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Korean Namul and Banchan


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#1 confusion

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Posted 17 September 2003 - 04:01 PM

Hope someone can help me out here.

If you've been out to eat at a Korean restaurant, surely you'd remember the banchan served there. From my understanding, banchan refers to all the side dishes they carry out, whereas namul refers to the vegetable side dishes. Many have similar flavorings (I think), using sugar, soy sauce, korean red pepper powder (kochu karu?),and sesame oil. However almost all share the same element in that they are usually bite-size and very flavorful, meaning they're perfect to eat with rice.

I hope everyone can share their favorite banchan recipes (considering that I don't know any). I assume that most are easy to make (considering that restaurants make and serve many different kinds), though the ingredients might be hard to find without a Korean market closeby.

And sorry a few more questions, does anyone happen to know how many banchan a family normally has for dinner, which ones are most popular, and how long they can last in the refrigerator?

#2 jrufusj

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Posted 17 September 2003 - 09:49 PM

Aren't the namul great? One of my favorite things about eating in Korea is that in most restaurants there are so many little tastes on the table.

Family meals can vary significantly, from a simple soup with maybe just rice and one kind of kimchee to a meal with any number of banchan. In a formal dining situation, there really is no limit.

You are correct that the unfermented vegetables are the namul. Among the most popular are kong-namul (bean sprouts), shichimi (spinach), e-hobak (zuchinni/courgette), oi (cucumber), various types of mountain vegetables in season, and on and on and on. The supply is really limitless.

As an example, yesterday's lunch was gul sundubu jjigae, accompanied with a bowl of rice with vegetables bibimbap style. One stirs the oyster tofu stew into the rice. Along with this were the following banchan (as best I recall): a type of odaeng (fish cake) with pork bits in a soy marinade, baechu (cabbage) kimchee, gochujang-marinated manul (garlic), and a couple of other things I can't recall at the moment. The tariff for the whole thing was 5,000 KRW, which is about US$4.25 at current FX rates.

I normally make namul simply from the top of my head. Next time, I will either take notes as I work or I will search out some recipes for you (that may not be TNT but that at least sound in balance to me).

In terms of keeping, I don't know. We've never had a chance to test it, as they always disappear so quickly...but not as fast as the oi-sobaegi kimchi (stuffed cucumber). That stuff flies out of my refrigerator like it had wings. I knew my wife had adapted to Korea the first time she served me a Marcella Hazan style roast lemon chicken, accompanied by steamed rice and oi-sobaegi. And, I must say, the combination worked very well.

Jim
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#3 torakris

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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:49 AM

namul are really wonderful! :biggrin:

I don't really use a recipe it is all to taste.
I either boil (bean sprouts, spinach, etc) or saute (carrots, zucchini, etc) and then add sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, and some scallions sometimes a little soy.

One of my favorites (which is very popular in Japan) is zenmai or fiddle head fern, this one I simmer for a little while with soy and sesame oil.

I don't think they keep very long............

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#4 kym

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 10:42 AM

I am looking for recipes for korean appetizers. Any and all besides Kim chee. I already have several recipes for that. I am also lookiing for the name and recipe of the beans that are marinated in soysauce, they turn black and have sesame seeds on them? I am not sure if they are korean or japanese. Help Help!

#5 torakris

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 03:39 PM

kym,
welcome to egullet! :biggrin:

Here is a short discussion we had a little while back:

http://forums.egulle...T&f=21&t=28041

Like it was said by 2 of us here, namul are really just seasoned to taste and everyones taste is a little different. :biggrin:
Fop example I season my spinach and bean sprout namuls in the same way,
boil then rinse with cold water, squeeze out as much liquid as possible, then sprinkle with a little sesame oil, quite a few sesame seeds and salt to taste.
Others may add soy sauce, garlic and/or scallions

here is a list of websites that list Korean recipes:

http://www.korea.net...ategory_id=a005

as to the black beans, the Japanese eat a black bean dish called kuromame that is very common at the new year, it is very sweet and the beans are black to start with (they are simmered in soy and sugar). The Koreans have a similar dish though I don't know its name or cooking method.....

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#6 creacha

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 10:48 PM

i'm looking for a recipe for namul/bibim bab shiitake.
a sweeter recipe suits my taste, and the japanese restaurant where i work are keeping it a secret!

#7 torakris

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Posted 25 November 2003 - 03:42 PM

Here is a shiitake namul I often use to replace the beef in a vegetarian bibimbap, of course they can be used at the same time as well.

thinly slice about 1/2 lb of shiitake

mix them together with

1 minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

heat a frypan over medium heat then add the shiitake and cook until done

these are approximates so feel free to add more or less to taste, as well as more oil during the cooking if needed.

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#8 creacha

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 10:35 AM

thanks alot Kris-sensei.

lastly, can i use reconstituted hoshi shiitake? i don't imagine it would be too good.

Edited by creacha, 27 November 2003 - 10:36 AM.


#9 torakris

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 04:04 PM

I actually prefer the dried ones!
I find the flavor more intense. I reconstitute them, drain them well and slice them, then add to the sauce mixture and stirfry them.

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#10 kym

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 02:28 PM

I am in love with Korean food this week! I am looking for a recipe for the fish cake appetizer. It is in a sweet soy sauce I think. I can already make a mean kim chee chigae, and need to add banchan and namool appetizers. Any links and or recipes appreciated. Also.. What is the difference between Japanese miso, and Korean bean paste when used as a soup base? Thanks so much.

#11 torakris

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 05:00 PM

I know that fish cake thing you are talking about, I love it too! Unfortunately I have no idea how to make it, don't even know its name, but if anyone else does.....


As far as the miso, the Korean miso (called toenjang, doenjang, dwenjang, denjan and a variety of other names), I believe is made with just soybeans (no rice) like the mamemiso (bean miso) of Japan. The closest substitute would be the Japanese hatchomiso (the really dark one) or at least an aka (red) miso.

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#12 jschyun

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Posted 06 January 2004 - 09:40 PM

Are you talking about the one that is sort of golden brown thin fish cake in a sort of sweetish sauce, yet a little spicy, with maybe some pepper threads and sesame seeds?

Or are you talking about something else entirely?
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#13 goyatofu

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 01:06 PM

I already checked recipe gullet so please don't slap me.....

You know all the wonderful small dishes you get (for free!! yah)to go with the rice at Korean restaurants: the kimchi, the big bean sprouts, the daikon radish etc. etc.

My Mexican roomate demanded that I go and find the recipe for one of these dishes or else no quesadillas for me anymore....so here I am looking for help.

It's a deep-fried tofu (like the stuff you find in Chinese supermarkets) with spring onions, red peppers, ?green peppers maybe, shitake mushrooms. It's in a clear broth, the taste, I would say almost like Japanese Bonito Dashi.....please help me out if you know what this is.

thanks!!!

#14 Big Bunny

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Posted 05 February 2004 - 11:50 AM

What you describe is within an inch of a recipe.

Get the ingredients you have mentioned and experiment.
My guess is, unless there is a key seasoning missing, you've got it.

It wouldn't hurt to ask the people at the restaurant, either.

BB
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#15 Louisa Chu

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 07:02 AM

My Korean-American friend/roomie/fellow Cordon Bleu Grace says this sounds tubujim - a fried or steamed tofu side dish. To make it you'd start with firm tofu, slice, marinate - soy sauce, red pepper powder, garlic, green onions, hot green pepper, other aromatic vegetables optional - then pan fry to colour, serving the marinade on top as a sauce. Others may cook the marinade and tofu together - but Grace prefers to pan fry the tofu separately.

But Grace says it sounds very strange that it was served with a broth. Where did you have it?

#16 adobohead

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 12:29 PM

I had something like this that I thought was tofu for a long time but it was fish cake. In a sort of brownish-clear broth. Minus the mushrooms though.

Thank goodness for LA's Koreatown...I just buy my panchan at one of the many Korean supermarkets. It's too time-consuming for me to make them when I want two or three to accompany my meal.
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#17 goyatofu

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Posted 07 February 2004 - 04:39 PM

Louisa: I had it at a Korean restaurant called "Seoul" in the 15th. (really good bibimbap). Because the broth/sauce is clear, I don't think there was too much soy sauce in it. I guess I wondered whether Korean cuisine also utilized Bonito Broth, that was why I asked...but I guess I'll just have to cook it myself and see....thanks! I also tried to google the "tubujim" but unfortunately couldn't find anything. Maybe tomorrow I will talk my roomate into going to the Korean grocery store and check things out.

#18 Louisa Chu

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 03:00 PM

The Korean food world according to Grace - the fish cake side dish is called odangmuchim - odang being the Korean word for fish cake and muchim meaning marinated. It's a popular side dish with kids. The marinade is usually soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sugar or honey. Grace likes to add garlic - she likes to add garlic to just about everything - but warns that kids don't like the garlic. The fish marinated fish cakes are then pan fried to caramelise.

But if the fish cakes are served with a broth, then it's no longer a side dish, but a soup or a stew instead - and then it's called odangkuk - soup - or odangjigae - stew.

Grace says that while her family favours the impeccable, high quality fish cakes at home, her favourite odang is served off the backs of trucks in the streets of Seoul in winter. A guy will set up shop on a corner, cook up odang - and topoki - all day - with maybe extra menu items of fried dumplings, fried squid legs, whole boiled eggs, and sometimes greasy breakfast sandwiches of heavily buttered toast, eggs, ketchup, and mayo. If you take an odang - on a stick - you'll get a paper cup of odang broth on the side. But a word of warning - don't suck the stick - they reuse the sticks.

goya, Grace says Koreans only use bonito broth when they make Japanese food - or fusion food. And she prefers Hana market in the 15th way more than Ace over by Opera - much nicer - but both give 10 percent discounts on the weekends.

Edited by loufood, 08 February 2004 - 03:03 PM.


#19 goyatofu

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 10:55 AM

Louisa,

There's a Korean market in the 15th?????? well then, less travelling for me! Where is Hana? I know of one Korean/Japanese one in the 15th called "Mido"? or something on St.Charles, but it looks kinda small.

thanks!!

#20 Louisa Chu

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 11:44 AM

Hana Food
15 RUE LETELLIER
75015 PARIS
01 45 77 74 71

#21 Marco_Polo

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 12:45 PM

Tububuchim is simply fried tofu. Slice firm cakes in half horizontally then dredge in seasoned flour and shallow fry. Serve with a pungent chojang vinegar dipping sauce made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, a bit of sugar, a bit of coarse chili powder, a generous handful of chopped coriander. It's so simple and so delicious, served with a big pot of sticky Korean rice.

Tubujorim is a little more considered, but really good, too. My grandmother used to make this: fried slices of tofu (as above) layered with braised pork in a hot and spicy kochujang sauce, garnished with spring onions shredded on the diagonal.

Best of all is tubutchigae, a sort of one-pot tofu stew, the cubes of tofu swimming in a tasty meat broth flavoured with garlic and ginger (of course), fresh chilies, kochujang, toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, plus zucchini, red peppers, celery, lots of shredded spring onions.

It's dinner time here and I'm just about to cook some tofu, a simple homestyle stir-fry with chicken breasts, broccoli, spring onions, chilies, coriander. And on the side, some thinly sliced cucumbers salted for about a half hour, wrung out, then simply dressed with vinegar, sugar, coarse chili powder. The fresh, chilled, sweet heat is fantastic on a mountain of steaming hot white rice.

I LURVE tofu...(in case you hadn't noticed).

#22 tissue

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:18 PM

Best of all is tubutchigae, a sort of one-pot tofu stew, the cubes of tofu swimming in a tasty meat broth flavoured with garlic and ginger (of course), fresh chilies, kochujang, toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds, plus zucchini, red peppers, celery, lots of shredded spring onions.

This is that stuff from BCD tofu house right?

It's really good with seafood.

#23 Yong Tae Kim

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 09:53 PM

This thread brings back a somewhat related food memory from my bootcamp training days in the Korean military.

Tofu (or tubu) is a favourite food ingredient in the Korean military mess halls because it is 1. a cheap source of protein 2. easily prepared into numerous permutations of soups (kuk), stews (cchigae), and side dishes (banchan). Soups would mostly feature blocks of tofu as one of the main ingredients.

Since tofu is highly perishable if not properly refrigerated during the Summer months, what the bootcamp kitchen did during the warmer days was to deep fry the blocks of tofu beforehand. Apparently, fried tofu held better in warm weather than uncooked tofu, since it was always present in the soups and stews that were served when the temperature rised. For a proten-starved military trainee, the extra richness imparted by the frying made the tofu quite special.

I still find the texture of fried tofu that is then simmered in liquid quite interesting, with a somewhat firm brown exterior (made rich by the frying) that has turned soft and chewy from simmering in the soup or stew -- somewhat like a poor man's substitue for meat.

I believe that this method of cooking tofu is the basis for 'tubu cchim' dishes found in Korea and what the original post in this thread refers to.

#24 goyatofu

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 03:43 AM

I tried to make the dish last night.....tasted good...but completely different from what we had in the restaurant. Maybe the broth is not dashi after all.

I googled the names of dishes that various posters have given; there's one dish that has similar ingredients but it uses "dweng jang" (Korean bean paste) Would this give you a clear broth when cooked? thanks!!

#25 ellencho

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 08:54 AM

No I don't believe duenjang will give you a clear broth at all. I think it's a little bit similar to miso and that gives you a cloudy soup.

And along the same lines of Grace/Loufood I agree that the clear liquid is weird. I thought about it further and have come to the conclusion that perhaps that clear broth that you saw surrounding the tubu was just water that had seeped from the tubu? Are you positive that it was broth? I don't often make my own banchan, but prefer to buy it from the store. And a lot of the time when I buy tubuchim, the tubu is sitting in a pool of clear liquid, which I always assumed was just moisture that came out of the tubu after the semi-salty topping is added to it in the store. When I eat the tubuchim I actually try not to get the excess liquid onto my plate. Also, I normally empty out the excess liquid from the plastic containers because I just don't like the idea of my tubu sitting in that water in my fridge for the week.
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#26 torakris

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Posted 16 February 2004 - 04:03 PM

I tried to make the dish last night.....tasted good...but completely different from what we had in the restaurant. Maybe the broth is not dashi after all.

I googled the names of dishes that various posters have given; there's one dish that has similar ingredients but it uses "dweng jang" (Korean bean paste) Would this give you a clear broth when cooked? thanks!!

doenjang is basically a miso and will give you a miso like broth.
Is is possible it was a broth based on beef, instead of dashi, in Korea beef broth is quite popular.

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#27 skchai

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 02:56 AM

Just posted a report on sundubu jjigae (soft tofu pottage), and a restaurant specializing it in Honolulu:

So Gong Dong Restaurant (Hawai`i version)

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host


#28 lperry

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 10:57 AM

Years ago at a Korean restaurant I was served a black soybean dish with all those lovely little pickled things at the beginning of a meal. :wub: Since that time, I've tried to find a recipe, and I've asked every Korean person I know how to make it. I almost always hear, "Oh yeah, those are great. My Mom/Grandmother makes them. I don't know how to make them."

I recently saw bags of black soybeans at a Korean grocery in Jacksonville, and I asked a few customers and the guy at the checkout about preparing this dish. Again, everybody knew about it, but nobody knew how to make it.

Does someone have a recipe? Or is it just one of those simple cook the beans and toss with salt and vinegar sorts of things?

Thanks -

Linda

#29 eunny jang

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 11:08 AM

Cook or soak the beans until they're just barely softened; then add plenty of soy sauce and a little sugar or mirin and cook till they're wrinkled. The way my mom makes them, they're just barely tender with a little "bite" in the center. She garnishes with sesame seeds.

YUM!

#30 lperry

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Posted 22 September 2004 - 12:07 PM

Thank you! :biggrin: