A collection of 20 back to school Korean recipes your kids will love!
It’s back to school time!! I’ve put together a collection of fun and easy recipes to make for yourself and your family on busy school days. From Korean lunch box ideas and after-school snacks to easy kid-friendly dinners, these are some of the dishes that kids grow up eating in Korea. Your kids will love them too!
Some of these can be prepared and stored in the freezer. Simply take them out and reheat to feed your hungry kids. Some of them are easy dinners you can whip up quickly or prepare ahead of time.
1. Dakgangjeong (sweet crispy chicken)
Bite-sized boneless chicken pieces make this dish so easy to make. The sauce is sweet and tangy with a little spicy kick from the gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste), but you can also make it without any spiciness. Simply replace gochujang partially or entirely with ketchup for your younger children.
2. Kimbap (Seaweed rice rolls)
The most popular on-the-go meal in Korea! Your children will love to see these beautiful rice rolls in their lunch box. Kimbap (or gimbap) is really not that hard to make it at home with my step-by-step guide!
3. Mini Kimbap
Kimbap can’t get any easier than this! Have your children roll these for fun. They are addictive with or without a sauce!
4. Tteokbokki (Spicy stir-fried rice cake)
A highly popular Korean street food and a delicious comfort food you can easily make at home! This was a popular after school snack growing up. You can adjust the spicy level to your kids’ taste.
5. Gungjung tteokbokki (royal court rice cake)
This traditional mild version of tteokbokki is perfect for those who don’t do well with the spiciness of the red spicy tteokbokki above. It’s mildly flavored with a soy sauce based sauce.
6. Mandu (Korean dumplings)
Make these Korean dumplings ahead of time and freeze. You’ll be able to feed your hungry kids in no time when the time comes!
7. Gyeran mari (rolled omelette)
Gyeran mari is hugely popular as a lunch box item! It’s also a delicious side dish that you can whip up last minute for any Korean meal.
8. Gogi wanjajeon (pan-fried meatballs in egg batter)
Another childhood favorite! These little egg-battered meat balls were a favorite for packing in the school lunch boxes. It was always a special treat to have a few of these meatballs with a meal.
9. Hotteok (Sweet Stuffed Pancakes)
Give your children a sweet treat! This chewy, gooey and nutty Korean stuffed pancake is a popular street snack. The pancakes freeze really well, so just pop them in the toaster or microwave to reheat.
10. Omurice (omellete rice)
Who wouldn’t like fried rice wrapped in egg omelette? Flavored with sweet and tangy ketchup, omurice is especially popular among children.
11. Korean Curry rice
A delicious, comfort food we all grew up eating! The instant curry mix makes this dish so easy to make. Add lots of meat and vegetables to make it a hearty dish everyone loves.
12. Donkkaseu (Tonkatsu)
Donkkaseu is highly popular among children! This cutlet is thin, so it cooks up very quickly!
13. Jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce)
Deeply embedded in the childhood memories of every Korean, jajangmyeon (or jjajangmyeon), is a popular Korean-Chinese noodle dish. Everyone loves it!
14. Tangsuyuk (sweet and sour beef or pork)
Tangsuyuk is a Chinese sweet and sour pork (or beef) dish adapted for Korean taste. It’s a beloved Korean-Chinese dish along with the two noodle dishes, jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce) and jjambbong (spicy noodle soup). You’ll find it surprisingly easy to make!
15. Japchae (stir-fried starch noodles with beef and vegetables)
I haven’t met any child who doesn’t like this classic noodle dish with beef and vegetables! Great as an appetizer, snack, light meal or side dish.
16. Bulgogi Cheesesteak
Cheesesteak made Korean-style with bulgogi and sautéed kimchi! It’s super easy and delicious!
17. Galbi taco (Korean-style taco with beef short ribs)
Turn your Korean BBQ short ribs into a popular Korean/Mexican fusion dish. You can also make these with bulgogi, dak (chicken) bulgogi, or dweji (pork) bulgogi. A delicious way to use up the leftover marinated meat too!
18. Dak bulgogi (Korean BBQ Chicken)
Another easy dinner recipe that’s hugely popular on the blog. The bite size chicken pieces marinate and cook quickly, making this dish another great option for a weeknight meal!
19. Eomuk guk (Korean fish cake soup)
Skewered eomuk simmered in a light savory broth is hugely popular at street food carts and stalls in Korea. At home, eomuk guk can be prepared without skewers as an easy everyday soup!
20. Gamjaguk (potato soup with tofu and starch noodles)
This simple potato soup is one of my childhood favorite soups! There are many different ways to make gamjaguk, but this recipe is how my mother used to make it when we were growing up.
*This is an update of the original one that was posted in September 2018.