There have been many days when I wonder what to serve with bulgogi. It is one of my favorite, interesting meals, and it deserves a great side dish!
Have you ever had bulgogi? If you have, then you know how amazing it really is. But what exactly is bulgogi?
What is Korean Beef Bulgogi?
Bulgogi is thinly sliced meat that is marinated and then quickly cooked on a grill or over an open flame. It is often called Korean BBQ beef or fire meat.
Bulgogi is sometimes cooked with vegetables for extra flavor. It can be served plain on a plate or on top of a bed of rice. Of course, you also need a fantastic side dish to go with all that juicy meat!
Best Side Dishes for Bulgogi
Bulgogi meat is cooked in a sweet soy sauce mix. Bulgogi sauce is often made with Asian pear, brown sugar, garlic, black pepper flakes, and sesame oil.
It is important to keep all of these flavors in mind when choosing sides to serve with bulgogi. You want a side that compliments all these strong, sweet, and tangy flavors!
What Do You Eat With Korean BBQ?
Beef bulgogi is mainly meat, and vegetable side dishes go great with hearty meat. Lighter salads and sides are also a good idea. You don’t want a meal that is too rich!
We tried to find lots of different kinds of sides to serve with your bulgogi. Hopefully, you find exactly what to serve with bulgogi here!
1. Asian Vegetable Stir Fry
Our Simple Green Moms amazing Asian vegetable stir fry is exactly what you need to go with your bulgogi recipes. It is tasty, colorful, and full of healthy veggies.
Fresh garlic is sauteed in sesame oil. Frozen mixed veggies are added to the skillet to cook.
A little soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and peanut butter are added to the pan to make a delicious sauce. Add a touch of chili powder to give the vegetable stir fry some heat.
These stir-fried veggies are fantastic with sliced beef bulgogi. Serve the veggies and bulgogi on top of a bed of steamed rice or some Asian-style noodles. A sprinkle of sesame seeds is the perfect finishing touch!
2. Lettuce Wraps
Lettuce wraps are an amazing side dish to serve with any Korean food. We love these tasty wraps from Well Plated. They are the perfect answer to what to serve with bulgogi.
The filling for the wraps is made in the crockpot. Green onions, ginger, and garlic are mixed with finely chopped chicken, while a mix of soy and hoisin sauces are combined and poured into the pot.
The chicken cooks in the sauce for three hours and is then scooped into crispy lettuce leaves. The leaves are rolled around the filling, and the dish is ready to serve.
Add a few mushrooms or water chestnuts for some extra flavor and crunch. This is definitely a delicious side for serving with bulgogi!
3. Spicy Kimchi
Homemade kimchi is an amazing side dish for beef bulgogi. Follow the directions from Maangchi, and you will have an authentic, spicy side to serve with all your favorite Korean dishes.
The recipe begins by rubbing salt over every leaf of cabbage. Rice, sugar, and water are mixed with matchstick sliced veggies.
A blend of mirin vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, and hot pepper flakes are spread over the cabbage.
The cabbage sits at room temperature for about two days, and it will start to ferment. It becomes more sour as it ferments.
Place the cabbage in the fridge after two days to slow the fermentation process. Make a big bowl of bulgogi and enjoy the spicy kimchi on the side!
4. Steamed White Rice
A big plate of beef bulgogi on a bed of beautifully steamed white rice is the perfect meal. Use this recipe from The Woks of Life to make foolproof steamed rice.
Making sticky rice can sometimes be a challenge. The rice often comes out crunchy or way too soft. That is why we love this steamed rice recipe. It works every time!
Make sure to start with the right type of rice. Sticky rice is much more glutenous than regular white rice. You can find it in almost any grocery store in the Asian food aisle.
This is almost always the answer to the question of what to serve with bulgogi.
5. Asian Salad with Soy Sauce Dressing
Salad is always great next to beef bulgogi. It is a great light dish to pair with the hearty fire meat called bulgogi.
We love this Asian salad from Spend With Pennies. It is full of freshly chopped veggies and a delicious dressing that goes perfectly with beef bulgogi.
The homemade dressing is made with spicy sriracha sauce. Feel free to skip the sriracha if you want a milder salad dressing.
6. Bean Sprout Soup
Soybean sprout soup is the Korean version of chicken noodle soup. It is warm, flavorful, and so healthy.
Follow this recipe from Kimchimari to make a fantastic Korean-style soup. The fresh soybean sprouts are full of nutritious vitamins and minerals. Feel free to have a second or even third bowl!
Serve this tasty soup with your favorite beef bulgogi recipe, and you are sure to have a winning meal.
7. Korean Radish Soup
Korean radish soup is also known as muguk. It is classic Korean food that is super yummy.
It is a fantastic dish to serve with beef bulgogi.
The warm broth and spicy radishes are a perfect combination. They pair well with the strong flavors of your bbq beef.
Try this recipe from Korean Bapsang. It will show you how to make the radish soup step by step!
8. Kimchi Fried Rice
Kimchi fried rice is a delicious side to any Korean meal. It is actually very easy to make when you use store-bought kimchi.
Try this recipe from Rasa Malaysia. Add a little red pepper paste to make it even spicier.
A sprinkle of sesame seeds is the perfect finishing touch!
Serve your beef bulgogi on the side or right on top of the kimchi rice. This is an authentic, Korean dish that will please everyone.
9. Korean Soybean Sprouts
Soybean sprouts are a traditional Korean meal that we absolutely love. They are interesting, full of unique flavor, and quite healthy.
Use this recipe for soybean sprouts from Just a Pinch. You will be surprised by how much flavor is in this dish!
This recipe is topped with a fried egg but feel free to simply use your beef bulgogi to top the sprout dish. You can add the egg on top of the sliced beef if you’d like. Make the yolk extra runny, so it acts like a sauce for the dish.
10. Sweet and Sour Radish Salad
Still wondering what to serve with bulgogi? Maybe this sweet and sour radish salad from Drive Me Hungry.
Korean radish salad is also called Musaengchae. It is an easy and healthy side dish that is super common.
Thinly sliced radishes and Korean red peppers are the highlights of the recipe. A tiny bit of honey is added to the dish to give it a little sweetness.
Add a scoop of radish salad to the top of your bulgogi plate. It makes a great, powerful garnish as well as a yummy side.
11. Korean Scallion Pancakes
Scallion pancakes are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They are especially great to round out your beef bulgogi meal.
We love these scallion pancakes from Gluten Free on a Shoestring. They are a great gluten-free option for your bulgogi dinners as well. Everyone will love them!
Be sure to make the dipping sauce that goes with the pancakes. It really completes the meal perfectly.
Extra sweet Asian pear bulgogi sauce is also great for dipping. Make a little more when you prepare your beef!
12. Spicy Korean Rice Cakes
Korean rice cakes are also known as tteokbokki. The bite-sized cakes are often served as an appetizer. They are perfect to serve with bulgogi and definitely one of our favorite Korean dishes.
This recipe from Pickled Plum will walk you through making this classic Korean dish.
You will need to find some pre-made rice cakes. Head to the Asian food section of your grocery store or find a nearby specialty store.
You can also order Korean rice cakes online! Order some red pepper paste and anchovy paste while you’re at it. You will need it all.
13. Asian Spinach Salad
This Asian spinach salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen is really delicious. The recipe tops the salad with chicken, but we think it will be fantastic served with beef bulgogi.
The main ingredients are green onions, baby spinach, sliced almonds, and mushrooms.
The dressing for the salad is made with Mirni, monkfruit sweetener, ginger, and sriracha sauce. You can imagine how flavorful that will be!
14. Korean Cucumber Salad
A crisp cucumber salad is the perfect side to compliment rich beef bulgogi. We also love that the salad is cold. It is great next to the hot beef dish!
Give this very simple recipe from The Stay at Home Chef a try.
Add a little sriracha sauce to the salad for some warm heat. Stick with the recipe exactly as it is written for a cool, refreshing salad.
Make this cucumber salad a day in advance. This gives the flavors time to marinate.
15. Spicy Korean Coleslaw
Asian coleslaw is very simple to make. It may be one of the fastest side dishes to make on our list. Use this recipe from Simply Recipes to create an easy, yummy side.
Try using purple cabbage to give the salad a little more color.
The peanut butter dressing is rich and thick. It is great next to the bbq flavored beef bulgogi.
This Asian coleslaw is also great on top of a burger or in a wrap. Keep this recipe in mind and serve it with any of your favorite Asian foods.
The best Side Dishes for Korean Beef Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)
We hope that some of these yummy Asian side dishes caught your eye. They are all fantastic with beef bulgogi.
Let us know which recipes you try and which are your favorite. Enjoy!
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