Tasti­est Korean dish

Fid­dly bibim bap worth it, full of a range of tex­tures and flavours

Isis Town and Country - - Life - Shan­non Newley shan­non.newley@south­bur­nett­times.com.au

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.

Bibim Bap

Serves 4

In­gre­di­ents

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

Method

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.

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