It’s time to go on another world tour! This time, our culinary adventures focus on different types of Asian side dishes. They are called banchan in Korea, for instance, but these side dishes are way different than the ones you’re usually used to such as steamed cauliflower or mushroom risotto. Are you hungry yet?
Acar from Indonesia
Let’s begin with a treat from Indonesia. It’s an Asian mixed vegetable pickle that contains carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, or long beans. It can be used as a topping for noodles or rice, too. Fruits are an important part of Acar; two examples are mango and pineapple. In Malaysia and Singapore, the Acar is accompanied by a spicy peanut paste as well.
Natto from Japan
Now let’s fly to Japan. Natto is made from fermented soybeans. It’s very pungent, so hopefully, that isn’t too off-putting for your tastebuds. Also, it is most popular in Eastern Japan; you’ll likely not find it in the western portion of the country. Prepare yourself for a traditional Japanese breakfast that also includes rice, fish, miso soup, and tofu.
Pao Cai from China
Here we go back to the Asian mainland. You might be thinking of kung pao, but it’s not the same. This is a Sichuan pickle dish that contains Chinese cabbage, mustard stems, daikon radish, turnips, and ginger, among other ingredients.
Tempeh from Java
From China we head back out to the islands; in this case, it’s to the Indonesian island of Java. You’ve probably heard of tempeh before, but not been to its homeland yet. Although it is a vegan side dish, it has plenty of protein in it. Discarded soybeans from tofu turned out to have a silver lining: the creation of tempeh. Any time you see prepackaged tempeh, it looks like tofu but in patty or cake shapes. Plus, it can be used as a meat substitute!
Dosa from India
Finally, let’s finish our tour in India. It’s a thin pancake that looks like a crepe. However, it’s so much more than that. Made from soaked rice and black gram beans, it really is something else. This savory dish is enjoyed at all times of day, whether it’s for breakfast, dinner, or just as a midday snack!
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop-shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to serve our customers better. Since we opened in 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, please email us at LottePlaza.com.