If there was a way to travel the world sitting at one place alone, it is through food. A variety of cuisines, a vast array of dishes and many more just waiting to be discovered. Korean food is one particular area, which many of us are not aware of. We’ve known Korean cuisine to have a lot of side dishes as part of the main dish, but hadn’t had the fortune of having a firsthand experience as such.
A session about Korean Food was much needed to experience what the cuisine has to offer after the little-known ideas we had of the food.
Korean cuisine was not completely new to us. Having tasted versions only on our Trip to United States and Thailand, we were in for a surprise. Korean cuisine is much more comprehensive. The dishes, the hard to pronounce names, the burst of new flavors were all a new dining experience.
The table setting (bansang) was first explained to us before moving on to the individual dishes. The Korean way of having food is with all the dishes served at once, with everyone at the table enjoying it as a complete meal with the sticky rice and soup (guk) given individually.
There are a lot of side dishes (Banchan) as part of the Bansang. And when we mean lot, it literally translates to that, a minimum of eight and above. They have an everyday changing menu but also cook dishes based on popular demand. The essence remains the same just with the tweaking of the ingredients in the banchan. As part of the side dishes there is the Kimchi, which is fermented vegetables (mostly cabbage) in chilli. Namul is marinated and stir fried vegetables in sesame oil and soy sauce.
Also part of the side dishes are Bokkeum, which are stir fried in sauce dishes. We had the Dak Galbi, a stir fried marinated diced chicken on toothpicks with assorted vegetables in gochujang (Korean red chili sauce). Then there is the Jjim which is a steamed dish, primarily eggs seasoned with fried onions and chilies. The Jeon is a pancake, which can be dipped in Hoisin sauce to have along with.
Yes, as much surprising it was to us, the side dishes were real huge. The main dish was the Japchae. Now Japchae is quite famously known as Korean Glass noodles coz of the texture. Japchae are sweet potato noodles, stir fried in sesame oil, soy sauce and vegetables, sweetened with sugar and served with beef. The traditional Korean dishes like the Bulgogi, Galbi, Gogigui as part of it’s everyday menu.