A List of Marvelous Modern Korean Dishes and Drinks

Korea has a wealth of traditional foods and recipes, but it's also a goldmine of modern dishes. Some of the "new" dishes are modernized takes on traditional dishes, while others are fusion cuisine. This list even includes some old favorites livened up with global ingredients.

  • 01 of 08

    Yuja Tea: Korean Yuzu Citron Tea

    Yuzu citron

    GYRO PHOTOGRAPHY / amanaimagesRF / Getty Images

    Yuja, the Korean citron fruit, has a zingy, tart flavor that combines elements of mandarin oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. Although yuja chung, the Korean yuzu marmalade, is traditionally used for making hot tea like yuja tea, it can add vitality and contemporary glamor to mixed drink cocktails.

  • 02 of 08

    Green Tea Ice Cream

    homemade green tea ice cream

    isaac'licious / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Green tea ice cream is popular all over Korea, and you can also find it in Korean restaurants and grocery stores all over the world. It's an easy and addictive ice cream to make if you have natural green tea powder, which you can find in Asian grocery stores and online. The Korean label might say: “Nokcha Karu” while Japanese brands will say “Matcha.”

  • 03 of 08

    Budaechigae (Korean Army Base Stew)

    Budae Jiggae, Korean Spicy stew

    gengis birsen / Getty Images

    Budaechigae (Korean army base stew) was invented during the famine years of the Korean war and post-war period. Koreans managed to use leftover meat discarded or handed out from the U.S. army bases to make this dish (" Budae" means military base and "Chigae" means stew in Korean). It's a recent invention with a thousand variations, but it's mostly a lip-smacking mixture of Western meat, ramen noodles, vegetables, and spices.

  • 04 of 08

    Korean Pork Belly (Bossam)

    korean pork belly lettuce wraps with pickled radish and sweet rice and savory sauce

    Pete Scherer 

    These deeply savory Korean pork belly lettuce wraps walk a fine line between a light meal and and indulgent feast. Serve them family-style so diners can assemble their own wraps according to their tastes.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Fresh Salad With Garlic and Yogurt Dressing

    Fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes

    A. Aleksandravicius / Getty Images

    This vegetable salad has a lot of peppery notes and crunch. It's perfect topped with a smooth yogurt and garlic dressing.

  • 06 of 08

    Spicy Korean Coleslaw Recipe

    Confetti Coleslaw Close Up

    Enrique Diacute / 7cero / Getty Images

    This easy spicy Korean coleslaw recipe can be made with Western cabbage (yang baechu). These days, now that you can easily find bagged coleslaw in grocery stores, this Korean coleslaw is easy to make. There's no mayo, so this coleslaw is light and pairs well with both picnic food and Korean meals.

  • 07 of 08

    Korean Potato Salad Recipe

    Plate of potato salad

    Seiko Hayase / Getty Images

    Korean Potato salad recipe is popular, which surprises many non-Asians. It's either included in meals as a side dish or makes a meal as a sandwich filling. Unlike Western versions, it includes fruit, vegetables, and sometimes ham, and it doesn't have a vinegary component. I usually omit the ham if I'm using it as banchan (side dish) but include it if I'm expecting to use the salad for lunch or picnic sandwiches.

  • 08 of 08

    Yogurt Soju Cocktail

    Korean yogurt soju

    The Spruce 

    A yogurt soju cocktail might sound crazy if you're new to soju, but yogurt soju is popular in Korea and all over Asia. Both yogurt and soju go well with the fiery aspects of Korean cuisine, so it makes sense that they'd be mixed by Koreans. But be careful, as the most common complaint about yogurt soju is that it's so easy to drink that you're drunk before you know it.