International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Bulgogi and Panchan for Dinner

Korean food market

I was passing by a Korean market recently and was drawn in by the exotic sights, sounds and smells. Instantly I knew...Korean was what's for eats tonight!

I decided to keep it simple and just picked up basic Korean ingredients: rice, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, dang myeon noodles and some gochu jang fermented bean paste (yum!).

Simplicity is what is so great about Korean food - a punch of flavor with the simplest of effort. I was able to knock out bulgogi and six banchan (side dishes) in a little over an hour.

  • First — always first — fill and start the rice cooker. Then I steamed some eggplant, tore it into pieces and tossed it with a little rice vinegar, soy, salt and sesame oil. In a bowl, on the table.
  • I used the water from steaming the eggplant to blanch some mung bean sprouts and tossed them with sesame oil and some minced garlic and scallions for sookju namul. In a bowl, on the table.
  • Next I stir fried the spinach for sigumchi namul and the shiitakes for beuseus namul. In a bowl, on the table.
  • I mixed a simple batter for pajeon pancakes and topped them with some of the sprouts and some shredded carrot. On a plate, cut into pieces, on the table.
  • I pulled some kimchi out of the fridge (store bought) and plopped it in a bowl. I mixed a little of the gochu jang with water to make a condiment sauce. In a bowl, on the table.
  • Now all I had to do was grill up the bulgogi on my skillet still hot from the pajeon. In a bowl, on the table.

Ready, set, eat! Maybe I’ll get to the jap chae next time.

More Korean recipes >>