Whether it’s K-pop, K-dramas or tantalizing Korean food, Korean culture has taken the world by storm. Every meal is jampacked with flavors and spices, nothing like you’ve ever tried before. Going to restaurants often to enjoy your favorite Korean dishes can get expensive, but luckily there are many cheaper alternatives. Here are some ways you can satisfy your Korean food cravings on a budget.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi fried rice is one of the most popular dishes in Korea and is also extremely easy to prepare. Though kimchi is a notoriously difficult condiment to prepare, this dish can be easily made with a store-bought can or jar of it. All you really need is leftover rice, cooking oil and kimchi. Fry the rice in some oil and add the kimchi over the top. Toss it around till everything is well-combined and then plate up and enjoy. Additionally, you could add green onions for garnish. With Asian food, normally sesame oil goes best, so drizzle some of that over the top once you’re done.

Canned kimchi (which will last you a while) should cost you no more than $6 and leftover rice is something you’re likely to have at home already, making this an extremely budget-friendly meal.


Bulgogi is supposed to be a challenging dish to prepare, but with store-bought marinades, you can make it from the ingredients you have at home. Just choose a few vegetables you like, such as onions, carrots, green chilis and mushrooms, and cut them into small slices. Then, take whatever meat you have at home, and pour the marinade over it, and let it sit for half an hour at least.

After this, take a bit pot and dump in your meat, vegetables and the remaining marinade, along with enough water to half cover the ingredients, and turn the heat on medium. Stir occasionally till the meat is cooked through and then plate up and eat! Bulgogi marinade sauce will cost you anywhere between $4–6, which means this is also easy on the pocket.


A warm bowl of ramen.

Packaged ramen is the holy grail of affordable Asian food. Just buy your favorite flavor, boil some water, throw in the noodles and cook them till their ready. Drain out the water (or leave it in if you like your noodles soupy), add the sauce packets on top, mix and enjoy!

If you’re looking for places to buy ingredients for your Korean food cravings, we’ve got you covered. At SFMart.com, an online Korean food grocery store, you can get all the things mentioned in this blog and much more. Check out our weekly deals for some great discounts as well!