Panchan as the main tradition of the cuisine of South Korea

Speaking about the cuisines of the world, I’m here for the past three years distinguish Korean, as the most of favorite Asian. The sharpness of the fire-breathing, fresh vegetables, tender fish and meat with thin crust — it may seem that Korean cuisine is a cross between Japanese and Chinese cooking, however, it is not so. Korean cuisine is generally a kind of apart from them. One of the key differences — panchan.

Usually, making an order in any Asian restaurant, you hardly expect to see something besides the dish itself, except that in some establishments you will be offered chilled water. In Korea is different. Here at the family cafe, barbecue restaurants, small institutions at fish markets and especially in good restaurants before serving the main course caring hands will serve panchan (반찬).

What is this strange and incomprehensible?

Panchan is a generic notion, which in Korea meant a set of various appetizers and salads. They are served in small bowls in the amount of six pieces. Probably the most popular appetizer among others — kimchi. Although it seems to me that this dish is already very rich leads his culinary life separate from panchan. But to this we shall return.

Panchan is served usually in the center of the table that makes everyone comfortable to reach each of the plates, because to shift from a common bowl to your plate in Korea is not accepted. Another rule: do not eat snacks as a main dish, how many at the time. For example, together with pulkogi (a kind of barbecue, which is cooked beef and usually served with a hearty beef broth) and kalbi (in modern Korea now, it is called all kinds of barbecue, previously, these beef ribs on the grill or a cast iron Dutch oven) and other hot items by eating which you can put on lettuce one of the suggested snacks.

By the way, rice is also included in the fare and served separately in a metal Cup. It is also interesting that in each Korean province has its own set of appetizers, which can vary. However, some of the appetizers are served regardless of geography: for example, kimchi is on the table everywhere and in large quantities, even if the restaurant is European.

The usual table setting is called the Korean word “pancan” (bansang / 반상), which consists of “pub” (밥) — rice, soup “Guk” (국), soy sauce or spicy kochujang paste (고추장), jjigae (찌개) and kimchi. In accordance with the number of dishes and the table is called panchan always different: 3 cheop (삼첩), 5 cheop (오첩), 7 cheop (칠첩), 9 cheop (구첩), 12 cheop (십이첩) bansang. Table 12 in “chop” called “Royal”.

In General, to help you understand what is traditional panchan, we can divide all the snacks in six major categories. This classification is not strict, and always on the table may be the most diverse set of dishes. We highlight just some of them.

The first is kimchi. I think kimchi should devote a separate story, but for now I will give only the definition of this dish. Kimchi is pickled Chinese cabbage, pickled and seasoned with spicy red pepper.

The second is the so-called “namul” (나물). This is blanched and pickled vegetables, which are then seasoned with sesame oil, vinegar and crushed garlic, and before serving even and spicy pasta.

The third go snacks with sauce, which should be slightly roasted. They are called “poskim” (볶음). It can be pork, kimchi, and squid chips.

Fourth and fifth I according to the method of their preparation has brought together. They are called “Cherim”(조림) and “has been” (찜). Both appetizers implying a long period of suppression, only in the case of “has been” the water should evaporate completely. Here as snacks tofu, eggs, beef, or beef ribs.

The last type snacks — Jeon (전). It is thin and delicate Korean pancakes with the addition of chopped fresh vegetables, kimchi and greens.

All this is only a rough grouping of Korean snacks, each of which can be infinitely divided into components.

To talk about this forever, but it seems to me that the best thing to try.

As I said, the greatest love of the Koreans is kimchi, but do not remain without attention and following snacks.

Danaci (단무지) — spicy, slightly sweet radish varieties, daikon, pickled in spices and with fruit of Gardenia that gives it a yellow color.

Musene (무생채) — quite spicy from the radish, thin sliced strips and tossed in a spicy sauce of hot pepper, plum syrup, fish vinegar, and other spices.

Kongnamul bruised (콩나물무침) — wheat grass, washed by running water and heated oil seasoned with spices. Not spicy, but very nice and soft snack.

As the great demand for mild, shredded strips, omelettes with vegetables, boiled sweet potatoes, kimchi cucumbers, pickled mushrooms, boneless and deep-fried and battered zucchini and much, much more.

Danaci — pickled Korean radish


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