Korean Side Dishes

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Cultural Essay: Korean Side Dishes With any meal you have your main dish, but what makes a meal stand out is it’s side dishes. In Korean culture this holds true. A traditional Korean meal often includes numerous side dishes, steam-cooked short-grain rice, soup, and Kimchi (김치)(a vegetable Banchan)In Korea sides dishes are called Banchan (반찬). Korean food is usually seasoned sesame oil, fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, garlic, salt, ginger, and chili paste. Additionally, the food often varies seasonally, for example the winter season often relies heavily on Kimchi and other pickled vegetables preserve in large ceramic pots stored in outdoor courtyards. All though there are many types of Banchan, two of the more common dishes are Kimchi and Kongnamul (콩나물). Kimchi is often made from vegetables, usually cabbage, white radish, or cucumber, and is fermented in a brine of ginger, garlic, green onion, and chili pepper. There are many varieties of Kimchi which often vary from household to household. While traditionally Koreans would prepare enough Kimchi to last through the entire winter, with the of refrigerators and commercially bottled Kimchi this practice is becoming less common. Kongnamul is soybean sprouts and is often eaten in boiled and seasoned side dishes. Soybean sprouts are additionally used in Kongnamul-bap (콩나물 밥)(Sprouts over rice) and Kongnamul-guk(콩나물 국)(sprout soup) and Kongnamul-gukbab(콩나물 국 밥)(rice in sprout soup) In addition to Banchan there are also snacks and anju. Snacks play a significant role in Korean culture and can be found being sold from street carts during the day and at night are often sold from small kiosks or overhang style booths. Snacks are also seasonal whereas in the

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