How do you complete your meal, the Korean way?

Banchan add flavour, variety, and sustenance to any Korean meal.

Have you ever eaten at a Korean restaurant? You’d know then about the side dishes they serve with the main.

These banchan as they’re called, are small portions; typically vegetables such as kimchi (fermented vegetables) and namul (steamed, marinated or stir-fried vegetables). There might also be meat-based banchan, such as stir-fried anchovies, stir-fried pork, or stir-fried baby octopus in a spicy pepper paste sauce.

Banchan are thought to have originated when Koreans were on a non-meat diet due to Buddhist influence during the Three Kingdoms period, which explains why they are generally vegetable-based. They’re placed in the middle of the table to be shared, and in odd numbers because even numbers are thought to be unlucky.

Because of the number of banchan, people unfamiliar with them might wonder how they’re supposed to be eaten. But there’s no right or wrong way to eat banchan. Some people might eat them as appetisers, while others prefer to treat them as condiments and flavour enhancers to complement their main dish, which might be rice and a soup. Banchan have a purpose, but it’s up to the person eating them to decide what that is.

As South Korean comedian and renowned foodie Kim Joon Hyun says, “There’s no banchan that’s meant to be a decoration. They make a meal more delicious.”

Investments are similar. Like banchan, investments have a purpose. There is (and should be) a reason behind each and every investment that you make, so that they complement and complete your portfolio as a whole, just like banchan with your Korean meal. Find out more.

This document is produced by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited and issued in:

Singapore and Australia (for wholesale clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited (UEN: 199407631H), which is incorporated in Singapore, is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence and is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under Singapore laws which differ from Australian laws.

Hong Kong by Eastspring Investments (Hong Kong) Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.


Indonesia by PT Eastspring Investments Indonesia, an investment manager that is licensed, registered and supervised by the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK).


Malaysia by Eastspring Investments Berhad (531241-U).


This document is produced by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited and issued in Thailand by TMB Asset Management Co., Ltd. Investment contains certain risks; investors are advised to carefully study the related information before investing. The past performance of any the fund is not indicative of future performance.


United States of America (for institutional clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited (UEN: 199407631H), which is incorporated in Singapore and is registered with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission as a registered investment adviser.


European Economic Area (for professional clients only) and Switzerland (for qualified investors only) by Eastspring Investments (Luxembourg) S.A., 26, Boulevard Royal, 2449 Luxembourg, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, registered with the Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés (Luxembourg), Register No B 173737.


United Kingdom (for professional clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Luxembourg) S.A. - UK Branch, 10 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6AF.


Chile (for institutional clients only) by Eastspring Investments (Singapore) Limited (UEN: 199407631H), which is incorporated in Singapore and is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore under Singapore laws which differ from Chilean laws.


The afore-mentioned entities are hereinafter collectively referred to as Eastspring Investments.


The views and opinions contained herein are those of the author on this page, and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Eastspring Investments’ communications. This document is solely for information purposes and does not have any regard to the specific investment objective, financial situation and/or particular needs of any specific persons who may receive this document. This document is not intended as an offer, a solicitation of offer or a recommendation, to deal in shares of securities or any financial instruments. It may not be published, circulated, reproduced or distributed without the prior written consent of Eastspring Investments. Reliance upon information in this posting is at the sole discretion of the reader. Please consult your own professional adviser before investing.


Investment involves risk. Past performance and the predictions, projections, or forecasts on the economy, securities markets or the economic trends of the markets are not necessarily indicative of the future or likely performance of Eastspring Investments or any of the funds managed by Eastspring Investments.


Information herein is believed to be reliable at time of publication. Data from third party sources may have been used in the preparation of this material and Eastspring Investments has not independently verified, validated or audited such data. Where lawfully permitted, Eastspring Investments does not warrant its completeness or accuracy and is not responsible for error of facts or opinion nor shall be liable for damages arising out of any person’s reliance upon this information. Any opinion or estimate contained in this document may subject to change without notice.


Eastspring Investments (excluding JV companies) companies are ultimately wholly-owned/indirect subsidiaries/associate of Prudential plc of the United Kingdom. Eastspring Investments companies (including JV’s) and Prudential plc are not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc., a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America or with the Prudential Assurance Company, a subsidiary of M&G plc (a company incorporated in the United Kingdom).