So today I am making Bibimbap (비빔밥), Korean mixed rice with vegetables (and meat), one of my favourite comfort foods in the world, especially for cold and grey autumn days like today.
There are many variations of this dish, and as long as you have rice, eggs and some vegetables at home, you’ll always be able to conjure up a fabulastic meal.
It is also a great way to get the little ones to eat some veggies. My boy loves his bap, so I will share both the adult (spicy and mainly cooked ingredients) and the child recipe (mainly raw vegetables) with you.
It does take a bit of preparation time, depending on how many toppings you want, there are quite a few cooking steps involved. So, here goes:
Ingredients for 4 persons:
4 serving portions of steamed white rice
(most recipes suggest short-grain because that gives the best crust in the stone pot, I use Basmati, depends on your preference)
Vegetables, depending on the content of your fridge/pantry, e.g.:
1 white radish
Garlic, ginger, scallions (all minced)
Soy sauce (again, preferably dark, Japanese), sesame oil, rice vinegar, Teriyaki sauce
Optional: 250g lean beef
2 Tbsp Gochujang (red chilli paste)
Bibimbap is served in bowls or stone pots (dolsot bibimbap).
This dish can be served with meat, but also makes for a tasty vegetarian/vegan dish if you just skip the beef and/or egg.
Step 1: Cook the rice in a pot or rice cooker. Make sure you don’t add too much water, as the rice should not be too soggy. Place the dolsot into the oven and pre-heat.
Step 2: Pickle cucumber and radish. You could just chop/slice and add them raw, but I prefer pickling them, ideally a few hours in advance.
For this slice cucumber into very thin slices, mix with salt and leave for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water. Drain off excess liquid in a colander and gently squeeze cucumbers dry. Return to bowl.
Mix rice vinegar with sugar and chilli powder (or sweet pepper powder). Cover bowl and place in fridge.
Cut the radish into match sticks, mix with salt and leave in a bowl to absorb the salt. After 15 mins, rinse and pat dry with kitchen cloth. Add sugar, sesame oil, chilli powder and vinegar, cover and cool in fridge.
Step 3: Julienne beef and marinade in Teriyaki sauce. Add sesame seeds.
Later, preferably just before you want to serve, stir-fry quickly until just about done.
Step 4: Prepare/chop/ mince all the vegetables:
- Spinach: wash (or defrost) spinach, pat dry and stir-fry quickly with a bit of oil. Add minced garlic and deglaze with a bit of soy sauce. Set aside/keep warm
Carrots: peel and cut into match sticks. Sauté in a lightly oiled pan for 1 – 2 minutes over medium heat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, add salt to taste.
- mushrooms: cut into thin slices and stir-fry with oil and scallions.
Step 5: fry eggs sunny side up.
Put a serving of cooked rice in each dolsot, then add vegetables and meat if desired. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, scallions, ginger.
Add one fried egg and a dollop of red chilli paste to each and serve.
For the kids’ version I usually omit the less popular vegetables and stick with julienned carrots and cucumbers (add here any other veg your kid may like, raw or cooked).
Instead of the spicy chilli paste, my boy uses soy sauce or *shameface* ketchup.
It is definitely a family dish as everyone can add or leave out what they like or dislike, and on top of being scrumptilicious, it is alsoperfect for getting rid of leftovers.