Banchan (pronounced bon-chon), are small, side dishes that are served with Korean cuisine and white rice or noodles.
Depending on the type of meal, gathering and/or restaurant, every Korean meal is served with at least one to over a dozen banchan side dishes.
These side dishes are considered to be part of the meal rather than appetizers; however, exploring the various flavors, vivid colors, and textures while waiting for the main course is not only common, but highly recommended for those who dare to stimulate their senses.
The main type of banchan side dish is called kimchee. There are over 100+ types of kimchee, to include cabbage kimchee, cucumber kimchee, and radish kimchee…just to name a few categories.
However, cabbage kimchee is the most popular, and it’s basically pickled, spicy cabbage mixed with vegetables such as green onions and garlic, and other spices.
Origin of Kimchi
“For as long as humans have been cultivating they have enjoyed the nutritional elements of vegetables.
However, the cold winter months, when cultivation was practically impossible, soon led to the development of a storage method knowns as ‘pickling’. Rich in vitamins and minerals, kimchi was conceived in Korea around the 7th century.” History of Kimchee
At Arirang Restaurant, you can request to order banchan side dishes to take home and enjoy.
The amount of time it takes to pick up the side dish(s) will depend on the type of banchan.
For a party of five or more, call and make reservations ahead of time, and receive a complimentary dish of the following:
- delicious and popular Chop Chae (sweet potato glass noodles with beef and vegetable stir fry)
- crispy and flavorful Goon Man Doo (fried dumplings)