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Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Banchan (Side Dishes), Vegetarian | 2 comments

Recipe: Korean Onion Relish

Recipe: Korean Onion Relish

The onion does not have an ancient connection to Korean cuisine. But you wouldn’t know that, based on how popular the root vegetable is now in Korea. That’s in sharp contrast to the milder green onion, which has been a part of Korean cuisine for hundreds, even thousands of years.

Onions were introduced to Korea just over 100 years ago and were not grown on a large scale there until the 1960s.

This recipe for Korean onion relish is an excellent partner for your next Korean barbecue. Just grab a large piece of lettuce or a big 깻잎 kkaenip/shiso/perilla leaf, put a little of the onion relish on the leaf and top with a slice of your favorite Korean grilled meat (불고기 bulgogi, 갈비 kalbi, 닭갈비 dakgalbi, whatever).

If you aren’t on a low-carb diet, add a small spoonful of rice to absorb some of the vinegar brine. Any leftovers would have fun in a bowl of 비빔밥 bibimbap (mixed rice and vegetable dish with or without meat or dubu/tofu) or 김치볶음밥 kimchi boggeumbap (fried rice).

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Korean onion relish with bulgogi on a kkaenip leaf (Tammy Quackenbush photo)

Korean Onion Relish

Based on a recipe from the blog Korean Cuisine.


1 large white onion (the larger the better), diced
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon horseradish or wasabi
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon soy sauce
7 tablespoons rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)


  1. Dice the onion into fine pieces.
  2. Mix the garlic, horseradish, rice wine, soy sauce and vinegar in a small bowl.
  3. Add the diced onion, and mix to combine.


  1. I love onions and this recipe looks great! Will try it next time we have a barbecue. I am a big of the Korean Cuisine blog but she hasn't posted in a long time due to her health problems 🙁 I often think about her and hope that she is ok!

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