9 Classic Ways That Koreans Enjoy Bulgogi Beef

bulgogi beef side dish

Bulgogi, aka Korean barbecue, is one of the most popular dishes in Korea.

Bulgogi beef is among the most common and delicious variations of this dish.

If you want to explore Korean cuisine and how indigenous people enjoy this delicacy, keep reading, and we will make your mouth water with the nine best side dishes to serve with bulgogi beef.

What is bulgogi beef?

Bulgogi, literally “fire meat” in Korean, is a traditional dish.

It is made with thinly sliced meat, which is beef in this case, that is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil before being grilled on the barbecue or cooked in a pan at home for extra flavor.

Bulgogi is also one of the most versatile: you can use all kinds of protein, including pork, chicken, or even tofu.

You can make it as mild or spicy as you like and serve it with various side dishes.

Bulgogi beef can be prepared using different cuts of meat such as sirloin, brisket, or rib-eye steak.

With less than 30 minutes of cooking, you can have a delicious meal packed with tons of iconic flavors from this Asian cuisine.

9 best side dishes to serve with bulgogi beef

If you are wondering what Koreans eat with this amazing dish, here are the nine classic side dishes that you can make and serve with this beef dish to bring a little Korean to your kitchen:

Kimchi fried rice

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Kimchi fried rice is a popular Korean dish that can be served with bulgogi beef.

It is made with cooked white rice and kimchi, which is spicy fermented cabbage.

The kimchi adds a lot of flavor to the rice, but you can also add other veggies if you like.

This dish pairs well with all kinds of main dishes and is easy and affordable to make at home!


Yachaejeon (a Korean pancake) is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways.

It is the perfect choice to serve alongside any type of meat, including bulgogi beef.

Yachaejeon can be served as a side dish or as the main course if you want to skip rice altogether and just eat kimchi on its own.

If you are feeling adventurous, try serving yachaejeon with sweet potatoes too!

The sweetness from both ingredients will complement one another perfectly!

Grilled bok choy

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Bok choy is a common vegetable in Asian cooking, especially in Korea.

It is most commonly used when making bibimbap and bulgogi, but you can also serve it as part of any meal with grilled beef.

Bok choy is high in vitamins C and K, which are important for healthy skin, hair, bones, and teeth.

It also provides vitamin A which helps maintain good vision.

The crunchy texture, green color, and earthy flavor of this veggie make a perfect side dish in both flavor and appearance that no one can resist.

Braised potatoes

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Another favorite way to serve bulgogi beef is with braised potatoes.

Braised potatoes are a great side dish for any meal, and they go especially well with bulgogi beef.

The sweet flavors of the meat complement the earthy taste of the potatoes.

Braised potatoes are made by boiling potatoes in water, then sautéing them with onions, garlic, and other spices.

The final step is to add some broth or water, cover the pan and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

This dish can be served as a side dish with bulgogi beef or eaten alone as a main course.

Fresh kimchi

Mother In Law's Kimchi, Vegan Table Cute Napa Cabbage Kimchi, 16 Fl Oz

Kimchi is a signature Korean side dish made of fermented cabbage.

Other famous pickling recipes can call for radishes, cucumbers, or other vegetables.

Kimchi has a beautiful red color and is spicy.

It is often eaten with rice and meat.

Kimchi is good for your digestive system, immune system, and metabolism.

If you don’t want to mix it with steamed rice, serving kimchi alone with bulgogi beef is fine.

Lettuce wraps

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Lettuce wraps are the perfect solution if you are looking for a low-carb way to eat bulgogi beef.

You can use any type of lettuce, such as romaine, iceberg, or butterhead, but we think romaine is best because it’s sturdy enough to hold up while giving in just a little.

If you want to add some extra crunch and texture, throw in some carrots and cucumbers along with your spinach leaves.

The trick to getting good at making these mini-wraps is knowing how much filling will fit comfortably inside each leaf so that they don’t burst when you try to fold them over on themselves.

If the meat and vegetables seem like too much for one leaf, spread it out onto two leaves instead!

Stuffed peppers

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The best way to cook a stuffed pepper is in a crock pot.

This will allow you to make the sauce, stuff the peppers and let them cook all day while you are at work.

If you don’t have access to a slow cooker, don’t worry, you can still make this recipe on your stovetop within 30 minutes.

Bulgogi beef can be one of the main ingredients for the filling for these peppers, along with shredded carrots, onions, and rice.

The flavor of the bulgogi beef really comes through in this recipe, making it great with any meat or fish dish!

Stuffed peppers are also an excellent source of vitamin C and A and vitamin E, which are beneficial to our health.


APEXY Sweet Potato Glass Noodles, Japchae Noodles, Korean Vermicelli...

Japchae is a popular Korean dish made of sweet potato noodles, vegetables, and meat.

It is often served at banquets or as a side dish with grilled meat.

It is easy to make, and you can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge.

The noodles are usually stir-fried with carrots, spinach, and other veggies but feel free to add any other veggies that take your fancy (zucchini works well).

Fish cake stir-fry

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Fish cakes are one of those things in Korea that is hard to define.

They are like patties, but they are not exactly burgers.

They will make you feel like you are eating something totally new because they are so delicious with a little chewy, soft texture and umami flavor.

Fish cake is also widely sold on Korean streets or in any grocery store, so it is not hard to find this ingredient in a Korean market or store in your area.

You can stir-fry fish cakes with bell pepper, carrots, sesame seed, and soy sauce for extra flavor and make a great companion to bulgogi beef.


Bulgogi is an easy dish to make and so delicious.

We hope this post has given you some ideas on serving your bulgogi.

If you are looking for more Korean recipes, check out our other posts about Korean food!