Mmm… Banchan is actually one of the reason why I love Korean food to the max. I mean who doesn’t, when they get loads of different variety of small portion of dishes for us to munch on. *Hehe* to me is like a mini version of the Manchu Han Imperial Feast. Why? Cause it’s always different and the variety are never ending. 😀
Banchan are normally served in the middle of the table before the main course come and are meant for sharing. *Yippie yeah yeah*. Banchan are served according to number of 3 cheop, 5 cheop, 7 cheop, 9 cheop or 12 cheop, with cheop refering to the small side dishes. For most of the Korean restaurant that I visited, they normally serve me with 7 or 9 cheop. LOL… yeay!!! Apparently the more cheop served, the more luxury or higher class the cuisine is.
There are a few different kind and category of dishes in Banchan. Below are the different type Banchan that I have tried so far:
Kimchi is fermented vegetables seasoned with a variety of seasonings. Kimchi’s variety differs based on different regions and seasons as well.The most famous type would be the Northern style Kimchi which often have watery consistency and are mainly seasoned with seasonings such as salt, red chili peppers, garlic, ginger and chopped radish.
Jeon is pancake like dishes. It is mainly made with ingrediants such as meats, seafood, vegetables mixed with flour batter and coated with egg batter which will then be pan fried in oil till golden brown. Depending on the type of jeon, some of the type of jeon are eaten as desserts.
Namul is mainly steamed, stir-fried, boiled, fried, fermented, dried or even blanched vegetables dish usually seasoned with salt, vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, chopped green onions, died chili peppers, gochujang and soy sauce.
Japchae is basically meat and vegetables being stir fried in sesame oil and sometimes seasoned with soy sauce. Dish may be served hot or cold.
Other variety of banchan: