You may have seen Korean tables in Korean dramas and movies. There are many kinds of food on the Korean table, and they all have different roles. So, let's find out how Korean food is distinguished.
Basically, Korean food is divided into "Joosic" and "Banchan". "joosic" refers to the main dish, and "banchan" refers to the side dish. The "joosic" that Koreans eat is made from rice.
Rice is used as a staple food in many Asian countries. Similarly, in Korea, rice is used as a raw material to make a staple food called "bob". Bob is made by boiling rice in water. Most bob is made from white rice, and sometimes black rice. This bob is the most important and basic food for Koreans.
By the way, bob is made from rice, so it doesn't have a special and strong taste. So when you eat bob, you need other side dishes to complement the taste of bob. At this time, all side dishes eaten with bob are called "banchan". Foods that are seen as main dishes in the US or Europe become side dishes in Korea. Anyway, no matter how fancy and expensive the banchan are, the main dish is a simple bob.
Banchan is made with so many different food ingredients. Among the types of banchan, there are "Guk", "jjigae" and "Tang" for soups. One of "Guk", "jjigae", and "Tang" must be set together on the table. Then, several different banchans are set together on the table.
On special days or evenings, many banchans with a table, and in the morning or in normal times, only a few banchans are prepared.
If you come to Korea and use a restaurant, if you order a main dish, many other foods will be served in addition to the ordered food. If so, don't panic!! The other food I didn't order is "Banchans". In Korean restaurants, banchan is free food at no extra cost. And even better, the banchan is refillable for free.
Let's summarize the special culture of Korean table setting, Banchans.
Korean main dish = Bob, Korean side dish = Banchan, Banchan is free at Korean restaurants.