice dessert that features numerous flavors and toppings such as chopped fruit, syrups, condensed milk, and red beans! It’s probably the most sought-after dessert in East Asia.

A group of friends enjoying Bingsu

Bingsu is slightly different from traditional shaved ice desserts because it's not frozen into a big ice block, but milled down into a snow-like texture.

It’s Time to Add Some Korean Dishes to Your Daily Menu!

If you want to try out these Korean dishes, you’ll need authentic Korean grocery products to achieve the perfect flavors. We offer a wide range of Asian food products at SFMart, an online Korean grocery store in the USA. You can shop for the best Korean products here, such as ramen, rice, lentils, spices, and much more!