Banchan montage

Article by Gil "hannaone"
© Copyright 2007-2023. All rights reserved.

Image by hannaone: assorted banchan

What are all those little dishes?


In English, "banchan" means "side dish". Traditional Korean meals are served with a variety of these tasty dishes meant to be shared among diners. Our restaurants were known for their banchan offerings, with some options being so popular that we offered pint and quart containers for customers to enjoy at home or as a snack.

In the third century AD, Buddhism became the main religion in Korea and eating meat was no longer allowed. This likely influenced the evolution of banchan into its current form.

As vegetable offerings gained popularity, they became a main component of meals. Kitchens all over Korea utilized various techniques for preparing and presenting these dishes to the nobles. This trend was also adopted in smaller villages and households.

Mongol invasions between 1231 and 1270 lifted restrictions on meat and it once again became a part of Korean cuisine after six hundred years of primarily vegetarian food.

Banchan, or side dishes, were also used as a way to showcase wealth in Korean homes. Having a wide variety of expensive beef and numerous side dishes displayed a sense of prosperity.

Index to Banchan Recipes

Banchan - It's all about the Banchan. History, information, and recipes,
Banchan: Myeolchi-bokkeum - Stir Fried Anchovy - Recipe for Myeolchi-bokkeum - Stir Fried Anchovy
Banchan: Doraji Namul - Bell flower root - Recipe for Doraji Namul - Sauteed Bellflower Root 도라지 무침
Banchan: Dubu Buchim - Recipe for Dubu Buchim - 마늘장아찌
Banchan: Maneuljjong-Bokkeum - Recipe for Maneuljjong-Bokkeum
Banchan: Gyeran Mali | Rolled Omelet - Recipe for Gyeran Mali | 마늘장아찌 | Korean Rolled Omelet
Banchan: Kkaenip Jangajji - Recipe for Kkaenip Jangajji - 깻잎 장아찌 - Seasoned Per
Banchan: Maleun Saeu Bokk-eum - Recipe for Spice Candied Dried Shrimp
Banchan: Maneul Jangajji - Recipe for Maneul Jangajji - 마늘장아찌
Banchan: Mumallaengi Muchim - Seasoned Dried Radish - Recipe for Mumallaengi Muchim - Korean style seasoned dried radish strips
Banchan: Sigeumchi-Namul - Recipe for Sigeumchi Namul - Seasoned Spinach 시금치나물
Banchan: Daegujeon - Breaded cod filets
Banchan: Saeu-twigim - Recipe for Saeu-twigim - Fried Shrimp
Banchan: Yeongeun-jeonggwa - Recipe for Yeongeun-jeonggwa / Candied Lotus Root

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