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! 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!
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?