What is Korean Bansang?

Korean spicy side dishes

A selection banchan ( side dishes)

Banchan or bansang is a Korean term for a selection of side dishes that are served together with rice as part of a meal.  The side dishes are typically placed in the centre of the table for all to share. A basic bansang ( side dish meal ) setting will consist of rice, soup, gochujang ( Korean red chilli paste), soya sauce, Jjigae ( a spicy Korean stew) or Bulgogi ( Korean grilled meat ) and Kimchi ( fermented cabbage). Many other banchan ( sides) may be added for special occasions

In addition to the above, the following are a selection of these side dishes with Chillies if you wanted to make your own bansang

Chamchijeon – Spicy tuna pancakes

Sssamjang – a spicy dipping sauce for vegetables and meat

Oi Muchim – Spicy cucumber salad

Mu Saengchae -  Korean radish salad with Gochugaru ( Korean chilli flakes)

Myulchi Bokkeum –  Fried anchovies and nuts with chillies

Dubu Jorim  -  Spicy braised Tofu

While all of the above are spicy in some form or the other, dishes like  Sukju namul  ( seasoned beansprouts), Hobak Bokkeum ( fried zucchini), Gyeranjjim ( steamed eggs ) and a host of other non-spicy banchan can be served

A bansang can consist of anything up to 12 dishes . In Korea, the number  of banchan served at sitting is denoted by a serving name. Six banchan would, for example, be a 6 cheop bansang and a twelve dish meal would be a 12 cheop etc.

Masissge Deuseyo !