Bibimbap for Beginners
I know very little about Korean cuisine, in fact, I don’t know anything about Korean cuisine. I never stepped foot in any Korean establishment until about a year ago because this small town finally had a Korean restaurant open up. The menu was so foreign I had no idea what I was doing or what I was ordering. I don’t recall exactly what I ordered (their menu has changed since then and I ordered by the number) but I do remember enjoying it thoroughly and wanted more. So I researched recipes and came across this one for bibimbap. I titled it “for beginners” because I was most certainly a beginner to cooking anything Korean and it was super easy and came out great. If I can do it you can do it. It is full of sautéed veggies, fried eggs, beef, exotic never before tasted spicy sauce (for this guy’s palate) over a bed of rice is an amazing introduction to an unfamiliar realm of culinary delights. Never have I used this gochujang stuff before, but is absolutely crucial to the building of this dish. It is available on amazon (we bought it at our local asian market, but just as easy to purchase it online). But don’t be intimidated by these ingredients, for even though they seem strange, they are easy to work with and this dish is simple to arrange. I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t) and this bowl of flavor turned out superb, with rave reviews from my wife and daughter. It truly is bibimbap for beginners.
Ingredients: (serves 3-4)
For the Bibimbap Sauce:
2 Tbl. gochujang (find it here on amazon.com if you don’t have a local asian market)
1 Tbl. sesame oil
1 Tbl. sugar
2 tsp. water
1 Tbl. sesame seeds
1 tsp. vinegar (I used chinkiang vinegar, but rice vinegar would be good too)
1 tsp. garlic, minced
For the Meat and Sauce:
1/2 lb. ground beef, minced
1 Tbl. soy sauce (dark if you have it)
1 Tbl. sesame oil
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic, minced
For Everything else:
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
3-4 eggs depending on how many servings you are making
cooking oil (I prefer grapeseed oil, but any high heat oil is fine)
1 cucumber, julienned
1 red bell, sliced thin vertically
4oz shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and stems removed, sliced thin
1 heaping cup bean sprouts
Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
Put 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (we used jasmine) and 3 cups water into a pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and put a lid on it. Simmer for 15 minutes without removing the lid to check on it. After 15 minutes remove from heat and set aside. You can leave the lid on it if you would like to keep it nice and hot.
Mix the ingredients for the beef marinade in a bowl (minus the beef). After the marinade is combined you can mix in the minced meat and let it marinate for 30 minutes or so, or you can toss it all in a medium saucepan or wok and cook it up. After the beef is browned all the way through, remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Remove the excess fat the beef left in the pan. Return the pan or wok to the heat, over medium. Add about 1 Tbl. grapeseed oil. Add the bean sprouts and a little bit of sea salt to the pan. Sauté for a couple minutes, so the bean sprouts are no longer raw but still retain some crunch. Remove to a bowl.
Add 1 more Tbl. of grapeseed oil. Throw in the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for about a minute and remove to a bowl. Then do the same for the red bell peppers, cooking for about two minutes. The cucumbers do not need to be sautéed, just add them into the bowl at the end during assembly.
Next fry however many eggs you will be using. You can cook them to preference: over medium, over easy, sunny side up.
Everything is done and ready for assembly. You will assemble each portion individually. Portion out the rice into the bowls, followed by the meat, then all the different veggies, the bibimbap sauce, and top it off with the fried egg. Serve and let each person mix it up to their liking.
I found the recipe for the sauces and assembly at mykoreankitchen. However, I used a very different selection of veggies because I have a strange wife that doesn’t like a lot of “normal” veggies. She ended up really liking the selection that I assembled. Also on mykoreankitchens recipe it said it takes an hour and a half to make, it took me more like 30 minutes or so.