What’s not to love about Korean grub!!

Korean Barbecue Beef Ribs

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Did you know….

If you’ve ever dined out at a Korean restaurant, you’re sure to have been served those tasty, complimentary sides. They could very well have been the best part of the meal; the tiny portions of bright red squares, shiny noodles and dehydrated somethin’s tickle the tongue with absolute delight. The only caveat — for an American palate, at least — is the food can be tough to identify.

These “free side thingies” are actually called “banchan,” which translates to “side dishes.” According to Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, author of Eating Korean, banchan is eaten at practically every meal in Korea — it’s considered any small food dish served alongside rice. “All banchan is communal,” Lee tells HuffPost over the phone. “You get your own bowl of rice and your own bowl of soup, but in general everything is shared.” She says Korean families typically cook up large batches of these sides to be eaten over the course of the week. “It’s not to be eaten all at once — whatever isn’t used is saved for the next meal, so it’s not a waste.” At restaurants, of course, the excess banchan is tossed. And while the portions are usually small, Lee says Korean restaurants in America may serve a larger quantity “because it looks more impressive.” There are endless variations of banchan fare, but Lee says kimchi and a seasonal vegetable are likely to make it to the table. And, she says, “banchan is always served in odd numbers, because even numbers are considered bad luck.”(huffingtonpost.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Jang Su Jang – Milpitas, Ca

Average Cost

Around $15-$20 per plate

Rating (1-10)


Recommended Dishes: 

버섯 순두부 Mushroom Soon Tofu, L.A.갈비 L.A. Galbi – BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Mushroom Soon Tofu Soup

My palate tends to have it’s own mind sometimes and what it wants it gets. Last night it was urging me to hunt down some tantalizing Korean beef ribs down my throat else I would feel the worst taste bud tantrum faced to man.

Rather than fight against myself I agreed and Virginia and I made our way to one of our favorite Korean restaurants in Milpitas,Ca called Jang Su Jang.


“Trevis, I have never eaten at a Korean restaurant. Can you just tell us what the food is like?”

Of course I can you inquisitive source of friendly commentary.

Regardless of where I go, Korean restaurants usually have an assortment of side dishes that are presented to you for every meal. These side dishes are called Banchan and really give your bang for your buck since you can tell them to keep refilling them up while you eat.

Some are really tasty and some of these tend to be for an acquired taste but since there is such a large selection of these I’m sure a couple will become a favorite for you. Japchae tends to be my favorite and there are many others as well.

Here is a list of a few side items that are usually offered if you are curious:

List of Banchan 

Other than the Banchan my dishes of choice are the soups and the BBQ meats. The soups usually contain this bubbling watery tasty broth of goodness and tofu blended with the meat of your choice that really makes a mouth watering treat.

The soups are thick but delicate, spicy but mild, flavorful but not overbearing. They also can be filling as well and the colors are usually bright and vibrant.

We chose Mushroom Soon Tofu soup last night and let me tell you it is something divine! The mushrooms are thin, delicate, tender and combined with the tofu this soup stands on its own.

We also decided to get 2 orders of the Korean ribs which are out of this world! These tender succulent pieces of ribs pack such a punch that it is hard to stop gorging these things down your throat. When you bite into them the taste is so fantastic your mouth that it creates triple the amount of saliva than normal and you find yourself having to swallow twice as much just to prevent from drooling.

Add a little Korean hot sauce and now you really have a party going in your mouth. True live action eating!!

If you have never tried Korean food then I strongly suggest you give it a try. I promise that you will not be disappointed!

Thanks for joining me on today’s adventure! I look forward to seeing you on the next run! Keep hope alive!

Eating is an enjoyable way of life.Live it..Learn it..Love it!

Trevis Dampier Sr.


Kate Brakskeir (11/14/2014 1:59 pm EST) A Guide To Banchan, Those Delicious Side Dishes Served At Korean Restaurants. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/korean-bbq-banchan_n_6146600.html

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