Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekend Fun and Banchan (Korean Side Dishes)

The last few weeks have brought many changes for our family, and we have all had some difficulties adjusting. So we are very grateful that we got to enjoy a fabulous day at the beach. And to make things even better, the kid caught up on his sleep on the drive home!


Banchan (Korean Side Dishes)

For many, the favorite part of a Korean meal are the side dishes, called banchan. Often when we go to a Korean restaurant, what I look forward to the most are the side dishes, and it’s also what I eat most of, which is sort of funny as they come free with the meal.

Most banchan dishes are not difficult to prepare, but since there is an expectation to have a wide variety of side dishes at every meal (nine or more is not unusual), planning is important, as making too many dishes in one day can be a bit time consuming. In fact, when I think about making about ten side dishes all at once (in addition to the main course), I get overwhelmed and am likely to make none! Smile Luckily, most of the dishes will keep for several days in the refrigerator, so one can make a few dishes a day and serve them with what’s already in the fridge. Also, a meal with just a few, good side dishes is just fine in my opinion…

Over the weekend, I made some bulgogi (I marinated the meat following my bulgogi recipe) as well as a number of side dishes (bean sprouts, Chinese leeks, and spinach). I will post the recipes over the coming weeks and also plan on making some more side dishes this week as I love eating them for lunch.



We ate the bulgogi and banchan with some “purple rice,” which we all enjoyed a lot. We don’t eat rice that often, so it was a special treat.



Finally, if you are interested, I planned our meals for this week on my Facebook page. And I’m still recording most of my workouts on Daily Mile. Luckily, as the weather is getting nicer, we have been having many “playouts” with the kid, and I have been getting extra workouts, consisting of climbing, running, jumping, etc. The kid is getting fast, so playing tag and having races are actually workouts these days! Smile

Questions: Have you ever had Korean food? If so, did you like it? What was your favorite part of the meal? What was the highlight of your weekend?
 
Be well,
Andrea

26 comments:

  1. side dishes are my favorite partmof the meal when we go to Korean restaurants, so please post the recipes, I really want to make them too! :)

    glad to know that you and your family had a lovely day at the beach, looks so relaxing.

    highlight of my weekend: spend time with mom! :)

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    1. Glad you got to spend time with your mom!

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  2. I have only eaten Korean food once, that I can remember, and I don't even remember what I ordered! I just know I was worried about the garlic, onion, and cabbage (fodmaps). I LOVE the kimchi and all the pork involved (pork is a weakness of mine!). I also appreciate all of the great vegetables that seem to be a part of so many dishes (and sides!).
    Glad you had a nice weekend Andrea. It's snowing outside as I see you on the beach in this post!

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    1. Yes, garlic, onion, and cabbage is everywhere in Korean food... Would be hard to avoid in a restaurant.

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  3. haha, I love those pics at the beach! Looks like it was a restful day everyone needed!

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    1. Yes, it was just what we needed... :)

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  4. Looks like a splendid day at the beach! I don't think I've eaten Korean before, but it looks like food that I would really enjoy! Highlight of my weekend was Noah's hockey game yesterday....they won AND he scored! :)

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    1. Sounds like a great hockey game! Great job, Noah!!!

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  5. My husband and I went to a Korean bbq place - we were stunned at all the side dishes that came with it! My favorite was kimchee (I think that's how you spell it!)

    We had another low key weekend while my hubs is still recovering from his last surgery - so slow, but hopefully when the weather gets nicer he'll feel better!

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    1. Hope Tony will feel a whole lot better soon!!!

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  6. You know, I don't think I have ever had Korean food. I can't wait to hear more about what you made. The spread looks incredible.
    I had a nice weekend of relaxing. I've been go go go for a while now, so it was nice to relax.

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  7. I am really not familiar with Korean food but it looks delicious! Looks like a fun relaxing time over the weekend. :)

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  8. I wish I had been at the beach this weekend, and with the gorgeous weather I should have been there, but my kids had ball games, and photo day, and Girl Scouts, so we were so busy we never made it to the beach :-(. I'm looking forward to your Korean recipes. I love bulgogi, but it's pretty much the only Korean food I have had. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. Sounds like you had a busy weekend! Hope you are having a good week!

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  9. I have never had Korean food but your dishes look very tasteful.

    It's so weird seeing you and your family on the beach and that the weather is so beautiful. We're waiting for Spring over here.

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    1. Yes, it's still weird to me to go to the beach in the winter... The beaches around here are actually often quite foggy and therefore cold in the summer, so we often have the best beach days in the winter...

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  10. I love Korean food. Any Asian food really. I think the best Korean food I ever ate was at a Korean restaurant in China!

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    1. We'll have you over for some Korean food when you are in the area next!

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  11. A nice looking Korean table (bapsang) you have there, Andrea! Our rice most of the days is purple with mixed grains. While juggling quite a few other things in life, I cooked and photographed several Korean dishes for my posting last weekend.

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    1. Thanks!

      I saw your chicken dish in my reader; it looks & sounds fabulous!

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  12. I love bulgogi and chopchae (sp?). I have a problem with eating anything that doesn't smell good, however. My husband brings home that most foul smelling food, like dried squid, as only one example. So I have mixed feelings about Korean food.

    :-) Marion

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    1. Yes, Korean food can be quite smelly... :)

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