Banchan – Kimchi Salad and Egg Soup
In the previous post, I introduced ‘Bibimbap’ and explained about ‘Banchan’ shortly which is a side dish served at Korean meal. Following that post, I am going to share with you a very simple and easy but common side dishes which would go very well with ‘Bibimbap’ and other rice dishes.
While I was researching how to explain the concept of ‘Banchan’, I came across a brilliant post at Lucky Peach, called ‘A Guide to Korean Banchan’. Matt Rodbard who is the co-author of Koreatown: A Cookbook explains ‘Banchan’ like this:
“Banchan, the opening series of small plates that thump on the table with tommy-gun-like frequency to mark the beginning of a Korean meal, are not “free.” No, you’re paying for that baechu kimchi(cabbage kimchi) that has aged for six weeks in some faraway land (New Jersey, likely). You’re paying for the kongnamul muchim (seasoned bean sprouts) and the gyeran jjim (bubbling egg custard) and the tiny dried silver fish stir-fried with rice syrup and garlic. Those dried breadsticks served at strip mall red-sauce joints? Those are bullshit freebies.
Banchan translates to “side dishes,” and they are fundamental to Korean eating. That is, snacked on throughout the meal with great enthusiasm. Banchan is so important that restaurants should be judged by the quality of their banchan—and how often they get refilled.”
If you want to know more about ‘Banchan’ please follow his guide with well presented visual art by Maddie Edgar an illustrator based in Brooklyn, NY. I really like how they present the concept of ‘Banchan’, you will like it too!
Here is my version of Banchan which would go very well with Bibimbap.
In my version of Radish Kimchi, I added apple which it gives natural sweet flavour and goes very well with radish. The pear would be a great fruit ingredient to cook with normal Kimchi. I will come back with pear version recipe when it’s in season! There are so many different types of Kimchi in Korea and you will come across some of the recipes in my blog. Stay tuned!
A quick and easy recipe for a refreshingly sweet Kimchi salad made of apple and radish. And an egg and tofu soup with thick and tasteful broth extracted from the vegetable scrap.
- 1 white radish
- 1 apple
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp chilli flake
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp plum syrup (sugar or honey is also fine)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tofu
- vegetable soup broth
Cut and slice radish and apple in the same size and prepare them in a separate bowl.
In sliced radish bowl, add some salt so the texture gets a bit softer.
In sliced apple bowl, add some juice of the lemon. The acid from lemon juice keeps the colour of apple bright and fresh.
After 15-30mins of rest, throw the water away from radish bowl and add both in a big bowl.
Add all other ingredients on top and mix them nicely and leave them in a refrigerator while cooking other dishes.
Prepare the soup stock from vegetable scraps, pour the clear soup in a pot and boil.
In the meantime, cut tofu in the cube (1x1cm), slice the spring onion and whisk the egg(s) and prepare them in different bowls.
When the soup is boiling, add tofu cubes and boil further.
Before you serve the soup, pour the whisked egg(s) nicely around soup and leave them cooking at a gentle temperature.
And then add spring onions on top of it. Spring onion is a garnish so you can replace with chives if you prefer.
* Any salad tastes much better when it’s at a cool temperature. And especially Korean style salad needs some permeating time and time brings out the flavour.
Behind the Kitchen
+ I used the soup which made of veggie scraps from Bibimbap, it brings natural and deep veggie flavour into it.
You can keep any Kimchi for at least 2 weeks and more. The flavour will change and get unique sourness from fermentation. Keep the Kimchi in a glass jar and cool area, definitely in the fridge in the summertime.