I’ve been on a bit of a Korean kick lately. One of my favourite dishes at our local Korean restaurant is Bibimbap. The word literally means “mixed meal” – a mixture of meat, rice and vegetables with a bit of spicy Gochuchang Paste, served in a hot bowl and usually topped with an egg. To eat, simply mix everything together to blend all the flavours.
The recipe I use when I make it at home is based on a Food Network recipe, that I have adapted to my taste.
This is a favourite weekend recipe, when I have time in the mid-day to start the meat marinating. Note that authentic Bibimbap is serve with a raw egg on top that, when stirred in with the hot rice in a hot bowl, cooks. Since I don’t have stone bowls and my rice and veggies aren’t piping hot, I prefer to cook the egg slightly before adding it to the dish.
If you’re a purist, just break an egg on top of hot vegetables and rice and stir in..
Summary: This is a classic Korean dish. Use whatever vegetables you like and enjoy.
- Steamed white rice
- For the Bulgogi
- 1 pound rib-eye or sirloin steak
- 1 small bottle lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-Up)
- For the Bulgogi Marinade:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 pear (Korean or Asian pear, if you can get one), grated with juices
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 small white onion, grated or sliced
- 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. ground red (cayenne) pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- For vegetables:
- 1-2 carrot, julienned
- 1 zucchini, julienned
- Bean sprouts, sauteed in a little sesame oil or peanut oil and seasoned with salt
- Spinach, sauteed in a little sesame or peanut oil and seasoned with salt
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and sauteed in peanut oil and seasoned with salt
- 1 egg per bowl, cooked sunny side up (looks nicer) or over easy
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
- Soy sauce, to taste
- For Gochuchang Paste:
- 4 Tbsp. gochuchang (a red pepper paste, available at Korean grocers. There isn’t a great substitute for this, but a bit of chilli paste would be the closest. Something with some red, peppery heat.)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- Place steak in the freezer for about 30 minutes so that it is easier to thinly slice. When partially frozen, remove from freezer and thinly slice (really thin, like matchstick thin). Place in a bowl and cover with lemon-lime soda. (*No, this probably isn’t “authentic” but it makes a great and easy meat tenderizer). Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
- Remove meat from refrigerator. Drain off liquid from meat. Add the Bulgogi Marinade ingredients above to the bowl with the meat. Mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more.
- Prepare Gochuchang Paste by combining the ingredients listed above and set aside.
- To cook meat, add meat and marinade liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Meanwhile, start white rice cooking.
- Slice vegetables, keeping each vegetable separate. Saute each vegetable separately in a hot skillet until tender-crisp. Remove each to a plate, again, keeping each vegetable separate. Finally, cook one egg per bowl.
- To assemble, put cooked rice in a large, shallow bowl. Place bulgogi (with juices from cooked meat) and veggies on top of rice but place separately so you can see each ingredient beautifully placed on rice. Put a spoonful of Gochuchang Paste along one side. Put egg on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce.
- When ready to eat, mix all ingredients together with some gochuchang paste, to taste. The bibimpap should be moist and not dry. Add more sesame oil and gochuchang paste, to taste.
Number of servings (yield): 4