Korean Banchan: Cucumber Salad + Bean Sprout Side Dishes — asian , cucumber salad , favorite recipes , healthy , korean banchan , mung beans , vegetables — For Two, Please

September 13, 2009

Korean Banchan: Cucumber Salad + Bean Sprout Side Dishes

Wow. I've just been a lean, mean Korean-cooking machine lately! Not only did I make kimchi jjigae this week, but I also ventured into the world of banchan. This is another dish that AC usually makes...but as said before, watch and learn baby! ;)

Korean banchan, or all the little side dishes that come out with your meal, is one of my favorite things about eating at Korean restaurants -- it seriously makes you feel like a king! I love looking around the table, and seeing 10+ dishes sitting out with your main order. If you're greedy like me, it is theee way to eat :)

Anyway, we sometimes buy our banchan from Korean grocery markets so that we can eat them at home as well. They're always good...but a little expensive for what you get. So lately, AC has been making some of the banchan dishes himself -- and I actually think they taste BETTER than the store bought kind. These are my two favorites. As you can see, they are ridiculously delicious and easy to make.

Cucumber Salad
Recipe by AC/SC

5 large English cucumbers (10 mini cucumbers)
1/4 C rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T sesame seeds
1 T sesame oil
1/2 T kochu'karu (hot red pepper powder)
1 wedge lemon

Seed the cucumber, and slice into thin disks. Place cucumbers in a large bowl and sprinkle evenly with sea salt (about 1/4 T). Let sit for 15 minutes, and the wrap the cucumbers in a paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

Combine rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and kochukaru in a medium bowl. Add cucumbers and toss well. Squeeze lemon juice over salad. Cover and refrigerate.

Bean Sprout Side Dish
Recipe adapted from Week of Menus

1 bag of bean sprouts
2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon of sesame oil (you can add more if you like the taste)
1/2 T crushed toasted sesame seeds

Wash beansprouts. Place beansprouts, water, vegetable oil and salt in the bottom of a very heavy pot. Cover pot and place on medium high heat. Cook until you see steam escaping from the pot (or you begin to smell the bean sprouts) and reduce heat to medium. Cook for around 10-15 minutes with the lid on.

While still hot, add the garlic, green onions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Mix. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately.


  1. I love those side dishes. Yours look just like the dishes in the restaurant! My favorite is the sweet pickled daikon radish... can you make that too?? :-)

  2. The bean sprouts are my favorite! I can't wait to make this.

  3. I've got to say, I love going to Korean restaurants because of all the lil appetizers they give us before the main course. Great job on making your own lil Korean goodies!


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