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Cookbook Challenge - Sides!!!

I was craving Korean sides. I will lump a whole bunch of these together into this one post. Korean sides can be served with a more "main" dish or just all brought out and can be a meal with a hot bowl of rice and soup. So many different flavors, textures and all yummy.

Many are made from dried ingredients like roots, vegetables and seafood. Some require a bit more planning and prep for soaking and boiling but the overall process for most of them is fairly simple and quick and most are finished with a couple teaspoons of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. I can't wait to try making more! Hard to pick which are our favorites so far.

Above you see the sight that made me happy when I opened up my fridge - containers of sides! Then all the sides we ate along with rolled omelet and steamed eggs. Next we have spicy thin sliced dried squid, spicy pan fried tofu, spicy dried squid, spicy bellflower root, black beans, bellflower root, fernbrake, spicy fish cake, sweet potato stems and burdock roots.

Roots tend to have a nice crunchy texture and a slight bitterness that is not unpleasant. You can tone it down by rubbing them with salt first and rinsing and countering the flavor with salt and sugar. The dried regular squid had a chewy texture while the thin sliced is crispy while also chewy. Spicy, salty, sweet, sour, bitter all come together in these different sides.

Next time you are in a Korean restaurant, give those sides a try. They go particularly well with Korean BBQ. If you can find them in an Asian or Korean grocery store get a bunch to try and whip them out to eat with just a hot bowl of plain rice and soup. OR even with a package of instant ramen. They will easily take your meal to the next level.

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