[Four] More side dishes please! 여기 반찬 더 주세요 :)

Today, I am going to introduce everyone to 반찬 (pronounced "ban chan") or also known as Korean side dishes. Side dishes are essential in Korean cuisine. What exactly is it? It's basically the equivalent of pickles or pepper when eating hamburgers. One could also compare it to ligonberry jam when eating Swedish meatballs.

ligonberry jam with meatballs
Korean side dishes serve the purpose of adding a bit of spice to your dinner, if your main dishes are bland- or vice versa. Koreans like combining different flavours together.
Here are some of my favorite side dishes:
#1) kimchi ("김치")
-The world famous spicy fermented cabbage! In Korea, kimchi is also used to make popular dishes such as Kimchi hot pot (김치찌개) or Kimchi fried rice (김치 볶음밥). Interestingly, although kimchi is used widely in restaurants and in homes as a side dish, people like to make the kimchi dishes mentioned above at home, rather than order it in a restaurant. 
kimchi hot pot (kimchi jjigae 김치찌개)
#2) White kimchi ("Baek Kimchi" 백김치")
-This is another type of kimchi like the one above, except that it's not spicy. It has a cold "soup" which is refreshing in the summer!
Here's a picture of a waitress throwing away leftover side dishes in front of the customers. This is a way for restaurants to show customers that they do not re-use leftover side dishes.
#3) marinated potatoes (kamza jorim 감자조림)
-You can't go wrong with potatoes! This side dish is slightly sweet and is well liked by kids 
I could really go on and on about side dishes because there are really so many! For instance, there is a restaurant in Jeon Ju city 전주시 where you can order four soup dishes and get thirty one different side dishes for $6000 won! (approx. $6 US) If you're in Korea, you have to check it out. The restaurant is called "Han Guk Sik Dang"한국식당 which means Korean restaurant. For pictures and directions to the place (in Han Gul/Korean), click here.
Thirty one??? Now that is incredible! Why? Side dishes are included in the meal price. This means, whether you order one dish or twenty, you will still get side dishes. And if you ask nicely, refill is free too. Next time you go to a Korean restaurant, try saying,
" banchan jo geum man duh joo say yo"
"반찬 조금만 더 주세요".
This means, please give us a little bit more side dishes.
word for word translation:
banchan=반찬 side dishes
jo geum man= 조금만 a little bit
duh=더 more
joo say yo=주세요 please give us
(*tip* the sentence structure in Korean is different from English. The verb usually comes after the phrase.)
So you've tried Korean side dishes? What to do next? Here are two awesome ideas:
#1) Buy more side dishes!
You can find side dishes in department stores in Korea. If you're living outside of Korea, try going to Korean supermarkets, they will definitely sell them too
 Look at all the different kinds of packaged kimchi!

#2) Share Korean side dishes with your family, friends, and neighbours
a table full of side dishes!
All smiles while cooking for the poor
Korean ladies making kimchi for a campaign to help the poor in Dae Jun (대전) 
Everyone lending a hand
mmm.... All this talk about food is making me hungry!
Hope you enjoyed this week's blog entry about Korean side dishes =) Let me know which one is your favorite!
Is your favorite fried spicy anchovies? 멸치볶음

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