On the Side or Banchan

by Amy Kim on November 6, 2009 · 3 comments

Ban chan (Korean side dishes) tastes better when made at home. It’s even better when a toddler gobbles up his veggies before you can say bibim bap. My mom would either omit vinegar or garlic powder to make it more palatable for my DS. If the following ingredients are in your pantry, then you can make ban chan out of any veggie. Soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, roasted sesame seeds, white vinegar, crushed red pepper, green onion, and salt. There are three dishes that I’ve been making regularly because they are so simple and mostly because it’s guaranteed that DS will eat it all and even have seconds. Below are recipes for oi muchim, gosari, and suk joo namul. Again, the measurements are not precise so I advise tasting, tasting, tasting as you mix your ingredients. It’s okay, they’re just veggies. I’ve mentioned a couple of the dishes in previous posts, but here they are again.

Oi Muchim | www.kimchimom.com

Oi muchim (seasoned cucumber)

– 3 or 4 Japanese cucumbers or mini cucumbers (much sweeter and smaller seeds), thinly sliced
– salt
– white vinegar (you could use mirin or rice wine vinegar)
– sesame oil
– garlic powder (optional)
– sesame seeds
– 1 green onion, thinly sliced crosswise

Salt the cucumber slices and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out excess water. Add a couple capfuls of vinegar, add about half the amount of sesame oil, and a shake (about 1/8 tsp) of garlic powder if desired. Mix and taste. Adjust seasonings if necssary. Top with about a teaspoon of sesame seeds and the green onion.

Gosari | www.kimchimom.com

Gosari namul (seasoned fernbracken)
– 1 package of gosari packed in water
– cooking oil
– soy sauce
– garlic powder

- sesame oil

– sesame seeds
– salt
– 1 green onion, thinly sliced crosswise

Open package of gosari, drain, and rinse. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Throw in the gosari when the pan is hot. Add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and a few shakes of garlic powder. Saute for a few minutes or until heated through. Taste. Turn off heat and add a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil and stir. Taste (get the idea?). Add salt to taste. Garnish generously with sesame seeds and top with green onion.

Suk Joo Namul | www.kimchimom.com
Suk joo namul (seasoned mung bean sprouts)
- 1 package of mung bean sprouts
- sesame oil
- garlic powder

– sesame seeds
– salt

- 1 green onion, thinly sliced crosswise
Clean and rinse the sprouts. Remove any brown wilted sprouts and pop off any wilted “tails” or ends of the sprouts. Place in a saucepan full of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the sprouts are limp, but still have a bit of crunch to them. About 5 minutes or so. You don’t want them to become mushy. Drain, but do not rinse. Put the sprouts in a bowl. Pour a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil, a little garlic powder, sesame seeds, and green onion and mix. Taste! Add salt and adjust seasonings to taste. It’s best to serve immediately when still warm.

I know it’s a little annoying to not have the precise measurements, but the seasonings should all be to your liking. And all these recipes are just from watching my mom prepare these dishes. I poo-poohed the garlic powder at first, but it works for these dishes. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

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