For some time we had been enjoying Bibimbap when we found a Koran restaurant in our travels. Last month, Cooks Illustrated had an article about making this delicious Korean rice bowl dish at home so I decided to try it for dinner tonight. It was relatively easy to make. I think that I spent more time (and that was not a lot…) on the prep than on the actual cooking.
First I made a simple chile sauce. I mixed together the following: 1/4 cup of Sriracha sauce, 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of sugar. All three ingredients were whisked together and set aside until dinner was served.
While I prepped the vegetables, 2 cups of rice was cooking in the rice cooker. (Note: The recipe called for making 6 cups but I reduced the amount of rice since the meal was only for Paula and I.)
Before cutting up the vegetables, I made a sauce that was used to cook the vegetable. This sauce consisted of 3 minced garlic cloves, 3 minced scallions, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. After mixing up those ingredients and setting them aside, I prepared the vegetables. This consisted of 3 carrots that were shredded, 8 ounces of thinly sliced shitake mushrooms and 1 bag (6-10 ounces) of baby spinach.
In order to make the dish, start by heating up a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the carrots and 1/3 of the soy sauce-garlic-onion mixture that had been set aside earlier. Cook the carrots for about 2 minutes until the carrots are slightly softened and then remove them from the pot and set aside. Then add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot. After the oil is shimmering again, add the mushrooms and 1/3 of the same soy sauce-garlic-onion mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and softened. Remove the mushrooms from the pot and set aside. Finally, add yet another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pot. When it is hot, add the baby spinach and the rest of the soy sauce-garlic-onion mixture. Cook until the spinach wilts and set it aside.
To finish the dish, wipe out the pot with a paper towel. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and toasted sesame oil to the pot over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the rice to the pot and gently spread it out so that it covers the bottom. Then add the vegetables and make sure that they cover the rice.
This dish is usually served with eggs so while the rice is getting a crust in the pan, cook 1 or 2 eggs in a skillet (for about 2 minutes for them to have runny yolks, the traditional way that the dish is served…). Add the eggs to the Dutch oven, drizzle with the chile sauce and serve. This dish is usually served with kimchi. Most grocery stores carry this spicy fermented cabbage condiment and so you should be able to add it to the dish when it is served.
Paula and I really enjoyed our own bibimbap tonight. I would gladly make this again on another night. It was easy to make, very delicious and the cleanup wasn’t that hard either. All in all, a great meal!