Tastiest Korean dish
Fiddly bibim bap worth it, full of a range of textures and flavours
THERE was a bit of debate in the office about which Korean dish is the best.
My colleague Brandon reckons bulgogi – tender marinated meat wrapped in lettuce – is number one, followed by any Korean barbecue.
But I reckon this dish is where it’s at because of the range of textures and flavours.
The only down side is that it’s a little bit fiddly but very much worth it.
Bibim means mixing and bap means rice. And that’s exactly what it is. A beautiful range of vegetables (you can certainly change what I have used), meat (or replace with another vegetable for vegetarians) and rice, all mixed together.
But before the mixing takes place, it is presented up in a colour wheel style with each little morsel cooked separately, really giving credence to the adage that we eat with our eyes not just our mouths.
Really cut those strips of meat as finely as you can so they are tender.
It’s such a simple and tasty marinade you’ll soon find yourself looking for other dishes to sneak the beef into.
The quail egg is not essential but I like how cute the little yolks look. You can use chicken eggs instead.
Something tells me that if Brandon tasted this bibim bap it would soon become his favourite Korean dish.
1 carrot, julienned
1 small zucchini, julienned
2 baby radish, julienned
1 cup bean sprouts
2 cups short grain rice
¼ cup dried seaweed, cut into small thin strips
1⁄3 cup dried shitake mushrooms
1 tbs sugar
4 cloves garlic
150g beef, cut into very thin strips
1 green onion, sliced
1⁄3 cup soy sauce
4 quail eggs Chilli paste Sesame seeds Sesame oil Salt and pepper
Soak mushrooms in bowl of water for a couple of hours. Combine soy sauce, 1 tbs sesame oil, sugar, green onions, 1 clove of garlic and beef in a bowl. Marinate for about an hour. Cook rice as per pack instructions. Meanwhile in a hot pan, fry beef until browned (it should only take a minute) and set aside. Fry carrot and 1 clove of garlic in a small amount of sesame oil for about a minute. Repeat with radish and zucchini. Set aside in separate batches. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bring small saucepan of water to boil and blanch bean sprouts for about a minute. Strain, add salt and a dash of sesame oil. Squeeze water out of mushrooms, slice into thin strips, and season with pinch of salt. Lightly coat each bowl with sesame oil and spoon in ¼ of the rice. Divide each type of vegetable into four and place in bowls. Do the same with the meat. Crack egg over the middle. Sprinkle sesame seeds over it. Place the bowls on stove over high heat and cook for a few minutes, until the rice has formed a light crust. Finally, top with chilli paste and seaweed. Serve. Using chopsticks mix the ingredients well.
Chef's tip Quail eggs can be substituted for small chicken eggs.