I lived in South Korea for a short period of time and never really knew much about their gastronomy until I travelled there. What I did learn while I was there is that a lot of their culinary dishes are super spicy or pickled and they frequently use gochujang (a Korean chili paste) to season things, like kimchi (spicy, pickled cabbage).

Normally, a typical Korean restaurant would provide a bunch of side dishes (known as “banchan“) to accompany your meal:

Banchan sample

Pictured above is bean sprouts, seaweed, broccoli, cucumbers, and fishcake. Some are spicy, some are pickled, and some are more or less au naturel with minimal seasoning. This is just a small sample of the hundreds of dishes that a restaurant could serve. Usually, you would get these before your meal arrives to snack on or whet your appetite, but you are free to eat it with your entrée too. 🙂



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