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Tri-color Banchan - Korean Side Dishes

It's hard to believe that another academic year has passed and I'm now no longer a newbie to med school. I drink black coffee, stare at a screen all day and the only exercise I get is walking to the kitchen to open the refrigerator door...which is quite often, because who knows what's in there the next minute?!

I know I complain about being in school all the time and whine about this and that. But, it's actually pretty nice to be back in the groove and to see all my friends. I like being on a schedule and sometimes studying isn't too bad. Haha kidding... We just had a tricky cardiovascular exam and I'm delirious from the lack of sleep.

This year I'm trying to fit in some exercising and to pack my lunch every day. This starts with making Korean banchan (small dishes). I keep an assortment in my fridge and pack different kinds with quinoa, salad or rice daily. Nom time!

Korean Banchan - 삼색나물

Eggplant side dish - Gaji namul (가지나물)
1 eggplant
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp soysauce
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch of salt
1/2 jalapeno (optional)

  • Cut eggplant into 1" sticks the size of your finger. Saute in a little olive oil with the garlic, finely chopped jalapeños, soysauce and a pinch of salt. After it has softened a little, add in 1 tsp of sesame oil and continue to fry for 2 more minutes. Salt to taste and garnish with sesame seeds

Spinach side dish - Sigeumchi namul (시금치 나물)
1 bunch spinach (not baby spinach)
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil

  • Boil about 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Throw in washed spinach for 30 seconds and then drain. Squeeze out as much water as you can. Loosen the scrunched up spinach by mixing in sesame oil, minced garlic, and salt.

Beansprout side dish - Kong namul (공나물)
200g mungbean sprouts
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp soysauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 stalk green onion
salt to taste

  • Wash sprouts well and break of roughly all the darkened tips of the shoot (it's okay to miss some). Boil about a cup of water in a pot, add in the beansprout and boil for 2 minutes. Drain well and mix in minced garlic, soysauce, salt and sesame oil. Finely slice green onions and mix in.


  1. Oh my goodness this is so beyond helpful. I've literally been buying the ones that have already been made (also too lazy on my end to find out how to ^^).
    This is really great, thanks so much!

    1. Thanks Rachel! You never know what a little bit of sesame oil and salt can do! It really is so simple!

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