Unlike a typical American meal - protein, vegetable, and starch - a Korean meal has several components. Rice is always present, as is a protein and some kind of kimchee. Soup is almost always included, and my favorite part - the ban chans. Those are those myriad little dishes that come with your dinner at the Korean restaurant, and are usually small bowls or plates of different kinds of vegetables - salads, sautés, pickles, and other presentations. If you are cooking Korean food at home, the rice is easy to do, and you are probably putting some meat on the grill, but don't forget about the best part - the ban chans!
Here is an easy one to start with. These are sautéed mushrooms, Korean-style. Put the rice in the cooker (bap soot) and make these tonight!
Mushroom Ban Chan
- 1 package King Trumpet mushrooms (also called King Oyster mushrooms. Can't find them? You can use button or creminis, but next time, go to the Korean grocery store and look for these! They're usually $2 a package - pretty good deal!)
|Serving suggestion. Mushroom dancing lessons not included.|
- 2 cloves garlic
- sesame oil
- 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced carrots, optional (I had these left over from making kim bap, and I think they added a nice sweetness and color contrast to the dish, but they are in no way necessary to a good presentation)
- Slice the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Finely chop the garlic, and thinly slice the green onion.
- Add a little sesame oil to your pan, about 2 tablespoons, over medium heat. Add the carrots, if using, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and stir to coat. Sprinkle with salt. The mushrooms will soak up the oil pretty quickly and you may need to add more, but don't worry, they release it back out, along with a lot of water.
- Saute for 5 or 10 minutes, until the mushrooms sweat out all their water and they are soft and chewy. Turn off the heat and toss with the sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Eat hot or cool.