Monday, 14 September 2009
Bibimbap literally means “mixed rice” in Korean. It’s basically a bunch of side dishes rolled into one, with a spicy sauce. It is a delicious way to eat rice and vegetables. There are a traditional bunch of vegetables that go into this dish (root vegetables), but I’ve seen a lot of variety as well.
When I was growing up, my mom made this a lot and I loved it. I was completely happy with eating it for three days straight. I will always associate great memories with this dish. My mom used to add grilled onions which I skipped, because I just think it overpowers the other flavors.
A touch of sesame oil in the end before you mix everything with gochujang (hot pepper paste) completes this lovely dish and brings the flavors to a whole new level. It is sometimes served on a hot stone, where the rice gets crispy and toasty as you go. I prefer the cold version as I don’t do so well with the hot temperature of the rice.
This is the first time I made this, so I’m happy to report that it’s hard to mess up Bibimbap. I wouldn’t call this a difficult dish to make, but it is time-consuming since you need to prep and cook all the vegetables separately. The process below will tell you how to do just that.
4 cups of sticky (sushi) rice
1 bunch of fresh spinach
1 pound of ground beef
1 pound of bean sprouts
2 medium sized carrots
1 large cucumber
1 bunch of enokitake mushrooms
7-8 whole shitake mushrooms
6 teaspoons of sesame oil (for spinach and also for later)4 tablespoons of gochujang (for the end)
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (for bean sprouts and cucumber)
2 teaspoons of minced garlic (for ground beef)
2 teaspoons of sugar (for cucumber)
2 teaspoons of soy sauce (for ground beef)
1 teaspoon of vinegar (any kind, for cucumber)
4-5 eggs (for topping)
Salt to taste (for most of the dishes)
1. Spinach: Buy fresh spinach, as the frozen kind will not work for this dish. In a pot, boil 3 cups of water. While it is boiling, cut the end off and immerse into a large bowl filled with cold water. Then take each piece and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. There is a lot of sand, so be careful. Once the water has boiled, add spinach. After a minute, remove from heat and drain. Rinse with cold water. Squeeze out the excess water using both hands. Season with a hint of salt and a little bit of sesame oil. If you really want a measurement, use 1 teaspoon (happy?).
2. Ground beef: Thaw ground beef. Add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, along with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Put in the fridge, covered, for harmonious flavor mingling. After about 30 minutes, cook on frying pan until cooked through.
3. Bean sprouts: Bring a pot of water to a boil (let’s say another 3 cups of water). Rinse the bean sprouts under cold water. Remove steams and strange filmy things. When water boils, add bean sprouts. Cook covered for 5 minutes. Drain. Add a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Mix well.
4. Carrots: Peel and slice carrots into very thin strips. In a frying pan, coat with oil and cook until tender. Remove from heat.
5. Cucumbers: Slice in half circles horizontally. Season with 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, sugar, and vinegar.
6. Enokitake mushrooms: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut off the end with a knife. Separate each piece by hand. Rinse with water. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.
7. Shitake mushrooms:Slice into strips, about 5-6 pieces per mushroom. In a frying pan, coat with oil and cook until tender. You will see some water escaping from the mushrooms, which is normal.
8. Eggs: Fry eggs in a pan. Cook the white but leave the yolk runny. This will be so good when mixed with everything else.
9. Final step: Add about 2/3 of a cup of cooked sushi rice to a large bowl. Add a little bit of each ingredient on top.
10. Final final step: Add sesame oil. Then add egg on top. Start off with little bit of gochujang and mix well. Add more if you want it to be more spicy. I served this with a side of miso soup.
The cooking order is all over the place because I like to list ingredients in descending order. To make it easier, I suggest the following cooking order- have two pots going for the spinach and the bean sprouts and cook. Then, season the beef (set aside). Boil more water for enokitake mushrooms. Cut carrots and shitake mushrooms. Fry carrots, then shitake mushrooms (use the same pan). Then cook the beef, then the eggs as a final final step!
Have you ever made your own bibimbap?
Guest blog from ambitiousdeliciousness.