Also known as banchan, Korean appetizers are an important part of any Korean meal.
Unless you’re a big fan of Korean food, though, you might not be familiar with them. That doesn’t mean that some of them won’t look familiar to you.
For example, fried zucchini, Korean macaroni salad, and Korean potato pancakes should all look like something you’ve had or at least seen before now.
Korean appetizers incorporate plenty of typical Asian ingredients, such as sesame oil and seeds, soy sauce, and ginger.
Kimchi sauce and veggies are also popular.
If you want to try something with a bit of Asian flair, give one (or all!) of these ten Korean appetizers a try.
Korean Appetizer Recipes From Pancakes to Chicken Wings
Kimchi pancakes may not be precisely like the pancakes you’re used to eating; they’re crispier and much more savory, for one thing.
However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious.
You’ll make them with standard pantry staples (flour, water, sea salt, eggs, etc.).
The only ingredients you may find challenging to get are the Kimchi and Kimchi liquid.
The chilis aren’t hard to find, but you may be surprised to be using them in pancakes. These pancakes, though, are savory, spicy, and just a tiny bit sour.
They’re an excellent starter for Korean barbecue.
If you’re looking for a dish with a whole plethora of flavors in it, you’ll love these insanely scrumptious Korean beef tacos.
You’ll make them with Sriracha, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, ginger, brown sugar, garlic, and more.
That should give you some idea of how many diverse, robust tastes will hit your palate.
For the tacos themselves, you’ll build them with flour tortillas, the well-seasoned beef, onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, Kimchi, and Sriracha mayonnaise.
Tuna pancakes may seem odd, but if you think of them more like salmon patties made with tuna, they don’t sound nearly as bad.
These are a quick appetizer that you can whip up in 20 minutes or less with nothing more than tuna, eggs, green onions, onions, bell peppers, mayo, flour, salt, pepper, and oil.
They’re crispy, packed with umami flavor, and taste fantastic, particularly when you dip them in the homemade sweet and sour dipping sauce.
I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to turn down a plate full of saucy chicken wings.
That’s precisely what these are, but the sauce has a sweet and spicy Korean flavor.
The chicken is crispy and so tender that it practically falls off the bones, and while the sauce may be messy, it tastes so good that you won’t mind.
I’m not sure I can call it “finger-licking good” without breaching some form of copyright etiquette, but that’s what I’d call it if I could.
Pajeon is another excellent option if you’re looking to try Korean-style pancakes.
They’re not quite as crispy as the Kimchi pancakes above. Instead, they have a pizza dough-like consistency.
The edges and bottoms are somewhat crunchy, but there’s a light fluffiness to them, as well.
They’re an excellent dinner idea that you can make in just 35 minutes. Or serve them as a tasty Korean side dish.
They’re primarily savory, with lots of herbs, garlic, and earthy flavors.
There is a light sweetness to them, though, and that’s compounded if you make the dipping sauce.
They’re vegetarian-friendly and super easy to make, and you might find yourself adding them to your regular appetizer or dinner rotation.
If you’ve ever spent any time in the south or have even just passed through on your way to somewhere else, you’ve probably had fried zucchini.
I thought it was pretty much a southern staple. As it turns out, it’s a famous Korean appetizer, too!
You’ll bread your zucchini slices in a salt, flour, and egg mixture.
Then, simply fry them in olive oil. The whole process takes 20 minutes or less, and you can easily make at least four servings.
Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce, or just snack on the crunchy treats by themselves. Either way, they’re pretty delicious.
Korean macaroni salad tastes like macaroni salad from pretty much anywhere.
It has tender macaroni, a few veggies, and a creamy, zesty sauce that gives it its kick.
It takes only 15 minutes to make, and the only actual cooking you’ll have to do is boil the pasta. After that, mix everything and stick it in the fridge to chill.
It’s excellent as an appetizer, a side dish for your Fourth of July festivities, or a quick and simple lunch on a busy day.
If you’re in the market for a healthy snack that’s high in protein and fiber, you can’t beat BBQ chickpeas.
And if you have an Air Fryer, they’re impossibly easy to make.
You’ll pull together a marinade of Korean BBQ sauce, Korean hot pepper paste, and honey.
Then, you’ll toss the chickpeas in the sauce, throw them in the fryer, and let it do its thing!
You’ll be enjoying these sweet and spicy, super crunchy bite-sized treats in just 30 minutes.
And as for the flavor? They’ll put mixed nuts and beer nuts to shame.
Vegetarian recipes have never looked this good!
Korean lettuce salad may just sound like salad, but in fact, it’s much simpler than traditional salads.
All you’ll need is lettuce, onions (white and green), and toasted sesame seeds.
Most of the actual work goes into making the dressing, which you’ll prepare with garlic, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, sugar, Gochugaru, and sesame seed oil.
If you like cool appetizers with plenty of zestiness, give this simple lettuce salad a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the last option on our list is another well-known Korean pancake, the gamjajeon.
If you’ve ever had potato latkes or fritters, you’ll have an idea of what these are.
They’re crispy, crunchy, savory delights, and you can make them with just four ingredients: russet potatoes, onions, salt, and avocado oil.
Whip up the dipping sauce for the actual Korean flavor, or serve them with your own favorite dipping sauce. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy them.
I like to serve them with a crispy fried egg on top for a hearty Korean breakfast!
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