3 Quick Korean Side Dishes in under 15 minutes!!
Individually, each dish only takes 5 to 10 minutes.
And they all go great with any Korean meal!!
I am sure you have days where you just run out of time or just don’t feel like cooking another side dish. For example, I will cook Yukgyejang and pan fried fish jeon but I just don’t have the time or the energy left to make another side dish… but the table looks so empty… 😭 And this is when I go for one or more of these 3 quick Korean side dishes!!
Honestly, these Korean side dishes are soooo EASY, SIMPLE and QUICK to make that I am almost worried that someone may say – “What?? And you call that a recipe???” Please don’t say that if you think that. 😁 I am a very sensitive person… 😅 HAHAHA. But then I also thought that it may just be the case that many of you never had these dishes. If you see it, you will wonder why you never thought of it!! Anyway, hopefully you will enjoy them.
Now, I did not invent these Korean side dishes nor are they really traditional. There are no avocados in traditional Korean cuisine. But I just know these work really well with Korean food. You will see that mushrooms are served this way at some Korean BBQ restaurants in Seoul. Anyway, about 10 years ago, I first tasted them during a dinner at the home of one of my Korean friend (Mrs. Im). Poor Mrs. Im was not expecting guests that day; it was one of those totally last minute dinners…
I think there was rice, kimchi and a soup but no other banchan (side dish). If it was me, I would be panicking.. ‘Oh dear..oh dear..what to do’. And then I saw my friend just calmly grab a pack of mushrooms from the fridge and couple avocados sitting on her counter.
I thought, ‘OK, she is a pharmacist, so she is probably going to serve some really healthy but bland and boring side dish’. 🙄
But boy, was I wrong…
I had no idea that just in a few minutes with almost no effort, we would be served these Korean side dishes of delicious mushrooms and avocados!!! Ever since then, these have become my go-to, emergency kind of a side dish whenever I am having one of those “I am out of ideas” or “I’m just pooped” kind of a day. 🙂
Dry Pan-Cooked Mushrooms with Sesame Oil Dipping Sauce
Servings: 2 Cooking Time: 10 min Difficulty: Easy
This is pure mushroom flavor at its best. And you know how healthy mushrooms are!! Sesame oil also lowers blood pressure, blood sugar and has skin benefits, so just the health benefits are amazing when you eat the two together. Just don’t over do it with the salt..
This is all you need:
- 1 pint pack of white or brown mushrooms
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (your best tasting one)
- Clean mushrooms by either rinsing it under water or wiping each one with a towel. Wiping with a towel is better than rinsing but it also takes time to individually wipe each mushroom so just rinse them under running water if you want to save time.
- Break off stem from each mushroom, just leaving the cap.
- Heat a frying pan on medium heat and put the mushroom caps in the pan like so:
- Cook at medium high for 4 min and mushroom liquid will start to collect inside the mushroom cap like below. Lower heat to medium low and cook for another 5-6 min.
- While mushrooms are cooking, make your sesame oil dipping sauce by pouring sesame oil into a small sauce bowl and adding salt on top.
- TURN OFF HEAT after cooking mushrooms in total for almost 10 min. Mushroom liquid will totally fill the caps. Some liquid may overflow a little bit but not much. Mushrooms should be soft and tender.
- CAREFULLY transfer mushrooms onto a plate, try not to lose any of the liquid. Losing any of this PRECIOUS mushroom juice will make you cry 😭 – if you know how good it tastes!
- Serve with salted sesame oil on the side.
HOW TO EAT: pick up mushroom cap and drink the juice first – like drinking from a mini tea cup. This is SOO wonderfully satisfying. And then dip mushroom in salt sesame oil and enjoy!
Avocado with Wasabi Soy Sauce
Well, If you like California roll then you will LOVE this avocado with wasabi soy sauce dish. If you think about it, what really makes California roll taste so good is the combination of the rich creamy avocado and the zingy wasabi soy sauce that you dip your rolls into. And I am sure you know how healthy avocados are: good for your heart and eyes, prevents cancer and keeps you full longer.
Servings: 2-3 Prep Time: 2 min Difficulty: TOO EASY
- 1 avocado
- 1 Tbs Jin Ganjang (Dark Soy Sauce)
- 1 tsp wasabi (from tube or the real stuff)
- black sesame seeds (optional)
- Cut avocado in half and twist it open. Peel away the skin and cut it into slices or cut into slices first and peel the skin away.
- Serve avocado with a side of soy sauce and wasabi. Optionally, sprinkle some black sesame seeds for extra flavor and color.
- HOW TO EAT: mix soy sauce and wasabi. Dip avocado in wasabi soy sauce and ENJOY!
Pan-fried Egg Batter Tofu
This is a recipe I got from my sister #2. She says she got the idea from her friend and she likes to make this as a last minute side dish. You can marinate the tofu in egg wash for hours or even up to a day in the fridge before pan frying them.
Servings: 2 Cooking Time: 5 minutes Difficulty: EASY
- 8 oz (1/2 pack) of extra firm tofu
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs oil
- 2 Tbs soy sauce (Jin Ganjang)
- 1 Tbs rice vinegar or white/apple cider vinegar
- sesame seeds
- Take tofu out of liquid in the package and gently pat dry tofu with paper towel to remove excess liquid.
- Beat 1 egg in a bowl.
- Cut tofu into bite size rectangles.
- Add cut tofu slices into bowl with egg. Gently toss tofu with a spoon or hand and coat them with the beaten egg. Tofu breaks easily so do not over mix. ** You can leave bowl of tofu with egg in the fridge up to 1 day OR you can immediately cook in pan.
- Heat oil in frying pan on medium high heat.
- Place tofu in pan and fry each side 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown. And that’s it!!
- Make the vinegar soy dipping sauce and serve on the side. Try other sauces like my Yangnyeomjang or spicier dipping sauces for extra flavor.
** Note, I did not salt the tofu because you have the dipping sauce. Optionally, salt the tofu or add salt to egg mixture to season throughout. But I actually find it kind of refreshing and a good contrast of salty flavor when I dip the unsalted tofu into a salty sauce.
Well, hope you will remember these quick and easy Korean side dishes next time and don’t panic if your table looks too empty!
Have a great day!