Korean Hansik Meal – Set Menu A
Hansik is the Korean term for “Korean Meal”. A hansik meal consists of steamed rice, served alongside a bowl of soup and a variety of banchans (side dishes).
Most banchans use meat and vegetables as the main ingredients, and are boiled or steamed in water (rather than being fried in oil) – making hansik a healthy, well-balanced meal.
In the old days, it was common to put out an entire tablespread of banchans for hansik. Nowadays - with both parents in the workforce - the focus has turned from quantity to quality when it comes to family meals.
Modern Hansik still includes the rice and soup – but the number of banchans has reduced to 1-3. Of course, this varies by household and whether it’s a special occasion. (For us, we typically cook 2 banchans for each dinner).
Today, I wanted to introduce a variety of easy, simple-to-make banchans and soups that you can mix-and-match to make modern hansik meals.
Now, you don’t have to make the entire set meal. Pick and choose what you like. But don’t forget to get that rice cooking in the background.
So what’s in the Korean Hansik Set A?
Spring Onion & Beef Soup
This is a simple, delicious soup that’s perfect for Hansik. It has a similar taste profile to the classic Seogogi Mu Guk (Korean Beef & Radish Soup). We will boil a piece of beef brisket in dashima broth – with slices of spring onion. Then season this light broth with soy sauce and minced garlic.
Cooking note: In our video, I add-in Korean dangmyeon noodles right away. But note, that the noodles will continue to soak in the broth. So I recommend making this soup last if you will make the entire set meal. Or alternatively, add-in and boil the dangmyeon noodles right before you are ready to serve.
- 200 grams Beef Brisket (~½ lb)
- 2 Forearm-length pieces of Spring Onion Stalk
- Small handful Dangmyeon Noodles (optional ingredient)
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 3 pieces of Dashima (Kombu) (About size of your palm)
- 3 cups of Water (750 ml)
- 1.5 Tablespoons Soup Soy Sauce (Regular soy sauce if fine too)
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- Few shakes of Black Pepper
- Optional: Pre-Soak Korean dangmyeon noodles in cold water for an hour (or until they turn soft). Let's move on to other ingredients in the meanwhile
- Pat down your piece of beef brisket with a few paper towels - soak up any residual blood. Then cut the beef into thin bite-sized strips. Afterwards, wrap the small pieces in a few paper towels and just let it sit there while we move on to the next steps - this will remove any extra blood left in the beef pieces.
- Split both spring onion stalks in half. Then cut them into pinky-length pieces.
- Fill a pot with 3 cups of water. Then add in 3 Dashima squares. Place on high heat and bring to boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce to a medium-low heat and let it gently simmer for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes, pick out the dashima pieces. Set the broth aside for now.
- Place-in Vegetable Oil (1 Tablespoon) & Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoons) into a large pot or wok. Place on medium-high heat and give it a stir. Once the oil is hot, add in the beef pieces. Stir-fry the pieces until most of the pink in the meat is gone.
- Now, add in the spring onion pieces to the beef. Stir-fry for another 1 minute.
- Now, add in the dashima broth. Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, carefully skim the top of the soup and remove any residual foam.
- Now lower the heat to a medium. And let the soup gently simmer for 4-5 minutes.
- After 4-5 minutes, let's season the soup. Add-in: Soup Soy Sauce (1.5 Tablespoons), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon), Black Pepper (few shakes). If you're using Dangmyeon noodles, add-in the soaked noodles now.
- Let the soup gently simmer for few more minutes - or until the noodles turn soft.
- Take a sip of the soup - if it tastes slightly bland, add a few pinches of salt.
- Bon Appetit! Serve alongside a bowl of hot rice.
Korean Spicy Braised Tofu
This is a universally-loved banchan in Korea! It’s simple, healthy and just so delicious! We’ve made a variation of this recipe in the past, but I wanted to upgrade our recipe with oyster sauce.
Adding a touch of oyster sauce infuses a deeper flavor to the sauce – along with a thicker consistency.
I think its hands-down, the best tofu recipes on the internet! Thanks us later 😉
- 1.5 blocks Firm Tofu (~500 grams)
- Small handful Chopped Spring Onion
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Tablespoon Gochugaru
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- ⅓ cup Water
- Few Shakes Sesame Seeds
- Dice-up a piece of spring onion stalk into small pieces.
- Use a few paper towels and wrap the tofu block. The paper towels will soak up the extra water. You can gently press on the tofu to get the water out! Note: There's no need to squeeze out all the water - it's an endless task!
- Cut the tofu block into bite-sized pieces (as shown in the video)
- Make braising sauce by mixing: Soy Sauce (2 Tablespoons), Oyster Sauce (2 Tablespoons), Minced Garlic (½ Tablespoon), Honey (2 Tablespoons), Gochugaru (1 Tablespoon), Sesame Oil (1 Tablespoon), Water (⅓ cup) and Sesame Seeds (few shakes).
- Place some vegetable oil into a frying pan. Place on medium heat. Once its hot, carefully add in the tofu pieces. Let it fry on one-side until it gets a light golden color (~5 minutes). Then carefully flip each of the tofu pieces and let it fry for another 3-4 minutes.
- Once both sides have light golden crisp to them, add in the braising sauce.
- Add the chopped spring onion pieces over the tofu. Cover the pan with a lid - and let the sauce reduce until it turns sticky (~2 minutes). Keep an eye on it, and once the sauce turns slightly sticky, turn off the heat.
- Serve with a bowl of hot rice!
Potato & Bacon Stirfry
Korean Stir-fried potatoes is another very popular banchan in Korea. You’ll see being made for dosirak (Korean lunchboxes).
For this dish, the key is quickly blanch the potatoes before stir-frying –this partially cooks the slices and reduces the time needed in the stir-fry. As a result, the pieces don’t turn mushy or crumble apart.
As for the bacon – well, who can resist? We add it up the flavor 😉
Note: If you’re using American Bacon, it will release a lot of grease into the frying pan. I would recommend wiping-out most of it with a paper towel before adding-in the sliced potatoes.
- 5-6 Slices of Bacon
- 2 Potatoes (Medium sized)
- ½ Onion
- ½ Tablespoon Sugar
- ½ Tablespoon Salt
- Few shakes Sesame Seeds (Garnish)
- Small handful Chopped Green Onions (Garnish)
Prep Ingredients & Blanche Potato
- Fill a small bowl with cold water. Julienne 2 potatoes into small skinny strips. Keep the potato strips in the water - so that their color doesn't change.
- Julienne ½ an onion into thin strips.
- Then cut 5-6 strips of bacon into small strips.
- Bring a pot of water up to boil. Season the water with a few pinches of salt. Once the water comes to boil, add the potato strips. Set a timer for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, empty through a strainer. Gently tap the strainer and shake off any excess water.
- Place your frying pan on medium heat. Add in the bacon strips and fry them until the edges turn slightly crispy. Afterwards, You'll see a lot of oil in the frying pan. Carefully empty it out into a bowl - or use a few paper towels to soak up the excess oil. (Note: You don't have to get rid of all the oil - just throw out the excess)
- Now, add-in the sliced onions and stir-fry them together for about 1 minute.
- Then add in the potato slices. Season it with Sugar (½ Tablespoon) and Salt (½ Tablespoon). Stir everything for 15 more seconds.
- Now, give it taste. If it tastes slightly bland, give a few pinches of salt.
- Plate and garnish with a few pinches of chopped Green Onions and few shakes of Sesame Seeds.
- Enjoy with a bowl of fresh rice!
If you try modern hansik at home, tag your plate on IG. We love flipping through pictures of your dishes in the mornings.