Korean cooking forum topics:
Is Korean food usually served hot or closer to room temperature? While in Korea, I noticed that at some places I ate that especially the side dishes were at room temperature. I was wondering if this was the norm or if they happened to be exceptions.
This is a very tricky question.
In short…… banchans(side dishes) are served closer or lower to room temp.
There are some exceptions(by item), but it’s usually served that way.
Hot meal(rice, soup) with cool side dishes …… usually make a good contrast.(I think…. he he…)
There are foods that can be the centerpiece of the meal….. or the side dish.
Kimchi pancakes can be served main dish(Drink snack;; Anju)
and side dish (Mini kimchi pancakes for your lunchbox etc…).
If served main dish …it should always be hot and crispy right out of the griddle.
If served side dish…. it is ok to be served cold and soggy but if they serve it right out of the griddle?(well the’re wont be many) extra points for the diner.
If you order a Godeungeo Baekban (Meaning “The Mackrel Meal”)
Though the pan fried or grilled mackrel is a banchan, it should be served hot and sizzling.
Threre are food that should be served cold like Jokbal (Pig trotters) although it’s the centerpiece of the meal. If the diner is out of cold jokbal they might apologise for the inconvenience or ask if it’s ok to serve it warm.
Likewise, Naengmyun (cold buckwheat noodles) is meal that should be served cold.
So…in short……. it differs case by case.
From my experince it seams to be the norm.
Thanks for the info! ^^
I am glad this question was asked. My biggest question is about banchan temperatures. I live alone, so when I make banchan, I often have more than one serving leftover. Do most people reheat the ones that are eaten warm after making? Or do they eat them room temperature. I am never sure :O
most restaurants have big bowls of banchan in the kitchen. they dont bother with the fridge because they have to serve them quickly and since they normally go through banchan very fast, it doesnt spoil. if it tastes sour, dont eat there.
at home it is a different story. we keep leftovers in the fridge but protein-side-dishes like meat, egg or fish taste of course better hot. since we have microwaves, reheating is no problem.
salad-banchans i like cold so they have some crunch in it. just eat them at the temperature you like them best. i mean, there is no food-police around
Kumaxx said almost everything.
If you want it so, don’t hesitate to reheat.
But take in mind… in korean food, as well as in any food culture,
leaving no prisoners is quite important as much as storing it for a long time.
Meaning things that should be eaten fresh, “should” be eaten immediately or the taste and texture deteriorates.
Almost all of the hot “banchans” are best right out of the frying pan or griddle.
(except things that are meant Stews and Soups aren’t included. Sometimes Soups are better off reheated)
Reheating Proteins for example…. makes it chewy.
So you won’t like your Grilled Mackrel reheated..
Pork bits? Quite similar. It’ll get dry and chewy if reheated.
Reheating Tofus might be less dramatic, but they go bad easily anyways, so better watch out.
So, Try to control the portions and try not to make leftovers.
You might understand later that this is another “art” of korean cooking.
Bibimbabs and Fried rices are quite wonderful on doing this job.
they are the ultimate leftover reducers.
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