Banchan: A Common Sharing of Side Dishes

Keeping Meal Times Interesting

Banchan is an important part of Korean cuisine, absolutely indispensable and always accompanies any and every meal. Even if dinner is simple and humble, to a full spread at elaborate janchi ceremonial celebrations and royal court cuisine, banchan is present. It is a definitive part of Korean cuisine.

Though banchan comes in an infinite variety, it can grouped into culinary techniques. There’s fermentation and pickling, exemplified by kimchi and jangajji. There’s the lightly seasoned ingredients, as vegetables, roots, sprouts, so there’s namul muchim. Then you have lightly sautéed or stir fried, so you have bokkeum. And then, jorim, which is braised in seasoned broth or sauce, and jjim, which is steamed. There is also a variety of jun (thinly pan-fried savory pancakes and small meat patties), associated with larger feasts. Three of these are always standard in any Korean dinner setting – kimchi, namul muchim and jorim.

Banchan, small servings of different taste adventures, each offering a unique flavor to a dining experience, is also healthy food, sometimes referred to as medicinal. The side dishes balance out the main courses at the table. Banchan is light and non-greasy. They help digest the meats and rice and are filling in themselves, and delicious, as well.

Have you tried Kimchi

The most popular among them is kimchi. It’s an immune system booster with its lactic acid that results in the process of fermentation. It’s also rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, a known cancer fighter and antioxidant. Whatever is in your banchan it will not increase body weight, though they are filling. They lower risks of cardiovascular diseases as well as neurological illnesses. The isoflavones in beans and mushroom strengthen bones. Then, because they have no preservatives, they are good for skin health.

More importantly, banchan is communal meal. It is meant to be shared whilst one has his own bowl of rice and bowl of soup. The Korean meal is a gathering and sharing of entrees and sides, serving elders, and refilling small plates and glasses with a sense of innate hospitality. Meal times are always interesting with banchan.

Different Taste Adventure with Banchan

When you are around UW, come to Korean Tofu House and enjoy your banchan more. With the varieties we have, it’s an adventure in taste. Come together, eat Korean and eat healthy.