Image by KnowingKorea

Korean home meal : rice, soup, and banchan

by Knowing Korea

A typical Korean home-style meal does not consist of a main dish and some side dishes as most Western meals do, but consists of a bowl of steamed rice, a bowl of soup, and a few smaller dishes of accompaniment to rice, called ‘banchan’ in Korean. These banchan dishes may vary in the size of portion, bigger ones looking like main dishes, smaller ones contained in tiny bowls. Unless the meal is intended for bibimbap, you don’t mix various dishes of banchan, but have one kind of banchan for one spoonful of rice, and another banchan for another. Soup is eaten in either way. You may eat rice and soup separately, or put rice into the soup. A soup made of thick, nourishing meat broth would be a main dish.