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Posted by on Oct 31, 2013 in Banchan (Side Dishes), Recipes, Vegetarian | 0 comments

Recipe: Korean Green Bean Banchan

Recipe: Korean Green Bean Banchan

October in Northern California is at the end of green bean season. Since August, my weekly baskets from a local community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm include 1 to 2 pounds of green — and sometimes, yellow — beans. These beauties deserve to be clothed in Korean flavor with a California wine country twist to create a nice 반찬 banchan (side dish).

The vinofornian twist is a splash of verjus to provide the tang of lemon juice or vinegar while not bullying the wine — an ethos especially of my local wine region of Napa and Sonoma counties. Verjus is a fancy French word for unripe-grape juice. It is made from high-acid, low-sugar winegrapes.

Korean green beans


1 pound French green beans, stemmed
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon verjus
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ginger, fresh-grated (optional)
ground black or white pepper (to taste)


  1. If you’re serving this dish as banchan, chop each beans into two to three bite-sized, chopstick-friendly pieces before cooking. For a Western-style meal, snip off the ends but leave the beans otherwise whole before blanching.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook without a lid until crisp-tender (three to four minutes). Drain the beans, and set them aside.
  3. In a large bowl, blend the remaining ingredients well with a whisk.
  4. Add the green beans, and toss the combination well.
  5. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.

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