Korean meals are named for the number of side dishes that
accompany the ubiquitous rice, soup, and kimchi (fermented
vegetables). Three dishes, five dishes, and up to twelve side
dish meals are served depending upon the circumstances.
Side dish is set in the middle of the table to be shared.
At the center of the table is the main course, such as Kalbi
or Bulgogi, and sometimes shared pot of stew. Rice and soup
are set individually.
Side dish is served in small portions, meant to be finished
at each meal. They can be replenished during the meal as they
The more formal meals, the more side dishes appear in the