Banchan refers to Korean side dishes. Dining in Korean restaurants is particularly exciting because of the banchan selections alone!
The typical banchan set includes kimchi, stir-fried vegetables, seasoned soybeans, pickled radish, potato salad, dried anchovies, Korean pancake, quail eggs, and more.
Some banchan are also seasonal! Come springtime, all types of bom namul or spring vegetables seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, or Korean fermented pastes are usually served. Filled with nutrients, eating it is a great way to boost one's energy after a tiresome winter!
Since these are served in small saucers, you might be tempted to eat your banchan in one go. However, what you want to do is take it slowly. Take a bite of your rice, followed by a few bites of your chosen banchan, then a bite of your Korean barbeque or entree. This way, you can digest your food properly and allow yourself the time to savor the varied flavors of your banchan set!