Healthy Korean Dishes in Honor of the Winter Olympics

Healthy Korean Dishes in Honor of the Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games have just concluded. Unfortunately, they went by in a flash. You may have seen our blog series on “How to Eat Like an Olympian” in honor of the Games. In the spirit of the Winter Olympics being held in South Korea, taste the many flavors of the culture by trying out Korean cuisine! Here are a few recipes for healthy Korean dishes in honor of the Winter Olympics!

South Korea Winter Olympics Fun Facts

The 2018 Winter Olympics were held in PyeongChang, South Korea, for the first time ever. Although the country held the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, this is a first for the winter games. They are the smallest city to host an Olympic Games ever since the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.  

Healthy Korean Dishes

Korean dishes are largely based on rice, vegetables, and meat. Kimchi is served at almost every meal as one of their traditional side dishes made from salted and fermented vegetables, usually consisting of napa cabbage and radishes. Kimchi will be good enough to eat straight for up to about 3 weeks. After about 4 weeks, once the kimchi gets too fermented to eat by itself, it can be used to make hot pots, flatcakes, dumplings, or just plain fried rice.

Kimchi Recipe

traditional napa cabbage kimchi

via Epicurious /


This recipe makes enough kimchi to fill a 1-gallon jar.


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • Water
  • 2 heads Napa cabbage, cut into quarters or 2-inch wedges, depending on size of cabbage
  • 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of ginger root
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce or Korean salted shrimp
  • 1 Asian radish, peeled and grated
  • 1 bunch of green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Sesame oil (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Dissolve 1 cup salt in 1/2 gallon water. Soak cabbage in the salt water for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Combine garlic, ginger, and fish sauce or shrimp in food processor or blender until finely minced.
  3. In large bowl, combine radish, green onions, mustard greens, garlic mixture, chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt and optional sugar. Toss gently but thoroughly. (If mixing with your hands, be sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid chili burn.)
  4. Remove cabbage from water and rinse thoroughly. Drain cabbage in colander, squeezing as much water from the leaves as possible. Take cabbage and stuff radish mixture between leaves, working from outside in, starting with largest leaf to smallest. Do not overstuff, but make sure radish mixture adequately fills leaves. When entire cabbage is stuffed, take one of the larger leaves and wrap tightly around the rest of the cabbage. Divide cabbage among 4 (1-quart) jars or 1-gallon jar, pressing down firmly to remove any air bubbles.
  5. Let sit for 2 to 3 days in a cool place before serving. Remove kimchi from jar and slice into 1-inch-length pieces. If serving before kimchi is fermented, sprinkle with a little bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Refrigerate after opening.

Here is another great Korean meal shared by one of our Elite Sports Clubs members. It’s perfect to try with friends and family after having watched this year’s Winter Olympics!

Korean Beef & Vegetables Recipe

Korean Beef & Vegetables

Protein: tuna steaks and thinly cut ribeye steak. Chicken and shrimp are great, too. Used purple cabbage and had the Korean sauce to dip prior to putting on grill.

Cucumbers were in the platter just to eat not grill.

Once mixed, add 1-2 teaspoons of sesame seed oil.

Serve in a bowl with ice under it to keep very cold.

Vegetables: bean sprouts, onions, eggplant, mushrooms, lemon to squeeze on top while cooking.

I hope you enjoy some new cuisine in honor of South Korea hosting this year’s Winter Olympic games. For more delicious and healthy recipes, follow us on Pinterest or contact one of Elite’s nutrition specialists for a free consultation!

Get more recipes, follow us on Pinterest!

Taylor Thompson Personal Trainer at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Taylor Thompson, Certified Personal Trainer & Nutritionist at Elite Sports Club – Brookfield

Taylor has a B.S. in Dietetics from UW-Stevens Point and is an American Council of Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Certified Zumba Instructor. She specializes in Nutrition & Weight Loss, Youth Training, Strength Training, and Kickboxing. Taylor enjoys dancing, traveling, cooking, and spending time with friends. She believes that you have to love yourself enough that you are willing to make changes and push yourself outside your comfort zone where big results can be achieved.




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