Many of you are probably clueless as far as bibimbap goes. How to pronounce it, let alone having actually tried it. Be courageous and bold because once formal introductions have been exchanged between you and bibimbap, your taste buds will explode and you’ll literally crave it at least once a week.
Bibimbap is not only stunningly beautiful to behold but it’s one of the quintessential fares in Korean cuisine. It’s a ubiquitous staple at almost every Korean household, making good use of any leftovers and it’s become a happening and elevated offering at most Korean/Fusion restaurants.
The many versions of bibimbap are mind-boggling, because you can literally slap the kitchen sink on top or whatever you have on hand. There’s a cornucopia of veggies to keep it healthy, so it’s a veritable heaven for vegetarians. But, hold up buckaroo. This version is piled high with Bulgogi beef and you can change it up with, chicken, pork, tofu or fish. And with the healthy dose of Gochujang (Korean chili paste) which you add as you go along, it’s ideal for fiery food advocates.
It’s typically offered with with a fried egg or raw egg yolk on top to bring it all together and of course, a pickled element such as kimchi, or pickled cucumbers to catapult the definition of umami over the rooftops.
Bibimbap is a mélange of participants piled on top of a bowl of steaming white or brown rice, where architectural precision creates the eye-catching beauty of the dish, due to its vibrant colors. It can also be a haphazard, messy combo of ingredients slapped on top. Whatever the arrangement, bibimbap is something that even if you aren’t the adventurous type, I bet my bottom dollar you’ll be in love not only at first sight but at first bite.
Most Korean households or restaurants will have left over Bulgogi meat and that’s what typically is used. However, you can get a good steak and marinate to obtain pretty much the same results.
1 large sirloin steak – fat trimmed
1 TSP sesame oil
2 TBSP Tamari
1 TBSP garlic/ginger paste
1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
Thinly sliced nori – Japanese seaweed
1 cup of bean sprouts
Gochujang paste – to serve alongside
1 cup of carrots – chopped into matchsticks
Slices of English pickled cucumber
1 egg yolk or a whole fried egg with the yolk left runny
1 bag of baby spinach – washed
1 lb of shiitake mushrooms – sliced
½ lb of snow peas
1 cup of chopped Kimchi
Black toasted sesame seeds
Prepare some steamed rice of you choice – I use Basmati or Jasmin.
Slice the steak thinly into strips, going against the grain of the meat. In a medium bowl mix the ingredients and marinate for about 30 minutes.
Heat up a wok or a deep-frying pan. Add some sunflower oil with a few drops of sesame oil. Add the spinach and sauté for 1 minute till slightly wilted. Do the same with the other veggies, sautéing each separately (cook the carrots for about 2 minutes and the mushrooms for about 2-3 minutes so their water evaporates) and seasoning with a few dashes of Tamari or soy sauce as you go along with each veggie. What you want to achieve is to remove the raw flavor of the veggies. Place the cooked veggies into individual bowls for assembling the bibimbap later.
Pickle the cucumber slices with 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, ½ TSP salt and ½ TSP sugar, allowing them to pickle at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour.
In the same wok, heat up some oil and sauté the sirloin for about 3-5 minutes, for medium- rare.
Fry the eggs.
Place some rice in the bottom of a bowl. Arrange the ingredients around on top of the rice, topping with the eggs and sprinkle sesame seeds. Serve the gochujang paste alongside and additional soy sauce.