Thursday, June 21, 2012

Banchan Week, Day 1: Shigemchi Muchim (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Banchan (반찬) is an important part of Korean cuisine; small dishes of food are placed in the middle of the table, to be shared by all of the diners. These banchan dishes typically include some form of kimchi, a namul dish (steamed, marinated or stir-fried vegetables), bokkeum (stir-fried in sauce), jorim (simmered in a broth), jjim (steamed), jeon (a fried dish, typically a savory pancake), and even japchae

With so many options, I've decided to spend a week posting various forms of banchan. Most of these recipes are super simple, all are vegetarian friendly (or easily made vegan), and ALL are delicious!

Day 1's banchan is probably the easiest; shigemchi muchim (시금치나물) is simply fresh spinach, blanched, then seasoned with salt and sesame oil and seeds. This one only takes about 5 minutes total! It's similar to the horenso no ohitashi (ほうれん草のお浸し) I posted before, but without any soy sauce or dashi.

Shigemchi Muchim (Blanched Spinach)
adapted from Kitchen Wench

1 bunch baby spinach (about 2 6oz bags)
Sesame oil
Toasted sesame seeds

Trim and rinse the spinach, then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain, then rinse in cold water and squeeze out all the excess water.

Season with salt, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Toss to combine, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


  1. Love this. I am going to save this page--I was just making some banchan but found yours when I was done. You have so many recipes that I want to make, that I am using my clipping powers with Evernote and Pinterest here:) Thanks.

    1. Thank you so much for reading! I'll have to check out your blog as well!