Korea in a Hot Stone Bowl: Bibimbap

21 Jun

DSC05627

Working next to a Korean restaurant for most of the workweek, I have – for the past 8 months or so – been under the constant assault of fantastically pungent aromas courtesy of K-PeppersMy familiarity with Korean cuisine sorely lacking, one dish that always caught my eye – and tongue – is bibimbap.  Translated as “mixed rice”, bibimbap is an extremely simple and insanely popular dish throughout Korea.  Ingredients vary widely from region to region, as does preparation and serving.  By far the most interesting variation of the dish is dolsot (“stone pot”) bibimbap, which is served in a crackling hot stone bowl the acts to crisp the bottom of the rice and cook the egg right at your table.  It’s the Korean take on fajitas, really.  And who doesn’t love fajitas?  That sizzle!  How fun!

After diving in and making bibimbap for the first time at home, I felt compelled to finally head next door and see the authentic dish, prepared by some serious Korean chefs, Eric and Rachel Kim. How it took me 8 months to finally make there last weekend is a crime. 

KPeppers Bibimbap

Quite a spread, eh?  One of the coolest parts of the Korean meal are all of the banchan or small side dishes that come with the meal ranging from pungent kimchi to fried carrot pancakes and coleslaw.  The sizzling bowl was more than just a gimmick, creating a delicious crisp rice crust on the bottom and cooking the runny egg yolk just enough to make for a creamier mixed rice.  My first tango with fern brake and bellflower root was certainly a memorable one.  Don’t call me LeVar Burton and don’t take my word for it.  Go to K-Peppers and see for yourself.  Then go home and make it for yourself.  This is simple comfort food at its best and it is endlessly customizable to whatever you feel like or happen to have on hand.  It has a fried egg on it, people.  Enough said.

Bibimbap

Ingredient Rundown:

  • A variety of vegetables (my version, pictured above and absolutely by no means traditional contained spinach, bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.  More traditional ingredients include daikon, bellflower root, eggplant, zucchini and braken fern stems.  Shockingly I didn’t have most of those on-hand.)
  • 1 egg per serving
  • 1 cup of prepared rice per serving
  • Venison, beef, chicken, tuna or any other protein of your choice
  • hot sauce to taste (I made a paste of Sriracha, sesame oil and Szechwan chili sauce
  • sesame oil and minced garlic for sautéing vegetables and protein
  • salt to taste

DSC05621

How I do it:

  1. Sauté vegetables, seperately, in minced garlic, salt and sesame oil until cooked through. (I left the cabbage raw).  Set aside.
  2. Cook enough rice (I used white jasmine) for 1 cup per serving.
  3. Sauté protein in sesame oil (in my case, venison steak, marinated in rice wine, rice vinegar, ginger, and some leftover La Folie). Slice thin or into small pieces.
  4. Lightly fry an egg, sunny side up.
  5. To assemble, place rice in the bottom of a large, heated bowl and arrange the vegetables and protein in an interesting way.  Top with the fried egg and hot sauce to taste. 
  6. To eat, break the runny yolk and mix everything together.  It’s called mixed rice, so that’s what you do.  Pretty simple.  And delicious. 

Check out this post and plenty of other savory food-related nuggets over at Forkful of News!

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Korea in a Hot Stone Bowl: Bibimbap”

  1. Kate June 22, 2010 at 11:29 PM #

    With more than one Korean in the family, I’ll have to give this a try (both restaurant and recipe). Oh, and thanks for the coveted listing in the blogroll — back atya.

  2. 43north89west June 22, 2010 at 11:40 PM #

    It’s more time intensive (prepping veggies, individually sauteing) than technical, and essentially a stir-fry, with the stirring left to the diner’s discretion.

    You’re always welcome in my blogroll. If it wouldn’t take me the better part of a month to finish an entire pie, I might take the plunge on one of your delectable creations.

    • Kate June 23, 2010 at 1:15 AM #

      Haha, same here. Fortunately, I’ve found no shortage volunteer tasters. I’m doing some savory pies later this summer for dessert-challenged persons like my sister and yourself. And feel free to let me know if you’d like of slice of some week’s selection, I’d love the feedback from a knowledgeable foodie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: