Oooh! I missed writing about food! Been a while, huh? Anyway, I’m back and this post is entirely dedicated to Korean side dishes also known as banchan. If you’ve ever eaten in a Korean restaurant, you’d know what I’m talking about!
반찬 Banchan are small dishes served in Korean cuisine. All Korean restaurants serve it before they bring out the “main food” and in Korea, it’s a must in their homes. Banchan is a requirement for a basic Korean table setting called 반상 bansang. I had my banchan 101 from my friends from Kitiwit.com and I must say, I never realized there were so many kinds! I will group them according to category to make things easier to understand and will also share with my readers what I -honestly- think of them.
(Click to enlarge photos)
It cannot get any more Korean than this.
A. 김치 KIMCHI
A national symbol for Korea and the default banchan of any Korean meal. I have not met a Korean person who does not eat kimchi, which is basically fermented vegetables.
* 김치 Standard/Regular Kimchi – made of 배추 baechu aka napa cabbage. I am not the biggest fan of kimchi, to be honest. Jimmy’s friend once told me that it’s just like salad, except it’s spicy. NO, OPPA. IT IS NOT JUST LIKE SALAD. SALAD DOES NOT TASTE LIKE THAT.
* 갓김치 Gat Kimchi - Indian mustard leaf kimchi with a large amount of red pepper powder. Fermented anchovies and gluttonous rice paste are added to reduce the spiciness and bitter taste. Still not a big fan. Moving on….
* 물김치 Mul Kimchi – White kimchi with water which is also 동치미 dongchimi. Dongchimi is a variety of kimchi consisting of various vegetable and watery brine. They are mostly eaten with spicy food and traditionally consumed during winter as 동 dong = winter. I personally like it especially when eating spicy dishes though the concept of cold soup still baffles me.
B. 나물 Namul
General term for a Korean seasoned, marinated or stir-fried vegetable dish. Namul banchan are usually seasoned with sesame oil, salt, vinegar, minced garlic, chopped green onions, dried chili peppers, and soy sauce.
* 호박무침 Hobak Muchim – Seasoned pumpkin. It’s as simple as that though according to some websites, hobak is a Korean summer squash that is roundish in shape and has light and dark green stripes. Is it not zucchini?! Anyway, I’m cool with this banchan. Not my fave but I eat it when it’s there.
* 콩나물 무침 Kongnamul Muchim – Cold boiled bean sprouts with sesame oil, which is also a very popular side dish. The texture is crisp, and the flavor is typically very light. Some restaurants serve it spicy while others serve it regular and by now, I’m sure you already know which one I prefer. I like stuffing my 삼겹살 samgyupsal wrap with this!
This category refers to dishes made of vegetables, meat, seafood, or tofu which have been simmered in a mixed sauce or seasoned broth. Jorim is the noun of 조리다 jorida, which means “to simmer in a thick soup or sauce”.
* 감자 조림 Gamja Jorim – Potatoes cooked in soy sauce (with a bit of sweetness) which is one of the most popular side dishes for school lunch boxes in Korea. Also, this is pretty easy to make. I tried to cook one for the first time without even knowing how it’s supposed to taste like and surprisingly, Jimmy loved it (albeit I thought it’s supposed to be leaning more towards salty than sweet ‘coz I’m Pinoy like that)!!! I like it too but as a banchan, I feel like it’s a bit heavy.
Please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: Kring, My Korean Boyfriend, Jimmy Kim
And “like” us on Facebook: Kring Elenzano / The Krimmy Couple / C.N.A. Philippines
Subscribe to my YouTube account: FunnySexy