Banchan are the selection of side dishes served alongside the main course. The number of these dishes tends to vary depending on the importance of the dinner, but at an everyday meal you can expect to see at least two or three. Salted and pickled vegetables are popular, but meat, eggs and seafood also make an appearance.
Probably the most well-known of all banchan, there are hundreds of different types of kimchi and recipes vary from region to region. Mostly, the dish consists of chilli peppers and fermented vegetables – cabbage is the most widely used, but cucumbers and radishes are popular, too. The result is a complex mouthful, which combines spicy, sour, salty and slightly sweet elements.
This is a chilli-pepper paste made from powdered, fermented soy beans, some form of rice powder and red peppers. Gochujang has a thickish consistency and a spicy, sweet flavour. It is considered to be a staple; as well as being used as a condiment or dip, it is an essential ingredient in a number of soups or stews.
Gogi Gui or Korean barbecue
Many families have their own indoor grill, which is considered essential for cooking dishes such as galbi and bulgogi with optimum results. Restaurants tend to have a charcoal or gas grill built into the centre of each table. For ease of eating with chopsticks, the meat will be sliced into bite-sized pieces, to be eaten wrapped in lettuce.
Different kinds of Korean food
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Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari
The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.
Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.
Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.
Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?
“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.
Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.
Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.
Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut
Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.
But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.
Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates
Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?
Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.
Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.
Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688
The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.
The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.
And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.
Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show
Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.
Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.
It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.
He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.