Table setting is one of the most basic things that we consider when preparing a meal. This is also considered as one of the distinguishing factors of Korean cuisine. Maybe you are wondering why. That is what you are going to learn from our article today.
In a Korean meal, foods are served all at one time, not one by one or one after another. Servings are also oriented to one person. This is what sets Korean dining from other forms of meal serving. The basis of the table setting is just one person.
The basic style of table setting for a Korean meal is called ‘bansang‘ (반상). The main dish for this table setting is rice. A bansang usually consists of bap (밥, cooked rice), guk or tang (clear soup or thick soup), gochujang or ganjang (condiments like fermented chili paste or soy sauce, jjigae (stew), and banchan (side dishes). According to the number of banchan that is added, the table setting is called as 3 cheop (삼첩), 5 cheop (오첩), 7 cheop (칠첩), 9 cheop (구첩), 12 cheop (십이첩) bansang. The 12 cheop bansang is used in Korean royal cuisine.
Hot foods are set to the right side of the table while cold foods to the left. Soup remains on the right side of the diner along with stews. Vegetables are on the left along with the rice. Kimchi and other side dishes are set to the back while sauces remain in the front. Utensils, which are spoon and chopsticks are on the right side of the diner, next to the soup. Check out these two photos below.
Other table settings are classified as juk-sang (porridge table), myeon-sang (noodle table), juan-sang (liquor table), dagwa-sang (refreshment table), and gyoja-sang (large dining table).
There are also meals arranged according to the season.