Spicy pear banchan? What is it?!

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    • #74798

      Hi fellow korean cuisine fanatics,

      I just came back from dinner at a new korean restaurant. It was not very good!

      But, there was something I’ve never seen there that was SO GOOD. It was one of the banchan items. It was a dish of sliced pear, not asian pear but a normal pear with green skin, in a brown clear liquid. And it was so spicy! It was spicier than the kimchi! It must have been infused with peppers maybe? The liquid was hot, the pear was sweet and crunchy, and it was just wonderful.

      What is this side dish? How do I make it? It was so good and I’ve never seen it before, and I’m having trouble finding a recipe or even a picture of this dish online. I have no idea what it is!

      What is it?!

    • #74835

      Hi Gabyroman! I’m 95% sure I know what you’re referring to, but if I’m guessing correctly, it wasn’t pear, but rather a vegetable known as chayote…which looks like a wrinkly green pear on the outside :) I’ve seen this type of spicy/savory pickle made with Korean radish as well, but never pear (though who knows, it could work…but my hunch is that non-Asian pears would not be crunchy enough).

      Googling “chayote banchan” gives a few results, the below recipe looks promising but I haven’t tried it myself:


      In general, Korean pickles are called jang-a-jji (장아찌), Maangchi has some recipes in this category but none have jalapenos in them. The process for her tofu pickles is probably pretty similar though. If you search for “차요테 장아찌” (chayote jangajji) it looks like there’s more Korean-language recipes in case the other recipe doesn’t work out, but unfortunately I’m not fluent enough to quickly pick out which are good.

      Hope that helps, good luck!

    • #74836

      That must be it! Thank you so much for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it, I really enjoyed it.

    • #75096

      This probably isn’t what you’re talking about, but when I was in Busan I was served a really amazing banchan that at first looked like it was standard kkaktugi, but once I ate it I realized it was made with korean pear instead of radish. I’ve replicated it both with pear and green apples, and it’s a crowd pleaser every time. Basically, red pepper powder, white vinegar, chives (buchu, if youc an get them), a little sugar, some salt, a little bit of gochujang. Leave it in the fridge overnight and you’re set.

    • #75101

      I have to try that too! Thanks!

    • #75329

      Hi, I think you should try it with gochu jangaji recipe. Add some green pepper that’s not so spicy if u can’t handle the heat as it lends a distinctive taste to your pickle. I usually use the recipe for chayote w/ a head of garlic and 5 shallots (the tiny ones)

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