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5 Healthy Korean Dishes You Can Make at Home

Enjoy watching K-dramas? Get a taste of the Korean food on your screen!

By: Patricia Marie Prado | March 26, 2021
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Craving for Korean food? Have some at home!

In 2017, we saw the meteoric rise of the Korean wave or Hallyu. Although we’ve been watching K-dramas for years, in the past year alone, we discovered the sweetest, cutest, and most romantic Korean series that gave us all the “feels.” Who didn’t fall in love with Strong Woman Do Bong Soon or get inspired by Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo?

But along with their unique storylines, these K-dramas also got us interested in the daily lives and the culture of Koreans—from their clothes, cosmetics, and hobbies to, most especially, their food. There may have been hundreds of Korean restaurants that opened in the past few years, but did you know that you can make home-cooked versions of some of the dishes that they serve? Read on and you might find some Korean dish you can make on your own for your next K-drama binge-watching.

1. Kimchi

famous Korean food recipes

Create your own kimchi and have it anytime you want.

Kimchi is one of the most popular Korean dishes and a staple in every Korean household, next to steamed white rice. The spicy fermented vegetable dish has become a favorite among Filipinos as well because of its nice kick and it makes one great appetizer before any meal.

To make one at home, you will need the following ingredients:

-One head of Napa cabbage, cut with the core removed,
-Korean radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
-Scallions (four, trimmed and cut into one-inch pieces)
-Ginger (one teaspoon, grated)
-Garlic (one tablespoon grated)
-Salt (1/4 cup)
-Water (1/4 cup)
-Sugar (one teaspoon)
-Korean red pepper paste or gochujang (three tablespoons)

How to Prepare:

1. Massage the cabbage with salt and once it softens, put it into a small bowl and fill it with water. Cover for two hours and rinse it with cold water for 15 minutes.
2. Make the paste by mixing the ginger and garlic together with the sugar and a bit of water. Once it turns into a paste, mix in the gochujang.
3. Mix the cabbage together with the paste and the Korean radish and scallions. Make sure to cover the vegetables thoroughly with the paste.
4. Put everything in a jar and fill it with brine (a mixture of salt and water).
5. Let it ferment for four to five days and eat it once ready.

2. Kimchi Fried Rice

famous Korean food recipes

Skip your favorite Korean restaurant and make this kimchi fried rice in your own home.

Another popular Korean dish that you’ve probably seen in various restaurants, regardless if they are Korean or not, is kimchi fried rice or kimchi bokkeum bap. Usually served with an egg on top, it is a popular dish in Korea, especially among students living alone because it is easy to prepare. Aside from being a tasty treat, it is also packed with nutrients brought by the spices of kimchi.

To make one at home, you will need the following ingredients:

-Kimchi (1/2 cup)
-Onion (1/2 cup)
-Garlic (two cloves)
-Cooked rice (two cups)
-Scallions (two, chopped)
-Sesame oil (two teaspoons)
-Egg (optional)

How to Prepare:

1. In a large pan, sauté the onion and garlic and add a little bit of salt (according to your preferred seasoning).
2. Add your kimchi into the pan until it becomes a bit crispy.
3. Add the rice, sesame oil, and scallions and cook for about five minutes.
4. You can add an egg (sunny-side up or scrambled) depending on your preference.

3. Bibimbap

famous Korean food recipes

Unleash your inner Jang Geum and prepare a bowl of bibimbap on your own.

It seems like Koreans are fans of dishes that are quick and easy to prepare, and another dish that joins that roster is bibimbap. Bibimbap literally translates to “mixed rice” as it is a mix of rice and various meats and vegetables. One of the good things about bibimbap is that there are no hard and fast rules in preparing it. You can add whatever meat or vegetables that you like and you can also top it with an egg.

To make one at home, you will need the following ingredients:

-Korean hot pepper paste or gochujang (three tablespoons)
-Sesame oil (four tablespoons)
-Cooking oil (one teaspoon)
-Soy sauce (one teaspoon)
-Garlic (three cloves, minced), ginger (one teaspoon, minced) and roasted sesame seeds (one teaspoon)
-Cooked rice (four cups)
-Various vegetables according to your liking. You can use mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, bean sprouts, etc.
-Meat is optional, but you can add strips of beef.

How to Prepare:

1. Prepare the gochujang sauce by mixing the Korean hot pepper paste, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds.
2. Sauté the vegetables of your choice together and season it according to your liking. If you are including meat in your bibimbap, you can also stir fry it in a different pan then set it aside.
3. Put your rice in a bowl and top it off with the vegetables and meat. You can also add a sunny-side up egg on top. Add the gochujang sauce or put it in a separate plate and just add it to your meal according to your liking.

Go to Yoorekka to discover where to get ingredients for your healthy dishes!

4. Bulgogi

famous Korean food recipes

Create your own version of bulgogi and eat it alone or with rice.

Literally translated to “fire meat,” bulgogi is as popular as kimchi in Korea. The dish was believed to be served only to royals, but bulgogi has become a favorite in every Korean household, and eventually a massive hit among us Filipinos as well. Some may be worried about the fat that comes with this meaty dish, but the thinly sliced portions of the beef make it a healthy option. Although bulgogi is traditionally cooked in a grill, one can prepare it at home with a pan.

To make one at home, you will need the following ingredients:

-Thinly sliced sirloin (800 grams)
-Soy sauce (three teaspoons)
-Sugar (two teaspoons) or honey (one teaspoon)
-Rice wine or mirin (two teaspoons)
-Sesame oil (one teaspoon)
-Garlic (two teaspoons, minced)
-Toasted sesame seeds (two teaspoons)
-Ground black pepper (one teaspoon)
-Green onion (one teaspoon, chopped)
-Pear puree or onion (minced, three teaspoons). The pear puree will act as a tenderizer to soften the beef. If pear is not available, you can also use an onion.
-Vegetables like mushroom or carrots (optional).

How to Prepare:

1. Mix all the ingredients (except the beef) in a big bowl to create the marinade.
2. Pat the beef with a paper towel to make sure it’s dry and then put it in the bowl along with the marinade. Cover it with a food wrap and let it sit for four hours or overnight.
3. Fry the beef in a pan for three to five minutes in high heat, and reduce it once it turns brown. You can also add vegetables like mushrooms and carrots according to your liking. You can eat it along with rice or pair it with a cold beer.

5. Korean Fried Chicken

famous Korean food recipes

Discover a new way to enjoy your favorite fried chicken when you make it Korean style.

Many of you might already be familiar with Korean Fried Chicken or KFC thanks to fast food chains BonChon Chicken and KyoChon. Although there are many variations of KFC in South Korea, what makes their version special is their technique wherein they double fry the chicken to make it extra crispy. Also, instead of the usual fried chickens that are heavily covered in batter, KFCs are covered thinly with batter and are then mixed with a special sweet and spicy sauce.

To make one at home, you will need the following ingredients:

-Chicken wings (900 grams)
-Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
-Ground black pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
-Ginger (minced, one teaspoon)
-Potato starch or corn starch (2/3 cups)
-Garlic (minced, four cloves)
-Korean sweet chili paste or gochujang
-Soy sauce (1/4 cup)
-Corn syrup (1/2 cup)
-Sesame seed (one tablespoon)
-Brown sugar (one tablespoon)

How to Prepare:

1. In a bowl, put the chicken together with the salt, ginger, and black pepper.
2. Prepare a frying pan, preferably a heavily bottomed one, and put 4 cups of cooking oil. Cover the chicken with a light coating of the corn starch and fry it for seven to eight minutes under medium heat (340 degrees F). Once done, let it sit for a couple of minutes.
3. Reheat the oil once again and fry the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes or until it turns golden brown under high heat (375 degrees F).
4. In a separate pan, sauté the garlic and gochujang for 30 seconds. Slowly, add the soy sauce and corn syrup until it bubbles. Continue stirring and add the brown sugar. Make sure that there are no lumps in the sauce. Strain if necessary.
5. Mix the fried chicken with the sauce and fry for a couple of minutes in low heat (275 degrees F). Once done, you can add the sesame seeds.

These healthy Korean dishes are easy to make and won’t break the bank!
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About Patricia Marie Prado
Patricia came from the field of business and accounting but is now pursuing her dreams of being a writer. She is a self-confessed introvert and is passionate about reading, travelling, writing, movies, coffee and God. When she's not writing, she loves discovering new coffee shops/cafe and doing TV-series marathons.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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