Banchan refers to small side dishes of food served with cooked rice in Korean cuisine. The cuisine is famous for an amazing array of banchan recipes, which are made to accompany many Korean meals to complement and accentuate the flavours of the main dishes. Often colourful and varied, banchan is set in the middle of the table to be shared.
Hobak narmul (quick braised Korean zucchini)
1 medium-sized Korean zucchini, sliced into 5mm half-moon shapes
1 tbsp oil
½ clove garlic, minced
½ tbsp sesame oil
½ tsp salted shrimp juice
1 tbsp green onions, sliced
Kochugaru (Korean chilli powder)
Myulchi bokkeum (stir-fried dried anchovies)
1½- 2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup tiny baby anchovies
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin, or cooking sake
1-2 tbsp malt/corn or glucose syrup
1 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp pine nuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
Gamja bokkeum (stir-fried potatoes)
2 medium-sized potatoes, julienned
2-3 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
½ onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, sliced, white part only
½ mild green chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
salt and pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
For the hobak narmul, salt the zucchini very lightly with salt. Leave for a few minutes and wipe off excess water with a paper towel.
Pour the oil into a heated saucepan and add the zucchini. Cook over a medium heat, add the garlic and cook briefly.
Put in the seasame oil and salted shrimp juice.
Cook the zucchini until it softens. Don’t caramelise the zucchini.
Add the green onions when the zucchini is nearly done.
Place cooked zucchini on a serving plate and sprinkle a pinch of chilli powder on top.
For the myulchi bokkeum, heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan.
Add the garlic and sauté gently for a few seconds.
Add the dried anchovies and sauté over a gentle heat, making sure that the anchovies are well coated with oil, for about 2 minutes.
Take out the anchovies and set aside.
In the same pan, add all the other ingredients, except the nuts or seeds, and bring to a quick boil.
Add the anchovies and nuts, and stir until they are well coated.
For the gamja bokkeum, wash and drain the potatoes well.
Add the oil to a heated frying pan and then add the potatoes.
Cook over medium heat, until the potatoes start to soften.
Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they are cooked and potatoes have softened, but still retaining their shape. Do not caramelise the potatoes, they should be pale in colour.
Add the green onion and chilli, and season with salt and plenty of ground black pepper.