Quick and Easy Bibimbap (Korean mixed rice bowl)
Yield: Makes 2 servings | Total time: 30 min
There are many variations of bibimbap, the national dish of Korea, but what I love most is the dolsot (hot bowl) version with its buried treasure of crunchy rice. My recipe is far from traditional; it's a lighter adaptation, which includes raw thinly sliced vegetables instead of cooked and seasoned. If you prefer, blanch *vegetables (spinach, Collard greens, carrots, etc.) briefly in boiling water, then lightly season with soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. You can serve this in regular individual bowls (see note at bottom), but I like it hot, so I use an enameled cast iron (2 1/2 to 3-quart Le Creuset) soup pot. The gochujang pepper paste is crucial to the deep, rich flavor. It should be available at most Asian markets and online. You could easily make this vegetarian by omitting beef and adding more vegetables.
8 ounces lean freshly ground beef
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup medium-grain rice (such as sushi or Calrose or brown), steamed (1 cup uncooked yields about 3 cups cooked)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
*Vegetable Combination (see note above), such as carrot, zucchini, cucumber, red or daikon radish, green onion, and spinach or bean sprouts
Other optional garnishes: Toasted and julienned nori or Korean seaweed; Cabbage or other kimchi; Toasted sesame seeds
Gochujang sauce, to taste. To make sauce, combine 5 tablespoons gochujang with 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 clove garlic, and a bit of hot water for a smooth consistency.
- Heat oven to 425° and place heavy-bottom (preferably enameled cast iron) pot in oven. Combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and pepper in a bowl. Stir in beef, using fork to break up meat, and let marinate at least 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium high heat. Carefully add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and butter. Add cooked rice to pot in a single layer. It should sizzle. Let cook 1 minute. (You want the bottom to get a nice golden layer without burning.) Cover and let cook another 30 seconds or so. Remove cover and place back in oven.
- Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high. Cook beef for about 5 minutes or until just cooked through; set aside.
- Remove rice from oven; top rice with beef, using a slotted spoon, reserving juice. (If you pour all the sauce over, the bottom layer will boil and lose its crunch.) Place vegetables, bean sprouts, nori, and kimchi, if desired, around meat.
- Fry eggs sunny side up and place on top. (If serving in hot bowl, eggs can also go in raw and will cook in the hot bowl as you toss everything together.) Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over. Add gochujang sauce and stir to combine. If there's any extra juice from cooking the meat, I like to stir it into the gochujang sauce. Keep pot on the table as the rice will continue to cook and toast; make sure to share the crunchy bottom layer.
*Note: If serving cold, line individual bowls with fresh lettuce leaves, top with rice, meat, vegetables, and 1 fried egg per person.
Date Published: January 30, 2013
All recipes have been tested by the KimSunée.com Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.