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About Side Dishes

Kimchi ~ 김치

The word kimchi is a generic term for fermented vegetables.  Although the Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul, South Korea, has documented 187 historic and current varieties of kimchi, the most popular kind is made with Korean baechu cabbage (also known as Chinese cabbage). Other popular variations are made with radish, scallions, and cucumbers.  Common seasonings include brine, chili pepper, scallions, ginger, and onions.  As a result of the fermentation process, kimchi
contains high levels of lactic acid bacteria and organic acids.  Factors such as temperature, air, salt content, and packaging materials all impact the preservation period, taste, and functionality of kimchi.  Properly fermented kimchi is flavorful with a combination of sour, spicy, hot, sweet, and carbonated tastes. Within Korean cuisine, kimchi is consumed as the most popular and common side dish.

Go to Kimchi Recipe.

Bindaetteok ~ 빈대떡

A type of Korean style pancake, bindaetteok
was traditionally prepared by frying a mixture of water-soaked and ground mung beans, pork, bracken fern, mung bean sprouts, and cabbage kimchi. Over time, it has evolved to consist of ground mung beans, green onions, kimchi, and/or peppers cooked in a frying pan.  Meat, usually beef, may also be added as an ingredient.  This dish is typically served with a small serving of dipping sauce made of ganjang, minced green onions, chili pepper flakes, and vinegar.

Go to Bindaetteok Recipe.

Namul ~ 나물

Namul is a general term for a Korean seasoned vegetable dish.  Almost any type of vegetable, herb, or green can be used: bean sprouts, spinach, seaweed, fern shoots, eggplant, or radish.  The method of preparation varies as well.  Vegetables may be served fresh, boiled, fried, sauteed, fermented, dried, or steamed.  Seasonings include salt, vinegar, sesame oil, and gochujang.  It is possible, if not common, to serve more than one namul as a side dish at a single meal.

Go to Spinach Namul Recipe.

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Grace Kim
17 May 2009