Bibimbap (Mixed Rice)
Bibimbap is one of the most popular dishes in Korean food, it seems. Koreans and new-to-Korean-food people all like it. It means "mixed rice" and there are many varieties -- dolsot bibimbap (hot stone bibimbap), busuht bibimbap (mushroom bibimbap), kimchi al dolsot bibimbap (kimchi and fish egg), and so on. It is a very easy dish to make if you happen to have the banchan (vegetable side dishes) on hand ... in some ways, it is a dish designed to be made with leftovers, kind of like Thanksgiving leftover plate.
If you don't have the side dishes on hand, it is a little bit more work, but not that hard. You can also use the opportunity to make a lot of side dishes -- some of which you use for bibimbap, the rest which you can save and eat with rice for other meals (as my recipe allows for below). My version is "deluxe" -- I use carrots, white radish, spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts and fernbrake. You don't have to use all if you don't want to ... any 3-4 is fine. You can also use different vegetables like zucchini, oyster mushrooms, etc.
- 4 cups of cooked white rice
- 4 large eggs, fried, sunny side up
- 4 tbsp of cooked bulgogi meat, cut small -- if you don't have bulgogi, saute some ground beef with soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil.
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- (1) Sigumchi Namul (Spinach)
- 2 bunches of fresh spinach (approx. 1 l/2 lb)
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1 stalk of green onion
- 2 clear soy sauce (guk ganjang 국간장) - substitute: regular soy sauce
- l/2 tsp of sesame oil
- pinch of ground sesame seeds (kaesogum 깨소금)
- dash of salt
- (2) Kongnamul Muchim (Bean Sprouts)
- 1 lb bean sprouts (kongnamul 콩나물)
- 3 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 stalk green onion, chopped
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- l tsp of ground sesame seed (kaesogum 깨소금) for garnish
- (3) Gosari Namul (Fernbrake)
- 4 oz dried fernbrake / bracken fiddleheads (or fresh, though this is hard to get) -- gosari 고사리
- l/2 medium size yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tsp ground garlic
- 2 stalks green onion
- 2 tbsp soy sauce (ganjang 간장)
- 2 tbsp olive oil or any vegetable oil
- 2 tsp anchovy powder (myulchi garu 멸치 가루)
- 2 tsp sesame seed powder (kaesogum 깨소금)
- salt and black pepper to taste
- (4) Muchae Namul (Radish)
- 1 medium sized Korean radish (moo 무), approximately 2 lb
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- l/2 tbsp hot pepper powder (gochugaru 고추가루)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- l/2 tsp salt
- (5) Carrots
- 1 carrot
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- (6) Shiitake Mushrooms
- 6 shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- glug sesame oil
- dash black pepper
- Bibimbap Gochujang (Hot Sauce)
- 1 1/2 cup hot pepper paste
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp brown sugar, or honey
- Cook the rice. While you are waiting...
- Prepare the spinach: wash spinach carefully, removing old leaves. Separate the leaves from the bunch -- you can leave some of the red roots on, they're tasty. Blanch the spinach quickly then drain. Squeeze out the excess water holding one handful of spinach at a time. Put spinach in a medium bowl, adding soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and green onions to the prepared spinach. Sprinkle a dash of salt to taste and garnish with sesame seed powder. You can also add 1-2 tbsp of hot pepper powder (gochugaru 고추가루), and a dash of sugar to taste. Set aside.
- Prepare the bean sprouts: wash bean sprouts carefully taking skins and cutting off tail ends (optional). Put in a pot with of l/4 cup of water, sprinkle about l tsp of salt. Cover and let boil 2 min max (do not open the lid while steaming). Let it cool for a few minutes, drain then add to a bowl. While still warm, toss with green onion, garlic, salt (l tsp), sesame oil and sesame seeds. Set aside.
- Prepare the fernbrake: Clean dry fernbrake (gosari) and soak it in a bucket of warm water for an hour or so or overnight if you are not in a hurry. Rinse well. Cover with water and bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes -- when it gets tender (but not mushy) drain and wash several times until you get clear water. Cut gosari into about 2-3" lengths and squeeze the excess water out. Saute diced yellow onions for a few minutes, then adding soy sauce, fernbrake, anchovy powder and black pepper, then finally green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with sesame powder. Set aside.
- Prepare the white radish: Wash and peel the white radish. Thinly slice, matchstick style. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar. Mix well, then sprinkle thoroughly on the shredded radish. Set aside for 2-3 hours, mixing it from time to time. Add hot pepper powder (gochugaru 고추가루) to the radish mixture, mixing well. Cook the minced garlic in the microwave for about 20 seconds, then cool it and add to the radish mixture. Set aside.
- Prepare the carrots: Thinly slice carrots, matchstick style. Sprinkle with a little vinegar. Saute with sesame oil for a few minutes, sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.
- Prepare the mushrooms: Thinly slice shiitake mushroom caps into strips. Saute with sesame oil until tender, sprinkle soy sauce and sugar, and a dash of black pepper. Set aside.
- Assemble the bibimbap: in a large bowl, put 1 cup of cooked rice, arrange 2-3 tbsps of each vegetable in sections on the top, and put a fried egg over all of it. Garnish with sesame seeds and dried seaweed strips (optional).
- Serve with the bibimbap gochujang (hot pepper sauce for bibimbap), and also put a bottle of sesame oil out, so individuals can add to their own tastes. Mix well and enjoy! (Note: you can serve this with a small bowl of lighter tasting soup on the side, such as sagolguk or kongnamulguk -- because they are light, they set off the bibimbap well since it can be spicy after adding the sauce.
Serving Size: 4
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Preparation Time: 1 hours, 15 minutes