ESSENTIAL KOREAN DISHES TO IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS
There are literally thousands of foods I could put in my 10 Essential Korean Dishes to Impress Your Guests list. Hotteok (Korean sweet pancake), Kimchi Pancakes, Korean Omelette, Kimbap (Korean seaweed roll), Gamjatang (Pork bone stew) to name a few, but I have managed to whittle it down to my absolute favourites. The dishes on this list will never fail to impress at your next dinner party. Get ready to give your taste buds a proper treat. Click on the pictures or links to go to the recipes and videos.
10 Essential Korean Dishes to Impress Your Guests
갈비찜 Braised Pork Ribs (Galbijjim)
Galbijjim is a slow cooked dish of pork or beef ribs with soy sauce and garlic. The meat is so tender and juicy. This is usually at the top of everyone’s list of favourite Korean foods. In Korea, we usually make it with beef ribs but they are very difficult to find in the UK. Waitrose, a British supermarket sells them, but, they don’t have many stores where I live as they are primarily based in London and the south of England. So, I usually make them with pork ribs and the taste is still amazing! Whoever eats this dish will remember you. I made this dish 6 years ago for my daughter’s 1st birthday party and some of my husband’s cousins still talk about it whenever I see them at family parties.
Bulgogi is not spicy so it is perfect for kids and people who can’t eat anything spicy. It is perfect with a bowl of rice and some fresh kimchi as well as in a Bulgogi Sandwich between a nice baguette. Sandwiches lovers will ask you to make this again and again.
삼겹살 / 목살 Samgyeopsal/Moksal (Korean BBQ)
Samgyeopsal (belly pork) is easy to find in supermarkets and butchers in Britain. It is much cheaper than Korea. I was told that British people don’t really like belly pork as it has a lot of fat. Belly pork is more popular as bacon. But, pork shoulder (Moksal) steak is great for your guests if they don’t like pork belly. We eat pork shoulder in Korea as well! Also, you have to show your guests how to eat Korean BBQ with lettuce, ssamjang and dipping sauce, spring onion salad and Kimchi. They will love it!
Bibimbap is healthy and really delicious. In London, there are a few restaurants that only sell Bibimbap and the queue at lunch time is massive! Bibimbap is great because you can customize it anyway you like. You can add any combination of your favourite vegetables, bulgogi, chicken, king prawns as well as tofu if you want a vegan option for your guests. This is a very common dish for Koreans and I can eat this every single day without getting bored.
Japchae is stir fried beef and vegetables with glass noodles. Glass noodles are probably one of my favourite noodles! They are made from sweet potatoes and are clear when cooked, which explains the name. They are soft, light and springy and take on the taste of whatever they are cooked with. Yum! It is such a healthy dish and the taste is amazing!
Kimchi is a food that you either love or hate. The people who hate kimchi say that it is too sour and spicy. I think they have never tried a good homemade kimchi like mine! I teach kimchi making classes in the UK as some of you may know already. Kimchi is very popular in the UK at the moment as it has a reputation of being a superfood! There are over 200 kinds of kimchi. I have recipes for the most popular types of kimchi on my blog, Cucumber Kimchi, White Kimchi, Radish Kimchi and my Easy Asian/Napa Cabbage Kimchi. Kimchi fried rice and kimchi fusion foods are also popular.
치킨 Korean Fried Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) is popular outside of Korea. Famous British Chef, Jamie Oliver and John Torode introduced how to make Korean Fried Chicken on their websites. My favourite British chefs, The Hairy Bikers visited South Korea and ate Korean Fried Chicken on TV. Korean Fried Chicken is crunchy, crispy and thoroughly umami and the endless sauce options are amazingly tasty. Your next dinner party will be a complete success if you make this one!
해물파전 Haemulpajeon (Seafood Spring Onion Pancake)
This Seafood Spring Onion Pancake is very popular in Korea. My mum used to cook lots on lazy Sunday afternoons. This is like Sunday lunch for me! Some people don’t like squid or prawns. In that case, you can make it without them. It’s still delicious!
닭갈비 Dakgalbi (Stir fried Spicy Chicken and Noodles)
Dakgalbi is a dish you will love and never forget once you taste it! My husband considers Dakgalbi as the number 1 in the list of his favourite foods without any hesitation. His favourite food was curry before he tasted this food! In Chuncheon where Dakgalbi is from, there is a street of Dakgalbi restaurants. The street is packed with Koreans as well as tourists. We used to drive for 5 hours to eat the original Dakgalbi! If your guests don’t mind spicy food, this is definitely the one to cook!
순두부찌개 Sundubu Jigae (Soft Tofu Stew)
Sundubu Jigae (Soft Tofu Stew) is, not surprisingly, made with soft tofu. Soft tofu is made from the same ingredients as firm tofu but has a different consistency. Its texture is soft and slightly creamy, just like pudding. The taste is savory sweet and it goes well in any stew or soup. Anyone who tries it, can’t forget it. A friend of mine, a Canadian English teacher who lives in Korea, confessed she just rips the packet open and eats it straight with soy sauce!