If you’re wondering what to serve with your bulgogi, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for bulgogi.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with bulgogi are fresh kimchi, grilled bok choy, kimchi fried rice, braised baby potatoes, and yachaejeon. You can also serve japchae, fish cake stir fry, stuffed peppers, and baked potatoes. Try chilled oi naengguk, scallion salad, or pickled daikon for lighter options.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Also known as bapsang, these are traditional Korean side dishes served with the main course (in this case, bulgogi!).
Kimchi is one of the most popular banchan, but there are a lot more dishes to choose from like kongmuchim (bean sprouts side dish) and gagi-jinamul (eggplant side dish).
Kimchi is one of the most classic accompaniments to bulgogi.
But, if you’re intimidated by the tangy flavors of fermented kimchi, give this fresh kimchi (also known as geotjeori) a try instead.
It has a sweet and spicy flavor compared to the sour notes of fermented kimchi.
The only drawback is it doesn’t last as long as ‘normal’ kimchi.
Ditch the heat
Make it different
Cubed radish kimchi
Japchae is a staple noodle dish in Korean cuisine.
It features chewy glass noodles, tender vegetables, and a tasty sweet-but-savory sauce that will leave you wanting more.
Its vibrant colors and flavors make it the perfect base for bulgogi.
Plus, it’s a quick and easy dish that only takes about 15 minutes to make.
Make it chilled
Korean spicy cold noodles
Make it low-carb
Zucchini noodle japchae
Looking for a refreshing side dish for your bulgogi?
Try oi naengguk, also known as chilled cucumber soup.
It features crunchy cucumbers and salty seaweed – giving the soup a super (no pun intended) unique texture and flavor.
The umami from the seaweed is delicious with the sticky bulgogi sauce.
Keep it simple
Smashed cucumber salad
Make it warm
Korean nogak namul
This salad, also called pa muchim, is another classic Korean side for meat dishes.
The scallions are julienned and soaked in cold water to remove their slime, which makes them look fresh and curly.
In terms of flavor, you can keep it simple and season the salad with gochugaru (chili powder) and sesame oil.
Or you can make it more complex by adding soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
Pro tip: stuff this scallion salad with your bulgogi in a lettuce wrap for an easy yet light meal.
Add leafy greens
Korean lettuce salad
Make it healthier
Korean spinach salad
Enjoy this seasoned danmuji over a bed of rice with your bulgogi.
Danmuji is a pickled daikon radish that’s usually found alongside dishes like kimbap (or Korean rice rolls).
The sourness from the pickled solution is a perfect palate cleanser and will keep the bulgogi from getting too rich.
Vietnamese pickled carrots and radish
Make it refreshing
Radish water kimchi
Fish cake stir fry
Fish cake stir fry is known as eomuk bokkeum (a much more appetizing name!).
It has lots of variations, but the main types are spicy or non-spicy. This recipe is for the spicy version and uses gochujang and gochugaru (hot chili pepper flakes).
These give the fish cakes their heat, but they’re also responsible for the fiery-red color of the dish.
It’s delicious. Trust me.
Fish cake stir-fry
Make a favorite
Skip the heat
Tteok and cheese
Braised baby potatoes
Potato sides are a fantastic accompaniment for any dish – and these braised baby potatoes are no exception.
Also known as gamja jorim, the potatoes are covered in a sticky glaze made from honey and soy sauce, making them oh-so irresistible.
You’ll go through a whole plate of them before you know it.
And most of the ingredients are cupboard staples.
Braised baby potatoes
Korean potato salad
Korean candied sweet potatoes
A meaty bulgogi meal isn’t complete without a starchy side dish.
Even plain steamed rice works well, but why not think outside of the box with a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes?
And if you’re feeling indulgent, go all out with mac and cheese.
Kimchi fried rice
Kimchi fried rice is a classic side dish that pairs well with any Korean main – including bulgogi.
The combination of kimchi juice and gochujang (spicy pepper paste) gives the humble fried rice a flavor boost that any spice lover will enjoy.
Just pop a generous helping of bulgogi on top of your kimchi fried rice, and you’ve got the ultimate Korean comfort meal.
Want to take things up a notch?
Finish off your kimchi fried rice with a fried egg and nori strips. Delish!
Kimchi fried rice
Back to basics
Egg fried rice
Make it tropical
If you’re looking for a more familiar dish to go with your bulgogi, baked potatoes are a great choice.
A simple, baked potato is like steamed rice – the ideal base for virtually any saucy dish (bulgogi included).
The creamy, fluffy insides are just begging to be loaded with toppings.
Psst… don’t skimp on the butter when you’re making the potato.
Make a classic
Herb and garlic mashed potatoes
Make it crispy
Twice-fried French fries
Add a fun Mexican twist to your bulgogi dish by making these stuffed peppers.
These peppers are filled with rice, black beans, and Mexican spices.
It may be unconventional, but it actually works out when you think about the flavors.
The spices provide you with a tasty contrast to your bulgogi’s sweet and savory flavors.
Plus, these black bean stuffed peppers have everything you need for a complete meal.
Or you can skip the traditional stuffed pepper fillings and opt to make bulgogi beef stuffed peppers instead. So good!
Skip the rice
Quinoa stuffed peppers
Ditch the carbs
Blistered shishito peppers
Another fun fusion meal you could make is bulgogi topped pizza.
Noone is going to be disappointed when they’re presented with a pizza, especially not one topped with nuggets of delicious bulgogi beef.
Another Italian classic
Make it easy
Keep your bulgogi meal low-carb with a side of nourishing veggies.
Go with a classic vegetable stir-fry for a delicious Chinese twist or roast some broccoli florets for an effortless, hands-off option.
Yachaejeon, also known as Korean vegetable pancakes, is a fun way to sneak some vegetables into your meal.
The pancakes are perfectly crisp and golden brown, and sturdy enough that you can use them to scoop up the bulgogi.
You can be creative too and use other vegetables like zucchini, cabbage, or sweet potato.
Pro Tip: make a gochujang dipping sauce to go alongside them.
Cheesy corn fritters
Grilled bok choy
Keep your bulgogi meal light and healthy with a serving of grilled bok choy.
It’s packed with citrusy and spicy flavors that beautifully complement bulgogi’s sweet and savory flavors.
And you can whip up this grilled bok choy in just 10 minutes,makin it ideal for those busy weeknight dinners.
Grilled bok choy
Preheat the oven
Roasted baby bok choy
Keep it fresh
Bok choy salad
Vegetable stir-fry is one of my favorite takeout dishes to replicate.
It’s super easy and you can use any veggie combination you want – it’s a great way to use those odd bits of veg you have left in your fridge.
And since the veggies are stir-fried, they have a perfect crisp-tender texture and fresh color that makes them look oh-so-scrumptious.
Vegetable stir fry
Fire up the oven
Roasted sesame broccoli
Keep it fresh
I usually steam asparagus over the stovetop, but using the microwave has been a game-changer.
It’s quick, easy, and the asparagus is perfect every time.
For best results, you want to cover the asparagus with damp paper towels.
Pro-tip: toss the steamed spears in melted butter before serving them with your bulgogi.
Fire up the stovetop
Pan-seared asparagus with soy sauce
The best side dishes for bulgogi
- Fresh kimchi
- Grilled bok choy
- Kimchi fried rice
- Fish cake stir fry
- Braised baby potatoes
- Oi naengguk
- Scallion salad
- Seasoned danmuji
- Baked potatoes
- Stuffed peppers
- Steamed asparagus
- Vegetable stir fry
45 BEST Sides To Serve With Bulgogi
- 1 portion Scallion salad
- 1 portion Kimchi fried rice
- 1 portion Grilled bok choy
- 1 portion Baked potatoes
- 1 portion Japchae
- 1 portion Bulgogi pizza
- Prepare your bulgogi according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: fresh kimchi, grilled bok choy, kimchi fried rice, fish cake stir fry, braised baby potatoes, yachaejeon, japchae, oi naengguk, scallion salad, seasoned danmuji, baked potatoes, and korean stuffed peppers.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.