The Most Popular Korean Food In America

popular korean food

Korean food has an effect on the lives of people in the United States. Many Americans have developed a taste for Korean-origin dishes. The signs of culinary influence are clear, and the Asian market dominates the food conversation in some major cities.

Bulgogi is very popular in the United States. In addition to Bulgogi, the most popular Korean dishes in the United States include KBBQ, Banchan, Bibmimbap, Kalbi, Galbi (beef or pork short ribs), Tofu Soup, Soju, Seafood Pancakes, Kimchi, and Rice Cakes.

Americans love Korean barbecues. They’ve made a name for themselves in major cities, joining the ranks of hibachi grills and sushi bars. The rise of Korean food in America is a result of the continued East Asian influence on the American diet.

Some Of America’s Most Popular Korean Food

Korean cuisine is a culinary powerhouse in the United States. The following are some of the most popular Korean dishes.



Bulgogi is a Korean dish made of thin slices of sirloin and other beef parts. Due to its tenderness and ease of cutting, ribeye is also utilized in the preparation of bulgogi. Pork belly is another commonly used ingredient.

Meat is usually marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ground black pepper to enhance the flavor of Bulgogi. There are also scallions, ginger, onions, and mushrooms in the dish.

Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ

Korean barbecue, also known as KBBQ or Korean BBQ, is a method of cooking meat that has been marinated. Before grilling, meats can be marinated in flavors like soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, gochujang, and others.

Kimchi, vegetables, rice, pajeon, and other Korean side dishes can be served alongside Korean BBQ. These side dishes are served in smaller bowls in the center of the table.

Occasionally, banchan, a type of side dish, can also be served as an appetizer alongside Korean barbecue.

Korean Tofu Soup

This Korean tofu soup is packed with flavor thanks to the inclusion of garlic spices, silky soft tofu, and kimchi in the recipe. The preparation time for this meal is only thirty minutes, and it offers vegan and gluten-free options.

In most cases, ground meat, eggs, and silken tofu are the ingredients that go into its preparation. The soup’s flavor is spicy. 

The sesame oil in the soup adds a great aromatic element, and the soft tofu is light and melts in the mouth, giving the soup the feeling of a cozy soup. Not too spicy, but also not too hard.

Some Korean Dishes Based On Classification

The diversity of seasonal foods in Korea reflects its four distinct seasons. In the hot summer, they cool it down with cold food or high protein properties.

Koreans enjoy seasonal spring greens in the spring, and there is always a wide variety of nutritionally beneficial meals available during harvest season.

Let’s categorize the following Korean dishes based on their respective food types.

Korean Dishes
Rice-Based Korean FoodBibimbap: Mixed Rice with VegetablesKimbap: Korean Seaweed Rice RollsTteokguk: Korean Rice Cake Soup
Korean Noodles DishesJapchae: Glass Noodle Stir FryRamyun: Korean Instant NoodlesNaengmyeon: Cold Noodles
Korean SoupKimchi Jjigae: Kimchi StewSamgyetang: Ginseng Chicken SoupSundubu Jjigae: Korean Spicy Soft Tofu StewGamjatang: Pork Back-Bone SoupBudae Jjigae: Army Stew
Korean SeafoodHaemul Pajeon: Korean Seafood PancakeGanjang Gejang: Soy-marinated raw crabs
Korean Meat DishesGalbijjim: Braised Beef Short RibsBulgogi: Korean Barbeque BeefSamgyeopsal: Grilled Pork BellyChicken: Korean Fried Chicken

Rice-based Korean Food

Rice is the staple food in Korea. Not only in restaurants, but also in farming. Rice is the most common food staple in Korea, and it is almost always served as a side dish to main courses. The following are ways that some Korean restaurants serve rice.


비빔밥 (Bibimbap: Mixed Rice With Vegetables)

The Korean dish known as bibimbap is made with a variety of vegetables and rice. The most common seasoning for this dish is red pepper, but if you do not like spicy food, soy sauce is a fantastic substitute.

Depending on your tastes, you have the option of enhancing this dish with eggs, fried ground pork, or ground beef.

김밥 (Kimbap: Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls)

Kimbap consists of dried seaweed wrapped in white rice and a variety of other ingredients, including spinach, pickled radish, carrot, egg, and burdock, among others.

It’s easy to take with you on the go or take on picnics because it’s already cut into bite-sized pieces.

The name of the dish is often taken into account when discussing Kimbap. Tuna Kimbap, for example, is typically made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, sesame leaves, and other ingredients.

Korean Noodles Dishes 

Noodles are a key feature of Korean kitchens. Over time, many different kinds of noodles have been made, which has made the dish popular in that part of the world.

Long noodle shape represents good luck in Korean belief, which is wealth, happiness, health, and eternal love. It’s no surprise that it’s popular for special occasions like weddings and birthdays.

잡채 (Japchae: Glass Noodle Stir Fry)

Japchae means “noodles mixed with vegetables,” and it is made by mixing sweet potato starch noodles with fried carrots, mushrooms, spinach, onions, and other vegetables. For optimal flavor, use soy sauce in this recipe.

Japchae was discovered during the Joseon Dynasty. It is believed that it was the king’s favorite and that it helped his officials advance to higher-ranking positions if properly prepared.

라면 (Ramyun: Korean Instant Noodles)

Ramyun is commonly referred to as a quick noodle. It has become a popular choice among Koreans because of its low price and simple recipe and is frequently consumed as a snack. 

With the rise in popularity of Korean dramas, ramyun is gaining worldwide popularity as a substitute for other snacks. The cheese ramyun recipe is very popular in the United States.

냉면 (Naengmyeon: Cold Noodles) 

Naengmyeon means cold noodles. They are divided further into Pyeongyang and Hamheung. Each dish has its own distinct flavor, making it stand out.

While Hamheung is known as “bibim” because of the addition of red pepper paste, Pyeongyang (also known as “mul”) is served in plain broth. Most of the time, these noodles are served with pears, cucumbers, and pickled radish slices.

Korean Soup 

Traditional Korean Soup 

In Korean cuisine, rice and soup are often served together. While rice is the most important and arguably prominent component of the meal, soup and possibly a couple of side dishes follow.

Korean soups are further divided into four types: Guk (국), Tang (탕), Jjigae (찌개), and Jeongol (전골). Guk is majorly made of broth, while Tang requires a longer cooking time than Guk.

Jjigae is made with heavy spices. Jeongol, on the other side, is cooked right at the table. The following are some of the most popular soups among Koreans and non-Koreans:

김치찌개 (Kimchi Jjigae: Kimchi Stew)

Due to its health benefits, kimchi is considered a national food. It is a traditional soup that many people around the world enjoy.

In Korea, there are numerous kimchi-based meals available, as well as kimchi jjigae recipes. Pork, kimchi, and tofu are common ingredients in the most popular recipes.

삼계탕 (Samgyetang: Ginseng Chicken Soup)

Samgyetang is a soup made from whole chickens. It has glutinous rice, ginseng, jujube, and garlic as its main ingredients. The “sam” in the name of this soup refers to the ginseng that is a crucial component of this well-known chicken dish.

Traditionally, Koreans eat samgyetang on the three hottest days of July and August, known as “Sambok.” This is to compensate for energy lost because of the hot weather.

순두부찌개 (Sundubu Jjigae: Korean Spicy Soft Tofu Stew)

Sundubu Jjigae is a popular Korean dish. It is tofu that has not been curdled or pressed. This dish can be made simply with plain tofu in broth, also known as Chodang tofu.

It is seasoned with a spicy blend of red pepper oil and red pepper powder and is very popular throughout the globe.

감자탕 (Gamjatang: Pork Back-Bone Soup)

Gamjatang is made with pork backbone. This popular dish is made with potatoes, vegetables, perilla seeds, and a variety of other ingredients. It is well-known that eating it in the morning can help get rid of a hangover.

부대찌개 (Budae Jjigae: Army Stew)

The word “Budae” means “military unit.” It is rumored that after the Korean War (1950-1952), there was a food shortage. This resulted in Koreans discovering unfamiliar ingredients such as canned ham and sausages, which they enjoyed at a U.S. military base in Korea.

Inspired by this, they began to develop a variety of recipes to suit their individual preferences. They combined ham and sausages with kimchi and red pepper flavoring. This is how Budae Jjigae came to be.

Korean Seafood

Korean Seafood

Koreans consume the most seafood worldwide. It is uncommon to find a menu in Korea that does not include seafood.

It’s difficult to imagine a table without seafood, owing to Koreans’ signature cooking style, which includes fermenting, boiling, grilling, seasoning, and pickling.

Here are some of the most delicious Korean seafood dishes:

해물파전 (Haemul Pajeon: Korean Seafood Pancake)

Haemul Pajeon is a savory Korean pancake made with green onions and seafood. This includes squid and clams, and it is always accompanied by a vinegar soy sauce.

The chewy texture of the seafood and the crunchiness of the green onions combine to create a delicious flavor.

간장게장 (Ganjang Gejang: Soy-marinated Raw Crabs)

Fresh raw crab marinated in soy sauce is used in this dish. Also known as “bapdodook,” which translates to “rice thief.” It’s called a “rice thief” because you’ll finish your rice in the blink of an eye and almost certainly ask for more.

One of the most contentious Korean dishes is ganjang gejang. Place hot rice in the crab’s shell and combine it with seaweed and roe. This will stimulate the taste buds.


Traditional Korean Meat Dishes

Historically, meat was reserved exclusively for festive occasions. In the 1980s, meat was first introduced into the diets of regular Koreans for the first time.

Nowadays, many people from all over the world enjoy Korean meat dishes to the point where Korean barbecues have become commonplace.

갈비찜 (Galbijjim: Braised Beef Short Ribs)

This dish is mostly made of braised beef short ribs. Short ribs are usually stewed and marinated in soy sauce, minced garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil rather than steamed. Galbijjim is quite well-known and ideal for celebrations.

삼겹살 (Samgyeopsal: Grilled Pork Belly)

The most desired cut of pork is the belly. This dish is also referred to as “Korean Soul Food.” It can be enjoyed with friends after a long day and is commonly consumed with soju (Korean alcohol). It is popular among foreign tourists.

치킨 (Chicken: Korean Fried Chicken)

Korean fried chicken is “Korean-style fried chicken”. This dish has a more delicate coating than other types of fried chicken. It is fried with unique seasonings such as sweet chili and soy sauce.

This yummy dish pairs perfectly with beer. Chimaek is a word that combines these two concepts: chicken (chi) and beer (maekju). Due to Korean movies, the dish is gaining popularity abroad.

Korea Food Cheap

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What Is The Most Significant Influence Of Korean cuisine?

Korean cuisine is primarily influenced by its agriculture and the seas that surround it. Its fertile plains are ideal for rice cultivation which is why the majority of its meals include rice.

2. Why Is Korean Food So Popular? 

As a result of emigration. Koreans have been emigrating since 1905, but Korean cuisine has recently gained mainstream popularity because of the influence of Korean movies.

3. Which Korean Dishes Are Vegetarian?

Kimbap (Veggie, Rice, and Seaweed Roll), Japchae (Korean Sweet Potato Noodles), Pajeon (Green Onion Pancake), Bibimbap (Mixed Spicy Veggies and Rice), Mandu (Dumplings), and Ramyeon (Korean Ramen Noodle Soup) are some Korean vegetarian dishes.

Final Words

Food is one of Korea’s most important exports, and the variety associated with Korean meals defines it on a whole new level. This article was successful in discussing the most popular Korean meals not only in America but all over the world.


The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 29 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time.

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