From Ram Don To Sundubu: 7 Easy Korean Recipes Inspired By Your Favourite K-Dramas

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easy korean recipes bibimbap ram don nurungji sundubu kdrama
(Credit: Screenshot from Newasiantv & Viu / taken by Iris Tan)

As loyal K-drama fans, we’ve got to admit it’s not just the good-looking cast and interesting plots that keeps us glued to our screen. More often than not, we find ourselves also craving the delicious Korean dishes that pop up from time to time. Case in point: the mouth-watering ram don topped with prime beef sirloin, as featured in Asian film Parasite. (And yes, we’ve included this recipe in our list — see #3!) If your stomach is growling as you binge-watch your favourite Korean series or movie, it’s time to hit the pause button and whip up some easy K-drama inspired Korean recipes in your kitchen!

1. Crash Landing On You — Nurungji (scorched rice with sugar)

The record-breaking K-drama, Crash Landing On You, may have ended on Netflix but this unforgettable series is still causing a buzz on the internet. The drama follows South Korean heiress Yoon Se Riinto a whirlwind romance after a paragliding mishap landed her across the border. She gets rescued by North Korean army officer Ri Jeong Hyeok, who now must risk his life to keep her safe and sacrifice his larder of ingredients to keep her full!

One of the snacks that Yoon Se-Ri could not stop munching on during her stay across the border is nurungji. Nurungji means scorched rice in Korean and is a great alternative to crackers or chips as it shares the same addictive crunchiness and texture. If you’re craving for a sugary snack, try this easy Korean recipe for nurungji today!

easy korean recipe kdrama crash landing on you nurungji scorched burnt rice sugar
(Credit: Screenshot from Newasiantv / taken by Iris Tan)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings:

You will need:

  • 2 cups white short-grain rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Sugar (for dipping)

How to make:

* The key to this easy Korean recipe is rice preparation. Wash the rice thoroughly to remove its starchy outer layer. The starchy outer layer will make the rice soggy — not something we want when making crunchy nurungji!

  1. Pour two cups of Okome short-grain rice (available on S-Mart by Shopee) into a pot and wash with cold water multiple times 
  2. Once clean, put the rice into your rice cooker and let it cook 
  3. Once the rice is cooked, gently fluff the rice up in the cooker. Let it air for about 10 minutes to reduce moisture. 
  4. Using a non-stick frying pan, brush Ghee Hiang sesame oil (available on Hen Tick) across the pan with a paper towel
  5. Place the pan on the stove over medium heat. Put in enough cooked rice to cover the base of the pan. Press down on the rice firmly to spread it out thinly and evenly across the pan. 
  6. Cook each side of the nurungji, flipping it from side to side for about 15 minutes
  7. Sprinkle sugar on each side to add some flavour 
  8. Once the nurungji starts to get scorched on both sides, take it off the pan and let it cool 
  9. Dip the nurungji into SIS raw sugar (available on Lim Siang Huat Pte Ltd) for a sweet yet nutty indulgence! 

2. Goblin — Miyeok guk (seaweed soup)

easy korean recipe kdrama goblin ji eun tak miyeok guk seaweed soup
(Credit: Screenshot from Newasiantv / taken by Iris Tan)

Goblin is one of the most exciting fantasy romance K-dramas we’ve ever seen! It revolves around Ji Eun Tak, a bubbly high schooler with the ability to see ghosts and who becomes more than just friends with an immortal goblin. Eun Tak lives with her grouchy aunt and greedy cousins who never remember her birthday. Nevertheless, our strong female lead throws herself a mini birthday celebration every year with a pot of miyeok guk! 

It’s a Korean tradition to have seaweed soup on your birthday. This is because expecting mothers in Korea consume seaweed soup during their pregnancy — which also makes it the babies’ first meal! Koreans consume seaweed soup on their birthdays as a way of giving thanks. Follow this easy miyeok guk Korean recipe below — treat yourself to this heartwarming dish even if it’s not your birthday!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3-4

You will need:

  • 15g dried seaweed
  • 120g beef chuck, sliced
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • Few cracks of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 5 cups water

How to make:

  1. Soak the dried seaweed in cold water for about 10 minutes to allow it to expand. Drain the water and rinse the seaweed several times under running water. 
  2. Squeeze the water out of the seaweed and cut the seaweed into short strips. Then, set aside.
  3. Next, marinade the sliced NZ Riverlands Angus beef chuck tender (available on Hen Tick) with salt and black pepper. Put this aside for use later.
  4. Pre-heat a pot over medium heat. Add sesame oil, seaweed and beef to the pot. Stir-fry the beef in the pot until it’s partially cooked. 
  5. Add soy sauce, garlic and water to the mixture and stir together. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  6. After about 15 minutes, check that the meat is fully cooked. Add some salt for flavouring and you’re done with this easy Korean recipe!

3. Parasite — Jjapaguri with steak (ram don)

Even though Parasite isn’t technically a Korean drama, there’s no way we could miss out on this Oscar-winning Asian film — especially when it came to sparking a massive ram don craving!  If you have yet to watch it, the psychological thriller depicts the class inequality between the wealthy Park family and the penniless Kim household. The Kims infiltrate the Parks by offering various services for the family — as a tutor, art therapist, driver and housekeeper. 

As a housekeeper, mum Kim Chung Sook is tasked to keep the house in order and also to cook for the Park family. One of the most iconic dishes shown in Parasite is jjapaguri with steak, also known as ram don. The dish appears at one of the most heart-stopping moments in the film — will the Parks discover the Kims’ secret?! — and it is perhaps this thrill that adds to its mouth-watering qualities! Either way, this easy Korean recipe is made by mixing two types of instant noodles (Chapagetti and Neoguri) and topped with premium Korean beef.

parasite oscars movie easy korean recipe ram don jjapaguri steak
(Credit: Screenshot from Viu / taken by Iris Tan)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

You will need:

  • 230g ribeye steak
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 pack Chapagetti instant noodle
  • 1 pack Neoguri instant noodle
  • 4 cups water

How to make:

  1. To recreate Parasite’s ram don, start by slicing the Hego beef ribeye steak (available on Hen Tick) into bite-size pieces and season with salt and pepper 
  2. Boil four cups of water in a medium-size pot
  3. Pour olive oil or butter into a pan and let it gently heat up. Add the garlic cloves and let garlic slightly brown, before adding the steak. 
  4. Pan-fry for a couple of minutes on each side, making sure to flip the meat from time to time for even cooking
  5. Bring water in the pot to boil and add both the Chapagetti (available on topkorea.sg) and Neoguri instant noodles (available on threeflag.sg). Scatter in the vegetable mix from both instant noodles and let the mixture boil for about three minutes. The noodles don’t have to be fully cooked at this step.
  6. Strain the noodles and be sure to keep the ramen water for later use
  7. Add the dry noodles to the pan with the meat. Then, pour a cup of the ramen water into the pan.
  8. Cook the mixture on the pan over medium heat. Add the whole packet of Chapagetti sauce and slightly more than half of the Neoguri sauce to the mixture. 
  9. Stir the mixture for about a minute or until the sauce becomes slightly thicker and is evenly distributed on the noodles. Add more ramen water if necessary. 
  10. Remove the pan from the stove and pour in the oil packet from the Chapagetti instant noodle to complete this easy Korean recipe. Nothing will beat eating your homemade ram don while rewatching Parasite — so put it on and dig in!

4. Strong Woman Do Bong Soon — Bibimbap (Korean mixed vegetable rice)

Whoever said girls are weak and frail surely hasn’t watched Strong Woman Do Bong Soon yet!  Do Bong Soon is here to change this stereotype for females! In this K-drama, Bong Soon possesses superhuman strength despite her petite frame and is employed as a bodyguard for the rich CEO, Ahn Min Hyuk. When Min Hyuk shields Bong Soon and gets stabbed during a gang fight, Bong Soon rushes him to the hospital and cares for him. Her family thanks Min Hyuk for saving Bong Soon by whipping up a huge pot of homemade bibimbap, but our poor male lead was denied the feast because he has yet to fully recover. 

Even though Min Hyuk failed to get a bite of the appetising bibimbap, it doesn’t mean you have to hold back too! Recreate the Do family’s inviting dish with this easy Korean bibimbap recipe — it’s perfect for meal prep too!

easy korean recipe strong woman do bong soon bibimbap mixed vegetable
(Credit: Screenshot from Newasiantv / taken by Iris Tan)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2-3

You will need:

Rice

  • ¾ cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1¼ cups water
  • Pinch of sea salt

Veggies

  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 large eggs

Flavouring

  • 2 tbsp Korean gochujang sauce
  • 2 tbsp kimchi
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make:

  1. Rinse the rice multiple times to ensure it’s thoroughly cleansed
  2. Add 1¼ cup of water, rice and salt into the Happycall 18cm ceramic die cast saucepan (available on Happy Call Shop). Heat over high heat to bring it to a boil. 
  3. Then, reduce the heat to simmer and cover the saucepan with a lid 
  4. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes until all water is absorbed. The rice should be cooked and fluffy. Remove from heat and set aside with the lid still on. 
  5. Next, heat the Tramontina non-stick skillet (available on Tramontina Singapore Pte Ltd) over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of sesame oil to coat the pan. Sesame oil is the key ingredient to this bibimbap recipe as it gives the dish a nutty flavour and aroma.
  6. When the oil is hot, cook the vegetables one type at a time until lightly browned. Season each with some minced garlic and a dash of Health Paradise organic tamari sauce (available on Lifewinners Organic). Put the cooked veggies aside.
  7. Continue to heat the skillet over medium heat and add a little more oil to coat the surface. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cover with the lid for about a minute. 
  8. Remove the lid and continue cooking until all the egg whites are cooked while the yolks are still runny. Set the sunny side ups aside. 
  9. Place the rice into a Korean stone bowl (available on BigSpoon Kitchenware) and top with the cooked veggies and eggs. Pour two tablespoons of the Chung Jung One sunchang gochujang paste (available on shopnca.sg), kimchi and sesame seeds into the bowl and there you have it, a healthy yet easy Korean bibimbap recipe! Before digging in, mix everything together and chow down with big spoonfuls like the Koreans do!

5. Itaewon Class — Sundubu jjigae (soft tofu stew)

easy korean recipe kdrama sundubu jjigae soft tofu stew itaewon class
(Credit: Screenshot from Newasiantv / taken by Iris Tan)

Park Seo Joon is back at it again with another hit asian Netflix drama, Itaewon Class! This time, he acts as Sae Ro Yi, an ex-convict who’s determined to make his bar-restaurant in Itaewon (duh!) a success while he avenges his father’s death. This action-packed drama is filled with many twists and turns but food is a key element in this show. One dish that stands out: Danbam’s (Sae Ro Yi’s bar) award-winning signature Soft Tofu Stew. It goes well with rice and the recipe can even be tweaked to suit vegans (eliminate pork, garlic and egg)!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

You will need:

  • 340g silken tofu
  • ⅓ cup sliced kimchi
  • 85g pork
  • 2 tsp gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp kimchi juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 egg

How to make:

  1. Start by slicing the Churo pork belly (available on Hen Tick) and Yangban kimchi (available on KimChi Mall) into bite-sized pieces. Don’t throw the can of kimchi away, you’ll need the kimchi juice for later on.
  2. Add the kimchi, meat, garlic, sesame oil and Ommason gochugaru (available on Home of Quirky Funky) into a pot over medium heat
  3. Stir-fry the meat in the pot for about three minutes until it’s almost cooked
  4. Pour in one cup of water and three tablespoons of kimchi juice into the pot. Then, bring it to a boil for about four minutes. Use a spoon to remove the froth on the surface of the stew. 
  5. Add big chunks of silken tofu (available on Hotpot King) into the pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper for extra flavour. Let the stew cook for five more minutes.
  6. Before removing the pot from the heat, throw in some chopped scallions and crack an egg into the pot. Your sundubu jjigae is now ready to be served!

6. Weightlifting Fairy: Kim Bok Joo — Odeng soup (fish cake soup)

How often do you find a drama that revolves around the lives of female weightlighters? Weightlifting Fairy: Kim Bok Joo is an unconventional K-drama following Kim Bok Joo, a college female weightlighter who isn’t popular among the guys because of her masculine energy. However, a fateful incident leads her to Jung Joon Hyung, a free-spirited college swimmer who takes a liking to Bok Joo’s candidness. 

As someone who eats a lot to keep up with her sport, Bok Joo can be seen gulping down an assortment of yummy food in various episodes. Needless to say, she’s also a huge fan of Korean street food, which includes tteoboki and of course — odeng! Try out this easy Korean fish cake soup recipe, which Bok Joo extorts from Joon Hyung after he cancels on their movie date!

easy korean recipe kdrama weightlifting fairy kim bok joo odeng soup fish cake soup
(Credit: Screenshot from Viu / taken by Iris Tan)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

You will need:

  • 200g Korean fish cake sheet
  • 30g green onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 6 cups water
  • Cracks of black pepper
  • A pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 10g dried kelp
  • 30g dried anchovy, head and innards removed
  • 100g white radish, thinly sliced

How to make:

  1. Put the anchovies in a big stainless steel strainer (available on allinit.sg) and place the strainer into a large pot. Pour in the six cups of water and add the dried kelp. Boil the soup for about 10 minutes over medium heat without the lid. 
  2. While waiting for the soup to cook, rinse the fish cake sheet with hot water to remove the oily coating on the surface 
  3. Slice the fish cakes sheet into long strips and stick them through some wooden skewers (available on usnow.sg
  4. Back to the soup, scoop and discard the kelp before adding the radish slices into the pot. Boil the radish along with the anchovy for another 10 minutes.
  5. Take the radish out from the soup and set it aside. Remove the strainer. Sieve the soup by pouring it through a linen cloth (available on yolandagoods.sg) to eliminate leftover small particles. 
  6. Add the radish back into the soup and keep the pot on medium high heat. Pour in some Woh Hup premium light soy sauce (available on Lim Siang Huat Pte Ltd), Taiwan cooking rice wine (available on Food People) and garlic. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to medium. 
  7. Now’s the time to add in the fish cake skewers into the soup! Boil until they are soft and have completely soaked in the soup. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and green onions to serve! 

7. Descendants Of The Sun — Samgyetang (gingseng chicken soup)

Although the ship is no longer sailing for our beloved Song-Song couple, Descendants Of The Sun is still undeniably one of the most popular K-dramas of the decade. Song Joong Ki stars as the charming Yoo Si Jin, a captain of the South Korean Special Forces unit. He falls for the kind hearted Dr. Kang Mo Yeon (played by Song Hye Kyo) but fails to give time to the relationship due to his irregular work hours. However, the couple finds themselves both deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Uruk — the perfect opportunity to deepen their relationship! 

During their stay in Uruk, Yoo Si Jin and his best pal, Sergeant Major Seo Dae Young tried to impress their respective love interests by cooking samgyetang! Samgyetang translates to ginseng chicken soup. While this invigorating Korean dish was a hit among the two female leads in the drama, it also became a worldwide sensation when fans of the series rushed to South Korea for an authentic taste of samgyetang! You can now enjoy all the health benefits of samgyetang with this easy Korean recipe.

easy korean recipes kdrama descendants of the sun song joong ki samgyetang gingseng chicken soup
(Credit: Screenshot from Viu / taken by Iris Tan)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 3-4

You will need:

Broth

  • 1.2kg whole chicken
  • 1.5 litre water

Stuffing

  • ¼ cup sticky rice, soaked overnight
  • 1 Korean ginseng
  • 4 peeled whole garlic cloves
  • 5 dried red dates
  • 4 peeled ginkgo nuts
  • 4 peeled chestnuts

Flavouring

  • 1 tbsp green onion, sliced
  • Fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

How to make:

  1. Start by washing the chicken thoroughly, both inside and outside, under cold running water 
  2. Stuff the chicken with sticky rice, ginseng, garlic cloves, Natural Brand Xin Jiang red dates (available on Natural Brand Trading), gingko nuts and Tong Garden chestnuts (available on tonggardensg). This is the only tedious step in this otherwise easy Korean recipe!
  3. To secure all the stuffing, cross the chicken legs and tie them together with a cotton string 
  4. Pour the water in a large pot and place the stuffed chicken in. Boil the pot over medium high heat with the lid on for about 20 minutes. 
  5. Thereafter, gradually reduce the heat until it reaches medium low and allow the soup to boil further for about 30 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Make sure to check that the stuffed sticky rice is fully cooked at this point. You can boil for even longer if necessary.
  6. Skim off the froth on the surface of the soup 
  7. All that’s left is to serve the samgyetang and garnish with green onion slices! Pour some sea salt and black pepper into a saucer. This mixture is great as a flavourful dip when you’re eating the chicken. 

Discover a whole new world of flavours

We hope you had fun making these easy Korean recipes! If you have no time to recreate recipes like bibimbap, samgyetang or nurungji, we suggest you give these quick and simple air fryer recipes a try! More into baking? Check out our Mother’s Day cake recipes which can be easily altered to suit any occasion. Don’t leave your little ones out of all the kitchen fun! Get them involved with these kids-friendly baking recipes this stay home period.


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