Korean barbecue is an amazing and exotic dish that I just couldn’t live without.
It’s like eating food from another world. It’s hearty and filling, yet light and healthy at the same time.
A perfect balance of savory and sweet, spicy and sour, salty and sweet — everything works together beautifully!
But what about when you’re having a Korean barbecue party?
What can you serve with this delicious meal?
Well, that’s what I’m going to talk about today.
I’ve created a list of 23 side dishes that would work great for your next Korean barbecue party. These sides are delicious and easy to make.
You can prepare them the night before and store them in the fridge. So when your guests arrive, you won’t have to worry about last-minute preparations.
You’ll be able to enjoy your Korean BBQ without worrying about what to serve with it. Enjoy!
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Korean BBQ?
There’s nothing like a traditional Korean BBQ.
Korean barbecue is a traditional dish that’s enjoyed across the globe.
It’s a dish that requires meat, vegetables, and other ingredients to be marinated and cooked to perfection.
While the main dish might be the star of the show, side dishes are often used to complement the meal.
Serving side dishes is a great way to add variety to the meal and make it interesting.
Some of the best side dishes for Korean barbecue include anything that contrasts with the main dish.
This means pairing it with a spicy or sweet dish.
Spices are also great because they will complement the meat.
5 Tips for Serving Side Dishes for Korean BBQ
Korean barbecue is one of the most popular types of Korean food. It’s one of the only dishes that Koreans love to eat outside of their home country.
However, there are a few things that you need to know before you start making your own kalbi.
1. Pick Your Sauces Carefully
When serving side dishes for Korean BBQ, you want to be sure to pick your sauces carefully. If you choose a sauce that is too heavy, it will overpower the dish you’re serving. As a result, you won’t get the full flavor experience.
So, look for a light sauce that will complement the dish you’re serving. The key is to use something that has a natural flavor profile – something that doesn’t taste too sweet or spicy. You can also try a sauce that is tangy or sour, but make sure that it doesn’t taste too salty.
For example, if you have a sweet and spicy dish, then you can go with a barbecue sauce that tastes sweet and has a mild spice flavor. You want to make sure that the sauce balances out the flavors in your main dish.
2. Choose Something Simple
If you’re trying to keep your side dishes simple, then don’t feel limited by the ingredients that you have on hand. You can easily serve something simple like rice, pasta, or salad.
This works great if you’re serving a dish that is full of flavor, but not something that has too much going on. If you’re serving a meal that is very spicy or has a strong flavor profile, then you’ll want to serve something that’s lighter.
This can be as simple as serving a green salad with your meal, or it can be something a bit more exotic. The key here is to make sure that the side dish doesn’t overpower the main dish.
3. Go for Something Different
If you’re feeling adventurous, you should consider serving something that’s different. For example, if you have a main dish that has a strong flavor profile, then you could choose a side dish that has a similar flavor.
If you’re serving a meat-based dish, then a vegetarian option would work well. You might also consider serving a dessert, if you’re having a dessert buffet at your event. These are just a few options that you could use to create an interesting meal.
So, when it comes time to serve side dishes for Korean BBQ, don’t be afraid to go for something a little out of the ordinary.
4. Pick a Good Dish
If you want to make sure that your guests enjoy their food, then it’s important to pick a good dish to serve. You want to make sure that you don’t choose something that’s bland or tasteless.
If you’re choosing a side dish for your own meal, then you should also make sure that you have something that you like. So, if you’re going to be cooking up your own food, it’s a good idea to start with something that you like. It’ll make the meal more enjoyable.
5. Think Outside the Box
You don’t always have to stick to the classic side dishes when you’re having a Korean BBQ. So, don’t worry if you don’t have a side dish that’s in line with the food you’re serving. You can still try something new and creative.
Try making a dish that’s unique to you. If you’re serving a spicy, salty meal, then go for something that’s light and fresh. And, if you’re serving a meal that is more mild in flavor, then you can go for something bold and exotic. You don’t have to be a traditionalist when it comes to your Korean BBQ.
23 Side Dishes for Korean BBQ
One of the best things about eating Korean BBQ is the wide array of sides you can serve with it. You can choose from a multitude of dishes such as fried rice, bulgogi, kimchi, and more.
So let’s check out 23 side dishes that are perfect to serve for Korean BBQ:
1. Korean Potato Salad
A dish that has been traditionally served alongside Korean barbecue, Korean potato salad is made up of boiled, shredded potatoes served with a spicy vinaigrette dressing. It’s a really simple recipe, and one that you can make at home as part of your next dinner party.
I’m a big fan of making this on a Sunday afternoon when the house is empty and we can have a good laugh at our own expense (or other people’s!) when we’re asked for the recipe. We have the whole day to prepare it, so there’s no need to rush!
2. Egg Rolls
A Korean classic that is loved by many. Egg rolls are delicious little parcels of steamed rice stuffed with an egg or two, wrapped in a crisp, thin wrapper of fried dough.
You can make them ahead of time and freeze them, but they work best straight from the oven if you want them to stay fresh and warm.
3. Stir-Fried Cabbage
If you’re planning on eating Korean barbecue at home, you may want to consider buying a packet of cabbage to have alongside your meal.
They’re super cheap, and will save you the trouble of cooking your own! Just throw some in a wok with a little water, add some chopped garlic, chilli, and soy sauce, and stir through for five minutes or so until the cabbage is tender.
4. Spicy Cucumbers
This is a quick and easy side dish to prepare, but makes an awesome accompaniment to Korean barbecue. Simply slice up a couple of cucumbers, toss them in some olive oil, and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a splash of soy sauce, and you’re ready to eat! To make the most of the spicy flavour, try to use English cucumbers, which have been bred specifically for their heat levels.
They’re also packed full of vitamins and nutrients, so you’ll be getting lots of goodness from this simple side dish.
5. Vegan Kimchi
When it comes to Korean barbecue, there’s so much choice on offer. Vegan kimchi is a great option if you’re looking for something different to serve alongside your meal. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish that’s packed full of great probiotics.
I personally love the flavour, but you might find it a little too strong for your liking. If you’re after a milder option, then look for a vegan version.
I’ve been known to add a few chunks of cucumber to my kimchi to make it a bit more visually appealing. You can also just buy a ready made vegan kimchi, which is often sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.
6. Seasoned Spinach Salad
If you don’t want to have to worry about what to serve with your Korean barbecue, then it’s a good idea to start with a healthy, filling side dish. A simple seasoned spinach salad is perfect for this, as it can be made with whatever ingredients you happen to have on hand.
I like to pick up a packet of ready-made Asian sesame dressing, as it’s the perfect flavour combination. You can also dress up the spinach with some chopped carrot, cucumber, and spring onions, or even a few extra leaves of bok choy, if you want to go a little more exotic.
Make sure to give it a really good squeeze of lime juice to bring out all the flavour, and you’ve got yourself a great, quick side dish!
7. Korean-Style Spicy Cucumber Salad
For a side dish that will really hit the spot when you’re eating Korean barbecue, try this one out! It’s got all the freshness and crunchiness of a cucumber salad, without all the hassle of slicing it up yourself, and it’s also packed with all kinds of great flavour.
I like to add some shredded green papaya to give it more of an Asian flavour, but feel free to use any other soft fruit if you prefer.
8. Seasoned Bean Sprouts
Bean sprouts are so quick and easy to make, but they’re often overlooked by many people who think that they can’t be eaten.
In fact, bean sprouts are packed with lots of vitamins, minerals, and protein, making them a really nutritious side dish! Add them to salads, soups, or stir fries.
9. Stir-Fried Zucchini
Korean barbecue is a dish that’s typically served with rice, so a side serving of stir-fried zucchini is an essential accompaniment. This is also a really healthy option, as zucchini is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.
You can chop it up into small pieces, mix it in with some seasoned rice noodles, and toss it in a wok or a frying pan to give it a bit of extra flavour.
10. Spicy Radish Salad
An easy way to get your veggie intake up is to have lots of salads at your next barbecue. This salad will really fill you up without weighing you down.
The spicy radish gives a punch of flavour to the dish and the crunchy vegetables offer plenty of freshness and texture. If you don’t like spicy food, simply omit the chilli paste.
11. Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes
For a traditional Korean dish, I would recommend making a batch of candied sweet potatoes. This is a really delicious side dish which pairs well with everything from Korean fried chicken to barbecued ribs.
It’s super easy to make, and the end result is a delicious, sweet, sticky treat that will have your dinner guests raving about you.
12. Korean Coleslaw
As well as offering lots of fresh vegetables, Korean slaws tend to pack in a huge amount of flavour too. Just because it’s coleslaw, though, doesn’t mean it has to be boring! I love using a variety of crunchy and tangy flavours here, like sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, and chilli.
You can always add some chilli oil or chilli paste to give them a kick. If you do have time, pick up a prepared cabbage slaw mix at your local Asian supermarket, or try making your own by following this recipe here.
13. Korean Broccoli Salad
Korean dishes are very healthy, so I always make sure to include lots of leafy vegetables in my side servings. Broccoli is a particularly good choice, as it’s packed with nutrients and vitamins.
The addition of edamame, water chestnuts, and carrot give this salad a lovely fresh crunch. It’s also super easy to prepare if you’re going to be on the go! Simply take a large bag of broccoli florets, mix them with a small handful of edamame, a few slivers of water chestnut, and some carrot sticks, and toss together with some light dressing.
14. Korean Tofu with Spicy Ketchup
Korean tofu is usually made from soya beans and is very different to regular tofu in that it’s slightly firmer, denser, and more nutty in flavour. You can buy it from most Asian supermarkets.
I recommend doubling the quantities in this recipe, as it really packs a punch with the spicy ketchup. The spiciness is actually pretty mild, so if you have a particularly sensitive palate, you might want to start off with half the amount of the chilli flakes.
15. Korean Green Salad
This side dish works really well as a starter or main course. The flavours here are a bit more traditional than what you might find at a restaurant.
Use whatever fresh ingredients you have in the house, and it’s really easy to make so you can enjoy it whenever you’re feeling in need of a change from the usual meat and rice dishes.
I like to mix up my greens with chopped romaine lettuce, shredded iceberg, shredded cabbage, spring onions, and radishes. It’s a great way to get lots of nutrients into your body, and is also packed with fibre.
16. Tuna Pancakes
If you’re serving Korean BBQ at home, then you know that a big part of the experience is the tasty side dishes that go alongside your main dish. These tasty tuna pancakes are a real crowd pleaser, as they offer a crunchy texture in addition to the protein.
I like to serve them with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve as many or as few as you like, and don’t forget to save some for lunch the next day!
17. Korean Braised Potatoes
Potatoes are a common side dish in Korean cuisine, and are commonly prepared in a variety of ways.
Try this one: take a small bag of ready-made potato chips, pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds to warm them up, and add a few tablespoons of soy sauce. Serve as a side dish with your Korean barbecue meal.
18. Sweet and Sour Radish Salad
If you’re looking for something light and fresh to serve alongside a Korean barbecue, I recommend trying out this sweet and sour radish salad.
It’s a really easy side dish to prepare, and the ingredients are so tasty and healthy that it makes a perfect choice for summer entertaining.
To make it, simply slice up a couple of handfuls of radishes, and sprinkle them with a generous helping of sugar, balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, and garlic. Let them marinate for a few hours and then serve!
19. Korean Crispy Mushrooms
If you’re looking for an easy vegetarian side dish, Korean crispy mushrooms are a great choice! They’re super easy to make, so they’re a good option if you want to serve your guests something that’s both quick and delicious.
Just chop up a handful of dried mushrooms, toss them in some oil and spices, and cook them in a hot pan for around 5 minutes. Don’t worry about leaving them undercooked, though, as they’ll continue to cook off after you take them out of the pan. Serve immediately.
20. Korean Sesame Broccoli
If you’re looking for something more substantial than potato chips to accompany Korean BBQ, then this Korean sesame broccoli salad is the one for you. The dish is bursting with savoury, slightly sweet, Asian flavours, and it’s really easy to make.
You’ll need to buy a bag of broccoli and boil it for a few minutes until the stems become tender. Then, drain the water away, and set the broccoli aside to cool.
Next, you’ll need to prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together some mayonnaise, sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Add in some black pepper, and mix well.
Finally, combine all of your ingredients in a large salad bowl, and serve immediately. This is a quick and delicious side dish that will go down a treat with your guests.
21. Korean Macaroni Salad
Another great option if you’re looking for something new, is a batch of macaroni salad. It’s super versatile, and works really well with all kinds of meals. Just toss in some cooked pasta, some sesame oil and salt, and a selection of your favourite vegetables.
22. Steamed Eggplant
A steamed eggplant is the perfect choice to accompany Korean barbecue dishes, and it’s also one of the easiest things to prepare in the kitchen.
You’ll need to start by slicing the eggplants lengthways into 2cm thick pieces.
Then, lay them flat on a large baking tray, sprinkle some salt over the top, cover with foil, and leave to sit for 30 minutes. Next, take the eggplants out of the oven, remove the foil, and place them back inside again.
Repeat this process once more, then drain off the excess liquid using paper towel and transfer to a serving dish. It may be tempting to use a sauce here, but it’s really important to avoid anything too sweet and heavy like ketchup or soy sauce.
Serve your steamed eggplants as they are, drizzled with a little bit of sesame oil and sprinkled with some sesame seeds.
23. Spicy Korean Rice Cakes
These rice cakes are an essential part of a meal at a Korean BBQ. They’re light and crispy and have a mild, spicy flavour. You can serve them plain, or dip them into a dipping sauce to give them that little extra kick.
23 Side Dishes for Korean BBQ
- Korean Potato Salad
- Egg Rolls
- Stir-Fried Cabbage
- Spicy Cucumbers
- Vegan Kimchi
- Seasoned Spinach Salad
- Korean-Style Spicy Cucumber Salad
- Seasoned Bean Sprouts
- Stir-Fried Zucchini
- Spicy Radish Salad
- Korean Candied Sweet Potatoes
- Korean Coleslaw
- Korean Broccoli Salad
- Korean Tofu with Spicy Ketchup
- Korean Green Salad
- Tuna Pancakes
- Korean Braised Potatoes
- Sweet and Sour Radish Salad
- Korean Crispy Mushrooms
- Korean Sesame Broccoli
- Korean Macaroni Salad
- Steamed Eggplant
- Spicy Korean Rice Cakes
- Pick any of these easy and delicious sides for your next Korean BBQ dinner.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to serve and eat in no time!