‘Banchan’: Korean Side dishes

On beautiful sunny days, I find myself more motivated to cook different and intricate foods. 

On Sunday May 3rd, I was home and had two hours to spare. It was one of the sunniest and most beautiful days of the year so far.

So I picked up my apron, tied my hair up, and cooked in the kitchen for just over 2 hours.

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Menu for Sunday May 3

‘Moo Gook” (무국)

Spicy Radish side dish

Spicy Cucumber side dish

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So the first thing on the menu for Sunday was ‘Moo Gook” (무국), which is basically just white radish (daikon) in beef broth.

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{ BBRUGLLRGH }

The sound of boiling

This soup normally takes about 1 hr 30 mins, so I had a bit of time in between to make some Korean side dishes.

Lesson on Korean Food 101:

If you don’t know what Korean food is and what their specialty is, then you should at least know this.

Side dishes. Many of them.

A typical korean table setting looks a bit like the one shown below.

KOREAN BBQ

On a Korean table, you’ll normally find a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, a couple of side dishes (including Kimchi), sauces/dips, and a plate of any type of meat (chicken, beef, pork, fish).

Korean food is about mixing flavours to bring out an array of different tastes converging with one another.

Spicy. Sour. Sweet. Salty.

All those side dishes will give you that.

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So, while I was waiting for the soup to be done, I took the time to make these two side dishes:

Spicy Radish Salad/Side Dish

Radish Salad/Side dish (무생채)

 Chopped up like matchsticks.

Red chili pepper flakes

Green onion

Salt & Vinegar

Sugar

Garlic

Sesame Seeds

Spicy Cucumber Side Dish

Spicy Cucumber Side Dish (오이무침)

Red chili pepper flakes

Onions

Green onion

Garlic

Soy sauce

Sesame oil & Sesame seeds

Sugar

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To be quite honest, I made these dishes and didn’t even eat it.

The best thing about cooking is having someone else to enjoy it.

So I made these dishes simply for my parents to savour it.

I already had dinner plans elsewhere that night.

The simple thought of someone enjoying and satisfyingly eating food that I carefully take the time to make is,

in itself, rewarding and fulfilling.

So, surprisingly enough, even though I love cooking and cook many different meals,

I never cook something good when I eat alone.

Food is always more flavourful with company.

Food is more tastier in a livelier experience.

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Korea’s staple side dish is famously known as Kimchi.

It’ll definitely be one of my next blog entries, so stay tuned!

‘Till next time, friends! 😀

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