February 23, 2014

Chinese-Style Bibimbap

She was still not home after seven, and there was no call. The meat and vegetables were ready and waiting, so that I could cook them the minute she came in. Not that I had any great feast in mind: I would be stir frying thin slices of beef, onions, green peppers, and bean sprouts with a little salt, pepper, soy sauce, and a splash of beer--a recipe from my single days. The rice was done, the miso soup was warm, and the vegetables were all sliced and arranged in separate piles in a large dish, ready for the wok. Only Kumiko was missing.
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
I cherish the moment when I've finally finished slicing and dicing all my vegetables. It means that the hard part's over, and I'm that much closer to my reward: a hot, tasty meal.

I love Korean food. Especially because the older I get, the more spiciness I can tolerate. Bibimbap is a fun word to say. Be. Beam. Bop. But I digress.

I used to think that the whole dish was quite mysterious, so I never attempted to make it at home. But then I realized the secret to making it at home. Do yourself a favor and get thee to an H-Mart (or other Korean supermarket) to purchase a container of gochujang, the red fermented chili sauce that goes on this dish. Plus, Wikipedia even says it provides vitamins! Now that you hold the key to bibimbap, you can concentrate on customizing this dish to your liking.

I used Chinese broccoli stems because I adore their crunchiness (also great in fried rice), but you can use whatever vegetables you happen to be craving. Traditionally, this is served with a fried egg on top, but I opted for a perfectly hard boiled egg instead (see here for directions on how to make those). I also used slices of char siu because I happened to have some on hand, but I imagine this would also be delicious with beef or chicken. Serve with a nice helping of kimchi, which will echo the fermented flavor of the gochujang, and the crispiness of the Chinese broccoli stems.

Chinese-Style Bibimbap
Ingredients (makes enough for several servings)
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 squash, sliced into half moons
Stems from 1 bunch Chinese broccoli, sliced thinly
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 tbsp gochujang (more for serving)
Drizzle of sesame oil

Ingredients for assembly of one serving
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
a few slices of cooked protein (such as char siu, chicken, flank steak, baked tofu)
1 soft-boiled egg

Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Drizzle oil into the pan and add the onion, garlic, squash, Chinese broccoli stems and gochujang and saute until the squash and onion are softened but the broccoli stems are still slightly crisp (about 15 minutes). Add a drizzle of sesame oil and turn off the heat.

Arrange your cooked rice into a bowl along with the meat/tofu, egg and about a cup of the vegetables. Add more gochujang as needed, if you'd like the flavor to be spicier. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Minh Le said...

Omg, that egg. Beautiful.