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What Is Banchan?

Definition: Banchan

Banchan (pronounced "bonchon") refers to the assorted sides served alongside a main course in Korean cuisine. About a half dozen banchan are served at any meal; the best known are kimchi — pickled dishes, made of either fermented cabbage (baechu), daikon radish (mu), or other vegetables like scallions (pa) — although they might also include japchae (glass noodles), marinated tofu, or even American potato salad.

Typically served in small portions that are meant to be finished (and replenished if necessary) at every meal, banchan are shared amongst everyone at the table. My favorite banchan is ggakdugi, or kak tu gi, the spicy diced radish kimchi. What's yours?

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