Korean banchan (bean sprouts and spinach)

We eat out in Korean restaurants pretty often, and we love the side dishes or banchan that is served before or with our meal.  Among my favorites are the kimchi, the mung bean sprouts and the blanched spinach.  And since I made Korean beef stew tonight, I couldn’t serve that by itself…I like to have little side dishes or vegetables with every meal.  I’ve never made kimchi (next on my list) but the bean sprouts and spinach are delicious, healthy, and take less than 15 minutes to make, tops!  It’s so quick since the “dressing” for these side dishes are almost exactly the same.

First, I washed and picked out the dark bean sprouts from the pack I bought, then I boiled them in salted water for exactly 5 minutes.  Set your timer since soggy sprouts are no good!  Drain and set them aside.

Chop your spinach and take out the roots and hard parts.  Blanch them in salted water for 30 seconds, then rinse them quickly in cool water.  They should be bright green, if they’ve turned dull green they’ve been overcooked.

There are a ton of recipes online for the dressing for this, but all the ingredients are pretty similar.  From some trial and error and a lot of tasting, I came up with this ratio which incorporates the main ingredients that make up these side dishes:

  • Half a stalk of green onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (I use the toasted sesame oil from Healthy Options)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I like soy sauce in my spinach but not in my beansprouts, you can use whatever you like of course)
  • Salt to taste
I made around 3 portions of this dressing since we love beansprouts and I had a lot.

Mix it into the vegetables with your hands and adjust your seasoning with salt as you go along.  I prepared the beansprouts first then added a little soy sauce to the basic mixture before i prepared the spinach.  These were quick, perfect complements to the Korean beef stew.  🙂

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One response

  1. Pingback: Grass Fed Beef – Korean Beef Stew (Kalbi jim) « Part Time Homemaker

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