Banchan (+actually mostly kimchi…)

banchan 4

Heyy everybody, okay so for today let’s talk about banchan. You may have already been wondering why my blog is named banchanblog and what that could possibly mean. Well it’s the name of the Korean side dishes. With the main meal often come the small bowls filled with for example, potatoes, kimchi, spinach salad, seaweed salad, marinated bean sprouts and many many more things. With a meal you can have about three banchans, but with a royal or a holiday meal you can have like up to twenty banchans or so. It depends. But fact is, Koreans love their vegetables. They have so many vegetable banchans with their meal.

Banchan at Palace Korean BBQ Restaurant on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

And for the reason why I named my blog banchanblog, well I just thought it sounded fun, wasn’t too standard and had a Korean word in it which is quite common. And now…. KIMCHI. The most popular banchan in the Korean cuisine~.

Koreans are especially big lovers of their own invented kimchi. Kimchi are fermented vegetables most often with a lot of spices and chilli peppers. But it hasn’t always been this way. Early kimchis were most often radishes salted in brine or dipped in some paste of fermented vegetables. This was back when kimchi was most importantly used as food to survive on. The winters are very, very cold in South-Korea and when they were early agricultural it was important to gather foods for winter and to preserve them too. So that’s what they did, they salted and fermented vegetables to keep them good in winter and be able to eat them. During 1392 and 1910 a lot of outside influences came upon the popular kimchis. Although korea was cut off from most of the world except China and a bit from Japan, Japan traded with lands worldwide. The Portuguese introduced potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and chilli peppers from America in Japan. And during the Japanese invasions of Korea these products also ended up in Korea. This is how more and more kimchis developed. By 1872 there were 92 different types of kimchi, today there are over 200 of them.


For example you also have white kimchi, or in Korean: baek kimchi. Baek kimchi is the mild and fresh version of kimchi.

white kimchi

Kimchi pancakes are also very popular as a side dish, I’ve never made them before but I’ve heard they’re quite simple to make, but rather time-consuming. They’re most often made on a scale of at least 7 inches.

kimchi pancakes

You now know the basics of korean banchan and kimchi, but there are so many types of banchan, too many to tell about. I have only had a few banchans too, but that’s because we only have a few korean restaurant here in the netherlands where I live. They’re all far away from my place. but I want to try all of them (okay that’s a pretty big goal but at least a lot of them). Well byebyee, hope you learned something new 🙂

2 thoughts on “Banchan (+actually mostly kimchi…)

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