Suggestions regarding Korean food

My son wants to take my non-diabetic husband and I to a Korean BBQ restaurant. Is there anything a type 1 can eat there, or should I eat beforehand and drink water or tea? I’ve never had Korean food.


Are you on a low carb diet? If not then it’s mostly like other Asian cuisine, carbs are mostly rice, plenty of meat at a barbecue place and there should be veggies such as spinach and whatnot. Look up Bimibap, That’s a Korean dish I eat sometimes.

The meat can have quite a bit of sugar in it but that varies from restaurant to restaurant. There should be a couple of lower carb options such as soups and egg dishes as well. Just as with eating any unfamiliar food watch your BG and correct as needed. Have a taste of the meat before bolusing. If it tastes sweet then adjust your insulin dose but I wouldn’t refuse to eat at a restaurant because they didn’t have ideal foods for my diet. It’s not something you would be eating everyday anyways.

If you don’t usually eat rice then I would avoid eating it and stick to the meat and veggies and soups since rice can be hard to bolus for.


Thanks. There’s a tofu soup that’s described as a spicy stew that sounded okay. they also have salad with ginger dressing. I will ask about the dressing. I am on an almost no-carb to very low carb diet, so rice and sauce and all that just won’t cut it for me.


The issue with Korean food, if there is one, is that it can be very spicy. If you are avoiding carbs, those are obvious, but even then, the primary concern is rice, which has a high glycemic index. The other concern is greasiness, as some food is fried. For dishes that contain rice, you can just eat the vegetables, meat, or tofu, and leave the rest.

When I used to visit Korean shops, when I was younger and spent more time hanging around NYC, I would opt for kimchi, ox bone soup, and scallion pancake. The pancake can be a bit oily, but if it is a one off, nothing to be concerned about.

thank you!


I am low carb as well.

It sounds like the menu has a dubu-jigae. This is a spicy stew-ish dish served in a stone pot. Very tasty. The spice here tends to be gochujang, which does have some sugar, but the entire meal doesn’t use more than a few tablespoons of gochujang; the sugars are minimal. Like most spicy food, sugar gets added to balance out the spice.

An alternative is kimchi-jigae; the spice here comes mostly from aged kimchi. Also very tasty, but even less sugar.

Korean meals are traditionally served with small side dishes of pickled vegetables. Tasty and low in carbs. I almost always ask for a second round as the meal progresses.

Korean tends to be communal; no one will bat an eye if you and your table mates trade bits of your meals with each other. This is liberating for low carbers; I don’t have the guilt of ordering an entire meal that’s too sweet for me, but I can try one piece of this, one piece of that, and the total BG impact is small even if I get a bite of a sweet BBQ.


so we went to the place and my son did not make a reservation and there was like an hour wait and no place to park, so we ended up eating in an American place, where I could just have salad and protein. Next time. thank you for your suggestions.


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Most Asian sauces/ dressings have added sugars. At some restaurants, I have enquired if they are willing to prepare a dish without. Ends up being steamed veggies, plain meats and if I’m hungry will request a 2nd portion of the veggies. If salt isn’t an issue, a little soy or tamari sauce will “brighten” the plain dish’s flavours. A little hot sauce also helps :smiling_face:

Korean barbecue places are always packed because they are very popular. Always make a reservation :grin:.

The soups for future reference tend to be pretty low carb (I think the jjigae usually comes with ramen noodles but you can request they be left out) and the barbecued meat without sauces (except for bulgogi which is more like a stir fry and has the sauce mixed in) is just seasoned meat cooked right in front of you so you can decide what sauce, if any you want on it.

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My Korean go to: soon tobu, a spicy tofu stew. Comes with some veg, often with a bit of seafood. (Rice is served on the side) Filling, great on a cold day!