Recipes

Learn How to Make Korean Appetizers at Home with Our Pepper Banchan Guide

September 18, 2014

Korean food is one cuisine that Filipinos readily embrace, not just for its accessibility and familiar flavor, but for its quantity with quality factor. At any Korean restaurant, you immediately start your meal with several small plates or “banchan”.

Banchan1 upload

For those who find themselves craving those vegetable pancakes, spicy cucumber, dilis, or those sweet potato balls, look no further! Today we provide you with quick and easy recipes to serve before a Korean barbecue night or even as healthy snacks to bring to the office.

1. Beansprouts (Sukju Namul Muchim)

This straightforward vegetable dish is perfect with beef or pork. Without the addition of meat, it is still a refreshing also and healthy alternative to snack on.

Banchan10-beansprout-upload

Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 700g beansprouts
  • water, for blanching
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp iodized salt
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Procedure

  1. Rinse bean sprouts in running water. boil water.
  2. Blanch sprouts for 40-50 seconds.
  3. Rinse in running water until cool.
  4. Mix in seasonings.
  5. Transfer to a container and chill until ready to serve.

2. Spicy Cucumber Salad (Oye Moochim)

It’s dishes like these that show us that vegetables aren’t boring at all. This banchan balances the sourness of a pickle, with the innate sweetness of cucumber, finishing with a subtle kick of heat.

Banchan7-cucumbers-upload

Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 pcs japanese cucumber (seedless)
  • 1 tbsp rock salt

Ingredients: Pickling Brine

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Procedure

  1. Rinse cucumber well.
  2. Cut in half lengthwise, then remove seeds. Slice in half and cut into cubes.
  3. Sprinkle with rock salt and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse well and dry. It is best to marinate cucumbers in brine overnight

3. Stir-fried Dried Anchovies (Myulchi Bokkeum)

It’s always a nice surprise to find food we share with another country. While we like our dilis a tad saltier, Koreans serve a sweeter take on anchovies as banchan. This recipe lets you enjoy the fish either as an appetizer or as a new way to prepare a classic Pinoy ulam.

Banchan4-dilis-upload

Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 2 cups tiny anchovies (dilis)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • ¼ cup corn syrup

Procedure

  1. Heat oil and pan fry tiny anchovies for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in garlic and continue to pan fry for 1 minute.
  3. Remove anchovies from the pan, add in soy sauce, mirin, white sugar and corn syrup.
  4. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add back fried anchovies and toss to coat well.
  6. Transfer to a container and cool.

4. Potato Balls (Gamja Bokkeum)

Anything made of potato is always bound to be comforting, and these balls cross the line between sweet and savory, perfect for the Filipino palate.

Banchan6-potatoes-upload

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Procedure

  1. Clean baby potatoes well.
  2. Put in pot covered in salted water. Boil for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are cooked but still firm.
  3. Strain out and set aside.
  4. In another pot, simmer together garlic, soy sauce, corn syrup, honey, sake, mirin, sesame oil and chili powder.
  5. Add in boiled potatoes.
  6. Simmer until sauce is syrupy/ sticky.
  7. Chill if desired before serving.

5. Pan-fried Tofu (Dubu Ganjangjorim)

Korean cuisine makes any previously boring dish addicting. Pan-fried tofu is a favorite appetizer for its slightly sweet flavor and bouncy texture.

Banchan5-tofu-upload

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder

Procedure

  1. Deep-fry sliced tofu until light brown and semi firm, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan, heat sesame oil. Sauté garlic until soft, add in soy sauce, corn syrup, gochujang, chili powder and water.
  3. Simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Toss in fried tofu to coat.
  5. Turn off fire and toss in sliced spring onions. Serve.

6. Korean Pancake (Haemul Pajeon)

English speakers refer to this dish as the Korean pancake, a banchan that combines a breakfast carb with the filling savoriness of seafood.

Banchan8-pancake-upload

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 pcs

Ingredients: Pajeon Filling

  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1/3 cup shrimp, chopped
  • 1/3 cup squid, chopped
  • 10 pcs crabsticks, chopped
  • 1/3 cup white onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup spring onions, chopped

Ingredients: Pajeon Batter

  • 2 cups korean pajeon flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • salt, to taste

Ingredients: Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tbsp korean soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp distilled water
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper
  • 1 tsp spring onions, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Procedure

  1. In a bowl, mix all dipping sauce ingredients well, set aside.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together water and egg.
  3. Add in in pajeon flour and whish until smooth.
  4. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Fold in seafoods and vegetables.
  6. Heat a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp oil.
  7. Add in 1/2-3/4 cup of the pajeon mixture. Panfry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, flip and cook the other side.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  9. Cut into squares and serve with sauce.

7. Stir Fried Eggplant (Gaji Bokkeum)

If you want to awaken your taste buds, this incredibly spicy yet sweet and definitely tasty banchan is sure to do so.

Banchan10-eggplant-upload

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 eggplants, halved lengthwise & cut crosswise
  • cooking oil, for deep frying
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 pcs green finger chili, sliced
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Procedure

  1. Fry egg plant until light golden brown, about 40-60 seconds. Strain and set aside.
  2. In another pan, heat sesame oil and sauté garlic until soft.
  3. Add in chilis and sauté further.
  4. Add in seasonings and cook until chilis are slightly wilted.
  5. Toss in fried eggplant to coat.
  6. Toss in toasted sesame seeds.
  7. Turn off fire and serve.

8. Fish Cake (Oden Bokeum)

For those who enjoy fishballs but want a more upscale twist to it, this banchan may become your go-to dish or snack.

Banchan3-fishcake-upload

Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 sheets oden, sliced into strips
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp korean soy sauce
  • 2 tsp korean red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp green onion, chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds

Procedure

  1. Heat oil in pan. Sauté garlic for 1 minute.
  2. Add in onion and sauté until translucent.
  3. Add oden strips and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add corn syrup, soy sauce, red pepper flakes and water.
  5. Mix well. Simmer until almost dry, then toss in toasted sesame seeds.
  6. Turn off fire and serve.

9. Seasoned Spinach (Sigeumchi Namul)

Spinach is one of those vegetables that absorb the flavor of whatever it is cooked in, which means that this Korean dish using bean paste and sesame oil lends a nutty flavor to the leafy green.

Banchan2-Spinach-upload

Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach, blanched
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp doenjang
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Procedure

  1. Heat sesame oil in pan.
  2. Sauté garlic for 1-2 minutes or until light brown.
  3. Add in blanched spinach and sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add doenjang and season with salt. Mix well.
  5. Toss in toasted sesame seeds.
  6. Turn off fire and serve.

10. Kimchi

Don’t forget to add kimchi to your small plates. This is the easiest to prepare as one can buy a jar at a store and serve or eat as you please.

Banchan9-kimchi-upload

What is your favorite banchan dish? Do you have your own recipe for any of the ingredients above? Let us know in the comments section below!

Gela Velasco Gela Velasco

Gela is a young adult slowly settling into her late twenties. She likes to make a mess in the kitchen when no one’s looking, dance till dawn on long weekends, and dream about beef on lazy afternoons. On some days she learns how to write good in graduate school. Her life goals include sashaying somewhat like Beyonce and to write a cover story on Leonardo di Caprio.

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7 comments in this post SHOW

7 responses to “Learn How to Make Korean Appetizers at Home with Our Pepper Banchan Guide”

  1. llyann says:

    1kg potatoes for Pan-fried Tofu? you mean tofu? ^^

  2. Jonathan Beam says:

    One of my favorite meals is Korean BBQ, and I think the best part of all is the Banchan apetizers. These recipes are something I have been meaning to do at home, so thanks for doing all the homework and putting them in one easy article. Cheers!

  3. Aina says:

    Hi, you just copied and pasted the ingredients for the potatoes for

    5. Pan-fried Tofu (Dubu Ganjangjorim).

  4. Carl Tomacruz says:

    I was actually hoping for a kimchi recipe, Pepper style. You let me down. *sob*

  5. James says:

    Hi! Where can I buy gochujang? Thanks

  6. nikk929 says:

    What’s Oden and where can I buy it? Also, echoing an earlier comment, was hoping for a kimchi recipe

    • Meh says:

      Oden is fish cake it sort of tastes like fish ball but is softer. You can easily find them in any nearby Korean groceries.

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