Mystery Banchan

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Cutemom 3 years, 8 months ago.

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    Please help! A few weeks ago, I had lunch at a neighborhood Korean restaurant and one of the side dishes was absolutely delicious. I have never seen it anywhere else and I would love to learn how to make it.

    My problem is that I don’t know what it was! I originally thought it was a block of soft tofu, but it might have been a set egg dish, or a combination of both.

    Basically it was a block about the color of tofu, about two inches on each side, with a sweet/savory sauce over it.

    I know this is not much to go on but I wanted to see if anybody knows what this is? Thanks!!



    There are literally hundreds and hundreds of styles of banchan with tons of different ingredients. Many people homemake them so it’s not like the nationally known kimchi. You would have better luck calling the restaurant up and ask them what it is or wait until you dine there next time and ask (if that’s easier). This is what I do when I like one of the side dishes. =) Good luck finding out!



    You’re right, and I was planning on asking them anyway and posting the results here soon… but I thought it would be more fun to find out what people thought it might be… plus a good way to drum up new recipes. :)

    So, I will let everybody know when I find out but in the interim please make your wild guesses!!



    For the record, I did eventually find out that the side dish in question was steamed eggs. However, when I tried Maangchi’s version, the texture was not the same. It was still delicious, but the restaurant’s side dish was very soft and it was solid all the way through. Maangchi’s was firmer and had bubbles throughout containing the broth.

    To achieve the very soft and solid texture, three things were necessary:

    1) Boil the water for the stock for a few minutes and bring it down completely to room temperature. This removes all of the air that is dissolved in the water (yes, water contains air and it forms bubbles like swiss cheese if you don’t boil it out like this).

    2) When the lightly beaten eggs and broth are combined, pour them through a wire mesh strainer once or even twice to remove any bubbles remaining.

    3) Bring the steamer to a raging boil and then put the egg mixture in it, then turn immediately down to a medium heat and tilt the lid a bit so some of the steam can escape and the eggs aren’t cooked too much.

    Three small details but they made all the difference in the world. Skipping any one leads to a product with bubbles in it and tougher than it should be.

    Basic recipe was:

    3 eggs (save the wide end of one eggshell)

    Dashida stock at room temperature, I like anchovy

    Fish sauce to taste

    Break the eggs and beat just to incorporate the whites and yolks completely. Use chopsticks as this will minimize the incorporation of air bubbles.

    Add the stock by using the half-eggshell as a ladle to measure out three portions of stock (one for each egg used).

    Add fish sauce to the stock to your liking, for me two teaspoons is about right.

    Add the stock/fish sauce to the beaten eggs and mix gently to thoroughly incorporate everything. Pour the mix through a strainer into another vessel to remove air bubbles. Rinse the bubbles out of the strainer under running water if necessary and repeat the process again or twice again if necessary to remove all air pockets.

    Pour the egg mixture into 1, 2, or 3 ramekins or other containers and put into the steamer, which should be going full bore.

    Put the lid on, reduce heat immediately to medium, and tilt the lid just a bit so some steam can get out.

    If you have them in multiple containers, then after about 15 minutes it should still be a little jiggly in the center and a toothpick in the center should cause a little broth to come out.

    If you’re using one vessel, you may need to give it a few more minutes to heat through to the center.

    Remove from steam and allow to set for ten minutes or so. Either serve in the ramekins or cut into banchan-sized portions and get creative with garnish and whatever light sauce you want to add for seasoning.



    I think you would like Chawanmushi, a Japanese dish as well. It’s delicious!! Very silky egg custard



    You can use maangchi’s recipe but steam it less time. When I made it, I made it like chawanmushi. I stick my rice mixture in its bowl on top of my rice in my rice cooker when the rice is cooked & let it steam for 10 min. It will have the smooth texture with more bubbles inside.

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