It’s known that I’m a fan of all types of Asian food; we’ve posted several Asian recipes which are staples in my kitchen. This is a Korean recipe which I’ve wanted to share with my readers for a quite some time now- for several reasons- First, it’s just really good. Second, its Korean, and most people in Israel (I believe) have never been exposed to Korean food. Third, this dish reminds me of good times.
This dish brings me back to my college days. At 17, I left home for what would become the “best years of my life”. Throughout those years, I lived with the same five roommates, all from different cultural backgrounds, all from which I learned so much, food included. Jenny, the Korean representative, was the first to expose me to the tasty cuisine, and Casey, was the one who really solidified my love for it.
Bibimbop is Korean for “Mix it up”. It’s a rice and vegetable dish, where each vegetable is cooked separately. Topped with a fried egg and hot chili sauce- this is the perfect dish for vegetarians, but will also satisy even the carnivorous soul. You can pretty much use whichever vegetables you choose, or what’s available. It is traditionally topped with toasted sesame seeds and seaweed, but I like the more simple version below.
The vegetables can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated. Bring them to room temperature before serving. You can find the hot-pepper paste in specialty markets or in Asian markets.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1½ cups sushi rice
2 cups water
1 package, fresh spinach, thoroughly washed
1 package bean sprouts
2 large carrots, peeled and julienned
2 zucchinis, julienned
10-12 fresh shitake mushrooms (or dried), sliced
1 package shimeje mushrooms (optional)
Vegetable oil (for sautéing)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ teaspoons sesame oil
4 large eggs
Korean (Gochujang) or Thai (Siracha) hot-pepper paste
- Wash rice in several changes of water until water is almost clear, and then drain. Place washed rice and water (2 cups) in a medium size sauce and bring to a boil, uncovered. Once boiling, cover pan and lower heat and cook for 12-15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
- Cook the spinach in a large pot filled with boiling water for about 1 minute, until just wilted. Transfer spinach to a large bowl of ice water and then drain.
- In the same pot of boiling water, cook the bean sprouts for about 2-3 minutes, until just softened and then drain.
- Heat two teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet (or wok), on medium-high heat and add the carrots, ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon of ginger and ¼ teaspoon salt, stirring until carrots are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil and transfer to a small bowl. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel.
- Working with each vegetable separately, sauté the zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, and bean sprouts in the same manner as the carrots.
- Once all the vegetable are sautéed, crack the eggs into the skillet over medium heat and fry until the whites are cooked and the yolks begin to set (about 5-6 minutes).
- Divide the rice among 4 shallow bowls. Arrange the vegetables surrounding the rice and place one fried egg on top of each bowl. Serve with hot-pepper paste.