Banchan (from Korean: 반찬; 飯饌; banchan [pan.tɕʰan]) is a collective name for small side dishes in Korean cuisine.


The first time I saw Kristene Moon a.k.a. “Banchan” was in the back kitchen of The Pig and the Lady. She was kneading an enormous boulder of dough, on the tip toes of her kitchen clogs trying to get as much leverage over the counter as possible to push the dough into submission. All I could think was: “who is she??”

Banchan is much like the dishes she’s nicknamed after; you never know what you’re going to get but you’re always happy when you see her coming. She’s full of energy and extremely passionate about her cooking, approaching everything with her mantra of, “I COMMIT!”, an exclamation that comes in handy when she and the rest of the team are in the weeds during dinner service.

Banchan's mother is from Seoul and her father is from Busan, they were disappointed when she informed them she wanted to become a chef. Their attitude changed when her name started popping up in newspaper articles—and when they saw how happy cooking made her.  

As a child, Banchan was driven by curiosity and an insatiable appetite. During family outings, she remembers leaving her parents side to seek out the source of good-smelling food floating in the air. Once she located the source, she’d ask the cook, “what’s that?” hoping the cook would offer her a taste, which they often did. At home, too, she was always surrounded by delicious food. Her parents are both skilled cooks who would prepare Korean dishes for Banchan every day; she learned to master the art of making kimchee and other Korean staples at a young age. Her favorite recipe, kimcheejeon, is one she learned from her father.

Kimcheejeon is a thin pancake filled with kimchee and green onions and fried till crispy. It’s as delicious as it is simple. The crispy edges of the pancake give you that satisfying crunch you seek in any pan-fried food and the fermented and spicy kimchee adds layers of flavor making it the perfect bite of food. Use Banchan’s recipe as a starting point and feel free to add anything to the batter before you fry it. In our case, we use Hirabara Farm’s green garlic.

The Pig and the Lady
83 N. King St Honolulu, HI 96817


Recipe by Kristene Moon

3 cups cornstarch*
1 cup flour
3 large eggs
3 cups chopped kimchee
1 cup water
½  teaspoon salt
Grapeseed oil**

In a medium size mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk together. Add the cornstarch, flour and salt then stir to combine. Add ½ cup of the water and mix. Add the kimchee and some of the kimchee juice then stir again. If the batter still looks thick, continue to add water until the consistency of the batter is “like mud”.

Put a small pan on high and add grapeseed oil to cover the bottom. When the pan is very hot, add whatever vegetables you like in a single layer then the kimchee batter just to cover. Turn the heat down to medium high and cook until the bottom of the pancake is crispy, 3-5 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook through, about 3-5 minutes.

Cut and serve hot with rice and a cold beer.

*Substitute cornstarch with potato starch if you like.
**Substitute grapeseed oil for any flavorless oil with a high smoking point, like peanut or canola oil.