13 Healthy Korean-Inspired Recipes for Weeknights
These healthy Korean-inspired recipes are just what you need on busy weeknights. From stir-frys to pan-fried cod, you won't need to spend your night cooking but instead can quickly serve up a flavorful and nutritious meal for you and your family to dig into.
Pan-Fried Cod with Green Chile-Tamari Sauce (Gochu Ganjang Daegu Gui)
The sauce for this super-simple Korean fish recipe gets a kick from the spicy chile. Pair with brown rice or thin rice noodles and steamed greens.
Mushroom & Shrimp Pancakes (Pajeon)
Pajeon, a crispy, savory pancake chock-full of healthy vegetables and seafood, is one of the most popular Korean dishes. Serve with a dipping sauce: Combine 1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari, 1 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar and 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil with a pinch of toasted sesame seeds, gochugaru (see Tips) and sliced scallions.
Korean Crab Rolls
This quick and healthy crab roll sandwich recipe with quick pickles gets a spicy twist from gochujang, also called Korean chile paste, found in many large supermarkets and Asian markets. Other Asian condiments, such as slightly sweet hoisin sauce, spicy Sriracha or savory miso would work well too.
Broccoli, Mushroom & Beef Stir-Fry
This healthy beef and broccoli stir-fry recipe has a Korean-inspired gochujang sauce. Because stir-fries cook up quickly, have all the ingredients prepped and next to the stove before you turn on the heat. Serve over brown rice or rice noodles.
Gochujang-Glazed Cod & Broccolini Packets
Cooking in packets is a healthy and easy way to make moist fish with minimal cleanup. If you don't already have leftover cooked rice for this fish recipe, look for unseasoned cooked brown rice at the supermarket in shelf-stable packets near other grains or in the freezer section (defrost before using). Serve with sliced cucumbers and carrots tossed with a splash of rice vinegar.
Kimchi Shrimp Cup of Noodles
Make your own cup of instant soup at home with this Korean noodle recipe. Pack several jars at once to take to work for easy lunches throughout the week.
Turkey Burgers with Gochujang & Kimchi
Korean chile paste (also known as gochujang) blended into the ground turkey makes this turkey burger recipe incredibly moist and flavorful. Top these healthy turkey burgers with kimchi--a fermented mixture of cabbage and other vegetables--which can be found near other refrigerated Asian ingredients or near sauerkraut or pickles in well-stocked supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
Pork & Kimchi Fried Rice
In this healthy fried rice recipe, zucchini, carrots and kimchi are tossed with Korean gochujang for a delicious one-bowl dinner. If you don't have leftover cooked rice on hand, be sure to thoroughly cool your rice before adding it to the wok--if it's too warm, it creates too much steam and sticks to the wok. To quickly cool warm rice, spread out on a large baking sheet and refrigerate while you prep the rest of your ingredients, about 15 minutes.
Quick Cucumber Kimchi
While slowly fermented cabbage and pungent garlic are the ingredients most people associate with kimchi, there are dozens and dozens of other versions of Korea's national dish, featuring all manner of vegetables, such as these quickly pickled cucumbers with just a trace of garlic.
Korean Beef Stir-Fry
Inspired by the flavors found in Korean barbecue, this dish is a mouth-watering addition to any weeknight repertoire. A fruity Riesling and rice noodles are perfect accompaniments.
Korean Chicken Soup
This quick and easy spicy chicken soup recipe is made with leftover cooked chicken and is spiked with garlic, ginger and hot sauce.
In Korea there is an entire category of side dishes called namul. These are boldly seasoned vegetables from the land and the sea. This particular recipe reflects Korea's love of both spinach and sesame seeds. The seeds are always toasted before serving for a boost of flavor. This namul can be served alone or as one of the colorful elements in bibimbap.
Korean-Style Steak & Lettuce Wraps
These wraps should be served with lots of condiments: kimchee, for sure, but also nonfat yogurt and shredded carrots dressed with rice vinegar. Serve the various components of the dish separately and let your family or guests build their own wraps to taste.