Friday, January 13, 2006

Vegetable Bibimbap (Korean Food)

When we lived in Japan, we used to go to this awesome Korean restaurant on special occasions. It was so freaking good and had this thing called Bibimbap. I've gotten it a few times at other Korean restaurants, too. Someone posted their recipe for a vegetarian version on GBSFood awhile ago and I wrote it down to try it. This week I was craving it so I went ahead and made a big bowl for myself.

Here is the recipe. It is very, very versatile. You can pretty much saute any leftover vegetable and stir it with some sesame oil to get the same effect. I used the ones listed, but you could easily include things like bell peppers, tofu, onions, etc. You could also make some korean beef and add that, too.

Photo Added 1/19/08:

Vegetable Bibimbap
Cooked rice. (I used the boil-in-bag instant rice and it was perfect)
Bean Sprouts.
1 egg
Garlic (chopped or crushed)
Vegetable oil
Sesame Oil
Red Chili paste/Sriracha Sauce. See note at end.

Directions, as written by the original poster:
First prepare your veggies. For carrots and other veggies cut them julienne style - really really thin.

First comes the spinach. On a hot skillet/pan poor some veggie oil. Heat to medium high. Throw your spinach in there with some garlic. Toss about. You are looking to WILT the spinach leaves, not cook it. When the spinach leaves have wilted, remove from heat (Lauren's Note: This takes about 5-7 minutes). Put in a bowl. Pour a little bit of sesame seed oil in and toss to coat. Let this sit for a while.

Next the rest of the veggies. Throw in your veggies, lets say carrots. Sautee until they are limp but don't over cook it! Season with salt/pepper as you please. Remove from heat, let it sit in its own plate. Move onto the next vegetable until they're all cooked.

Next fry the egg. You can do any style you want except scrambled. Sunny side up is prefered.

Put your steamed rice into a big bowl. If you go small, you will regret it. On top of the rice put the vegetables (Lauren's Note: Put each vegetable into its own separate section, for the traditional presentation of it). On top of it all put the egg. Drizzle some sesame seed oil on top to finish.

Serve with the chili paste on the side. Scoop in as much chili paste as you can handle and with your spoon mix the whole thing until everything is a delicious red color. It is important to break up the egg and make sure that everything gets distributed evenly.
Time to eat!

If you are interested in a more in-depth look at bibimbap, or want to see some pictures, here is the wikipedia page. You can also do a google image search to see pictures like this one (not mine). It looks better in real life though, I swear.

Sriracha Sauce
Sriracha sauce is, according to the Huy Fong website, "made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with garlic and packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle." Here is an example of the bottle:
Basically it's a really, really spicy chili sauce. You only need a little bit, but we like to use a lot. It's pretty inexpensive, maybe $3 or $4 for a bottle. Everyone needs this in their kitchen!

To go with my bibimbap, I also made some sunomono. Sunomono is flavored, almost pickled, cucumbers. Sometimes they serve it at Japanese or Korean restaurants before the meal. I like it, so I thought it would be a good, cheap addition to the meal. Here is the recipe I used, from Cooking Light:

Sesame Cucumber Salad
1 3/4 cups (2-inch) julienne-cut English cucumber (about 1 large)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup red bell pepper strips
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place cucumber in a colander; sprinkle with salt. Toss well. Drain for 20 minutes. Combine cucumber and bell pepper in a medium bowl.

Combine vinegar, ginger, and oil, stirring with a whisk. Pour over cucumber mixture; toss gently to coat. Stir in crushed red pepper and black pepper.

I hope everyone has learned a lot today about delicious Korean foods.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been reading all about this for years now and every time I see it I think "I want to try that." I never do.

Maybe one day soon I will cook it.