5 Korean foods that you need to eat more often


The names might be difficult to pronounce correctly, but the flavors will have you coming back for more. These five Korean foods are dishes that you need to eat more often.

From food trends to exploring other flavors, Korean foods are gaining in popularity. Korean food is often big on flavors. Most dishes highlight five flavors in each dish. The flavors of sweet, hot, sour, salt and bitter are the notes that find perfect balance in a Korean dish. The combination is often bold and complex.

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In addition to the five flavors, Korean foods often highlight five colors, red, yellow, green, white and black. The colorful dishes are a feast for the eyes. With a rainbow of colors, the visual creates an anticipated of the bold flavors.

While Korean foods are vast and complex, these five dishes are a good way to start exploring the Korean flavors.

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Korean Food Foundation)


Before some people groan, kimchi is a very flavorful and good for you dish. Usually a side dish, kimchi is basically fermented vegetables. While some people consider the smell quite pungent, it adds a huge flavor boost to a dish.

Most often, kimchi includes a lot of cabbage and radish. Traditionally, kimchi was made by placing jars underground. Today, kimchi can be made in the refrigerator.

While many people have their own personal or preferred kimchi recipe, most recipes use Napa cabbage and various radishes. These vegetables are seasoned with salt, gochujang, ginger and garlic. The fermentation process produces good bacteria, which can aid digestion. Touting some health benefits, fermented vegetables, like kimchi, and pickling have grown in popularity.


Bulgogi is thinly sliced, marinated meat that is grilled, barbecued or sometimes stir-fried. Literally meaning fire meat, these small pieces of meat are quite popular. Many South Koreans consider bulgogi a favorite food.

To make bulgogi, the thinly cut sirloin is marinated in soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and other ingredients. The marinade tenderizes the meat. The meat is often grilled or sometimes pan fried.

People enjoy bulgogi in several different ways. Some people prefer the meat served over rice. Others prefer to wrap the meat in lettuce. Both versions are quite flavorful and enjoyable.

(Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Korean Food Foundation)


Gochujang is fermented red chili paste. This condiment is used in all types of dishes. Having a sweet, spices and savory flavor, the gochujang can be used as an ingredient as well as a condiment. Some people add it to a bibimibap to add some spice to the dish.

Since the sauce has three flavor components, the heat isn’t just a heavy pepper note. While gochujang can come is several heat levels, the condiment adds some sweetness when incorporated into the dish. That sweetness needs to be considered in recipes. This condiment isn’t just strictly added heat.


A popular Korean snack is pajeon. This food is like a savory pancake. Eggs, flour and scallions are combined together. While pajeon is a plain variety, other versions with additional ingredients are also popular.

To make a pajeon, the batter is poured over the heated scallions. The thin pancake usually has crispy edges and is served with a dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is often made with soy sauce. The key to knowing that it is a pajeon is that you can see the scallions.

Next: Your fries crave gochujang ketchup

These five Korean foods are just a sampling of the many delicious foods from Korea. Venture out of your comfort zone and try some new foods and favors. Just remember, it takes more than just a single bite to say that you don’t like something. Food is meant to be fun. Don’t get stuck in a rut.