banchan, esp. kimchi

(boo to blogger for not knowing how to do automatic blog posts!)

i've mentioned my love of korean food before but only recently realized just how perfectly it encapsulates all my foods needs and how it is indeed my perfect cusine.

not only does it have has bold flavors- mostly due to the very savory (and probably umami heavy) red chili sauce that is the base of many casserole dishes, and a mix of textures- i hate uniformly textured food and love the classic crunch of cool lettuce wrapping up the bulgogi or the crispy rice at the bottom of the hot stone pot- but it also relies heavily on my most favorite of condiments- vinegar. being filipino, loving vinegar is a birthright and i'm happy to douse just about anything in vinegar. white rice? better with vinegar. salad? just vinegar please, hold the oil. koreans also take vinegar very seriously, giving you a sampling of various pickled/vinegar dishes before every meal.

this brings me to the other reason i really love korean food- banchan. while korean food is not cheap, it does afford many different tastes FOR FREE at the beginning of every meal. like a chips-and-salsa offering on steroids, the banchan that korean restaurants serve at the beginning of every meal can be as numerous as 7 or 8; different tiny dishes of pickled radishes, salted fish, fermented beans, steamed egg, etc etc. the only thing certain about the banchan is that the ubiquitous korean staple, kimchi, will always make an appearance. what other cuisine gives you multiple tiny dishes for free, despite whether you order $15 or $50 worth of food?

my last point and the ultimate trump card: kimchi. cheap, filling, delicious; it is obvious that the koreans hold the last great culinary condiment. on the wikipedia post about banchan, it mentioned that many koreans don't consider it a meal without kimchi. i'm going out on a limb here, but i don't consider it a life without the inclusion of kimchi.

p.s. if you haven't had korean food and you live in nyc, email me and i'll be more than happy to go on the de-flowering dining experience with you. i can't wait!

article about kimchi in SF Gate

Banchan on Wikipedia
johnnn said...

I don't think I've ever had Korean food before AND I am also frustrated by blogger's lack of automatic posts! let's go out to eat and complain about it sometime soon!

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