20 Back to School Korean Recipes

A collection of 20 back to school Korean recipes your kids will love!

a collection of kid-friendly snacks, lunch and dinner ideas

It’s back to school time. I’ve put together a collection of recipes to make feeding yourself and your family fun and easy. 

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). Replace gochujang partially or entirely with ketchup for your younger children. 

Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)


2. Gimbap (Korean seaweed rice rolls) 

The most popular on-the-go meal in Korea! Your children will love to see these rice rolls in their lunch box. Gimbap (or kimbap) is really not that hard to make it at home with my step-by-step guide!

gimbap recipe


3. Mini gimbap

Gimbap (or kimbap) can’t get any easier than this! But, they are addictive with or without a sauce! 

A small size gimbap rolled with a couple of filling ingredients


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. Your can adjust the spicy level to your kids’ taste.  

Korean rice cakes stir-fried in a spicy gochujang sauce


5. Gungjung tteokbokki (royal court rice cake)

This traditional 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.

Gungjung tteokbokki (stir-fried rice cake) 

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!

Korean dumplings made with meat and vegetables and then pan-fried and steamed


7. Hobak Hotteok (Sweet Stuffed Pumpkin Pancakes)

Give your children a sweet treat! This chewy, gooey and nutty Korean stuffed pancake, hotteok, is a popular street snack. The pancakes freeze really well, so just pop them in the toaster or microwave to reheat.

Hotteok (Korean sweet stuffed pancake)


8. 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. 

Gyeran Mari (Korean Rolled Omelette)


9.  Gogi wanjajeon (pan-fried meatballs in egg batter)

Another childhood favorite! These little egg-battered meatballs 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. 

Wanjajeon (Pan-fried Meatballs in Egg Batter)


10. 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 bulgogidak (chicken) bulgogi, or dweji (pork) bulgogi.  A delicious way to use up the leftover marinated meat too!

Korean-style taco with beef short ribs and kimchi salsa


11. 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. 

Omurice (omelette rice) recipe


12. 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. 

Korean curry rice


13. 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!

Eomuk guk (fish cake soup)


14. 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.

Gamjaguk (Korean Potato Soup)


15. 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!

deep-fried pork in a sweet and sour sauce


16. Tonkatsu (donkkaseu)

Tonkatsy is a dish that made its way into Korea by way of Japan and became widely popular, especially among children! The Korean version usually is thinner and larger than the Japanese version, so it cooks up very quickly! 

Tonkatsu (Donkkaseu)


17. Jajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce)

Deeply embedded in the childhood memories of every Korean, jajangmyeon (or jjajangmyeon), is another popular Korean-Chinese noodle dish. Everyone loves it! 

Korean-Chinese Noodles in black bean sauce


18. 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. 

Japchae (Stir-Fried Starch Noodles with Beef and Vegetables)


19. Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)

Made with thinly sliced beef, bulgogi doesn’t take much time to prepare or marinate, making it perfect for a weeknight meal your family will love! 

Korean thinly sliced beef marinated in a soy based sauce


20. 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!

Chicken bulgogi


Leave a Comment



  1. I am pregnant and am looking for freezable meals (soups, stews, marinated meats) that I can prepare in advance. I’m also wondering which recipes work well in an Instapot??

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    (oh..p.s. I’m not korean so simple recipes are ideal)

  2. Hi madam!
    I make it short. Hehe. So, basically, gochujang taste similar with ketchup? Because my place was so hard to find gochujang. Thank you!

    • No. Gochujang tastes nothing like ketchup. At all. But kids wouldn’t handle the spice, so I guess ketchup is a better option for them.