What Is Korean Banchan?

 What Is Korean Banchan?

Even though they are served before the main course, Korean mini meals known as korean banchan (พันชาน หรือ เครื่อง เคียง อาหาร เกาหลี, which is the term in Thai) translates to the meaning “side dishes”. These are not appetizers. Snacks-in-meal that serves as condiments, complements and contrasts, all at the same time are a distinct category in and of themselves.

Banchan Varieties

South Korea’s Cheongpumuk (Mung Bean Jelly)

Translated, the name means “clear froth jelly”. This makes it sound like something that should get paid a lot of money to eat. A simple starch of mung bean acts as a palate cleanser in the same way that fancy French sorbet does. A slight soy sauce or sesame oil, some chile, some scallions, and some sesame seeds round out the flavor profile, which has a ratio of 3:1 (texture:flavor). 

Danmuji (Pickled Radish)

Jajangmyeon, or black bean noodles influenced by Chinese cuisine, can be served with any Korean yellow pickled daikon along with onion, according to Joe Kim in Denver. As close as they are to each other, you could say, danmuji, on the other hand, is simply the sour and sweet daikon part of the dish.


You can find kelp, wakame, and even laver in various colors and textures in this korean banchan. It is essential to watch for sugar and salt-sprinkled “chips,” vinegary salads, and other tangy, vinegary food items.

Gamja Saelleodeu (Potato Salad)

When it comes to appearance and flavor, this dish is often referred to as a “potato salad.” Carrot, apple, pear, or other vegetables and fruits can be found in it, but it can also be as sweet and smooth as an ice cream scoop.

A Jorim Of Maechurial or Gyeran (Quail Eggs or Soy-Simmered Chicken)

Dave Hazzan, an Ilsan writer, believes that these eggs are best when served along with something that is “less heavy in meat” than a barbecue dish, such as kimchi or kimchi jangjorim. Many prefer to eat the eggs as is, but they’re the perfect accompaniment to a second or a third alcoholic beverage bottle.

The Bokkeum Of Myulchi or Saewoo (Anchovies or Fried Dried Shrimp)

Your server may bring a meal of korean banchan that involves anchovies or dried shrimps stir-fried with a soy syrup, and the crunchy tiny things are just too irresistible to pass on. Shredded squid may be easier to eat for those who are easily spooked because it looks a lot like a shaved carrot.

Danny White