Harmonious table of rice and side dishes
This is one of the things foreigners are most curious about. Because, in the West, they serve soup, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts in chronological order, while in Korea, we serve a variety of dishes at once. I’m sure you’re excited about that scenery. Of course, you can often see that you can get a table in the course when you go to Hanjeongsik’s house. This is not a tradition because it is borrowed from a foreign country.
Korean traditional food is designed to suit personal taste by combining side dishes and soup.
Korea has a distinctly different culture of Side dishs from staple food to staple food. The staple food(Jusik) is rice, and all kinds of side dishes are ‘Busik(Side dishes)’. From the Three Kingdoms Period, when agriculture was the basic industry, a dining culture was formed, divided between Jusik(staple food)and Busik(Side dishes)
What’s interesting is that rice and side dishes form a complementary relationship. Korean food researchers saw rice and side dishes as a component of a relative and reactive relationship, as in Eastern philosophy, the harmony of yin and yang.
Busik(Side dishes) is an incidental food that can get nutrients that you can’t get from the staple food, the rice. So, in Korean food, side dishes are made of vegetables, meat, fish, and other ingredients. If you look at the traditional Korean tabletop with rice and various side dishes, you can see the wisdom of our ancestors who considered nutrition, taste, and even color.
Then, let’s find out more about the statue.
In the past, the types of tableware were slightly different depending on the class of identity, or the reason of the tableware. It was during the Joseon Dynasty that the table-dressing became very formal.
If you look at the meaning of the Half-Tableware first, it’s a routine tableware consisting of rice, soup, and side dishes. Our ancestors prepared soup, stew and one or two kinds of kimchi as a basic cup, and three or nine other side dishes depending on the family situation.
Depending on the number of side dishes, there are three ‘chup’, five’chup’, nine’chup’, and twelve’chup’ side dishes. However, the twelve’chup’ were only allowed to be served by the king in the royal court, and only nine were allowed in private houses.
In this case, ‘chup’ refer to the number of side dishes served on a plate, excluding rice, soup, kimchi, stew, and jangryu.
Tableware, served according to the prescribed position.
The ancestors basically put food in place when they set the table.
Place the rice on the front left side of the table and the soup on the right side. And the stew was placed behind the soup, and the steamer was placed in the middle right of the table, which is behind the stew.
The side dishes such as vegetables and raw vegetables are placed in the middle, jeon or grilled meat, are on the right side. And put kimchi in the back row.
It is assumed that all of these tableware positions are usually placed in a convenient way to eat using your right hand.