Korean Banchan

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In my family my dad is in charge of cooking. He always took care that we have our Pausenbrote for school ready and that we have a delicious lunch after coming home. The breads he prepared were always super deluxe. Honestly. With salad, cheese and remoulade between slices of toasted bread out of rye and wheat flour. My dad as well as my mum are great at cooking. My dad’s cuisine is very German and he cooks a lot with potatoes, sauces, vegetables and meat. Today I will not feature one of my dad’s recipes, but be aware there are a lot which are waiting to be blogged about. Today I would like to introduce you to a typical lunch from my mum. As mentioned in the previous post, we were visiting my family this weekend and on Sunday my mum (and me) prepared some Korean food for lunch. Normally, a Korean lunch comprises rice and a variety of side dishes. You can just eat it all together or put it in a salad leave and enjoy it as some kind of wrap. Since this blog is vegetarian I will just mention the vegetarian sides or also called: Banchan. Banchan can be a lot of different things, but on Sunday we used: Gim (seaweed), sukju namul (mung bean sprout salad), sigeumchi namul (spinach salad), Tofu, Gochujang (it is a spicy sauce out of fermented soy beans, glutinous rice and chili powder) and Ganjang (soy sauce).

The seaweed we used is deep fried (not that healthy… but mmmm so delicious). The Gochujang sauce my mum prepared is out of Gochujang, a tsp vinegar, a tbsp sesame seeds and a pinch of sugar.

 

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So…. How to prepare Banchan?

Sukju namul (mung bean sprout salad)

  • Mung bean sprout salad
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil

Start by frying the mung bean sprouts in the sunflower oil for 5 minutes, than add salt,
(finely chopped) spring onions, sesame seeds and in the end sesame oil.

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Sigeumchi namul (spinach salad)

  • 2 handful spinach
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Cook some water in a pan and wait until it is boiling. Then set the pan aside and blanch the spinach for 2 minutes. When it is ready, drain it and add soy sauce, spring onions (finely chopped), sesame seeds and sesame oil.

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Ganjang

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 spring onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 chili (optional)

The sauce couldn’t be easier to prepare – just mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

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Tofu

  • Fresh tofu
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

If you want to use tofu as a side dish, trust me and use the fresh one from the asia markets. It cannot be compared to the tofu you buy in the supermarkets. Before preparing the tofu make sure that you have drained it very well. Then, cut it into thick slices (1 cm) and fry it from both sides. Tofu and Ganjang go hand in hand. Dip the tofu in the sauce or put some sauce on it before eating it. It will taste delicious I promise.

Rice

  • Short grain rice

I have to be honest.. I am veeery bad at preparing rice. So, try to keep these advice in your mind while cooking it: soak it before cooking (the longer the better) and exchange the water from time to time. Put first the rice and then the water until the water is more or less “half a fingernail” above the rice. Afterwards bring it to boil and when it is boiling reduce the heat, put the lid on top and let it simmer until all the water got absorbed.

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