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Delicious Korean Salad Recipes

Both Modern and Traditional


There was a time when I didn't think the words "Korean" and "salad" went together. Growing up, I'd shudder inwardly when one of my mom's friends would bring over a "salad" to one of our many potluck dinners or summer barbecues. The melange of fruits and vegetables, no matter how fresh, would always be covered in a thick, lumpy layer of mayonnaise. But sometime in the '90s the tide seemed to change, and I liked how the salad dressings got lighter (way lighter!) but the nuts and fruits stayed behind.

Enjoy these Korean salads, a good list of modern and traditional recipes.

1. Salad with Garlic and Yogurt Dressing

This vegetable salad has a lot of peppery notes and crunch and is perfect topped with a smooth yogurt and garlic dressing.

2. Korean Soba Salad (Jaengban Gooksu)

Jaengban Gooksu, a Korean soba noodle salad, is good with a variety of vegetables and meat. You can add chicken, beef, or pork for a hearty dish and seasonal vegetables for a fresh and light meal. This soba salad recipe also has a dressing based on chicken broth, so it's very light and healthy. I usually use peppers, cucumbers, Asian pear, radishes, and red onion, but almost any vegetables will work in this dish.

3. Shrimp and Linguine Salad with Spicy Korean Dressing

Bright and fresh, this shrimp salad is packed with vegetables and topped with a spicy-sweet dressing. You can increase the amount of pasta and shrimp if you want to serve this as a full meal.

4. Korean Salad with Apples, Nuts, and Frozen Grapes

Korean Salad with Fruit and Nuts
Naomi Imatome
This green salad has a Korean dressing that is tart and slightly spicy, and the apples, nuts, and frozen grapes give different flavors and textures to every bite. My aunt first made a version of this salad for me when she was visiting from Korea, except she made it with peanuts and without grapes. I've since made many versions of this salad with different fruits and nuts, but the Korean dressing always makes it irresistible.

5. Spicy Seafood Salad

Spicy Seafood Salad
Naomi Imatome
This spicy seafood salad features a spicy Korean dressing for both the seafood and the greens. I usually make it with shrimp and squid because they are favorites in my household, but it is also very good with abalone, scallops, tuna, or a variety of different seafoods. The Korean love affair with chili peppers is well known, so it should be no surprise that we even manage to add chili spice to Western-style dishes like tossed salads.

6. Spicy Korean Coleslaw

This is an easy Korean 'salad' that my mother would always make with Western cabbage (yang baechu). While we ate it, she'd usually reminisce about how she used to make this as a replacement for kimchi when she first moved to America. She couldn't always find Korean cabbage or didn't have the storage space, time or materials necessary to make large batches of kimchi.

These days, now that you can easily find bagged coleslaw in grocery stores, this Korean coleslaw is easy to make. There's no mayo, so this coleslaw is light and pairs well with both picnic food and Korean meals.

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