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Bibimbap

This is a popular Korean rice bowl dish usually made with short grain white rice and topped with an egg surrounded by colourful vegetables and meat or fish. Translated, Bibimbap means ‘mixed rice’. You could substitute the jasmine rice with short grain brown sushi rice to make the dish more nutritious. Slices of crispy marinated tofu are a great alternative to the egg. Use seasonal vegetables if you can and think about the colours to make this dish as attractive as possible.

Traditionally the bowl used for cooking and serving in is called a 'dolsot' made of granite which can be cooked directly on the stove and retains the heat.

Bibimbap

Serves 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp shoyu
  • 1 large carrot cut into thin matchstick strips (julienne)
  • 12 radishes (preferable long French ones) sliced thinly
  • ¼ cucumber, deseeded and cut into thin half moons
  • 125g bean sprouts
  • 100g fresh spinach
  • 100g broccoli small florets
  • 4-6 shiitake, oyster or chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 150g aubergine, quartered and sliced thinly

For the sauce:

  • 2 tbsp gochugang Korean chilli paste
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp water

To serve:

  • 300g jasmine rice
  • 500ml water
  • 4 free range eggs (preferably organic)
  • Salad cress or watercress to garnish
  • Black or white sesame seeds
  • Optional: Small bowl of kimchi

Method

  1. Wash the rice then place in a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until the water level is at the same as the rice. Turn the heat to low, cover with a lid and set the timer for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes is up, switch off the heat and without removing the lid, leave to steam for 10-15 minutes, by which time the rice will have absorbed all the water.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
  3. Mix the sesame oil and shoyu in a jug. Have all the vegetables prepared in advance and in separate small bowls.
  4. Blanch the carrots for 2-3 minutes till just tender. Drain with a slotted spoon, and place back in their bowl. Drizzle 1 tsp of the oil/ shoyu mix over.
  5. Blanch the remaining vegetables in the same way, except for the mushrooms and aubergines, drizzling each with the oil/shoyu mix.
  6. Heat 1 tbsp in toasted sesame oil (or sunflower oil) in a frying pan, and fry the mushrooms quickly till just taking on a little colour. Remove to a bowl.
  7. Add a little more oil to the pan, then fry the aubergine slices till golden brown on each side. Remove to a plate or bowl.
  8. Wipe the pan clean and fry the eggs. Remove to a plate as each one is cooked.
  9. To assemble the Bibimbap, spoon some rice into each bowl and spread in an even layer.
  10. Place a fried egg in the centre of each rice bowl.
  11. Arrange the vegetables in separate piles around the egg, placing as neatly and prettily as you can. Finally, garnish with a little cress, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and gochugaru chili flakes.
  12. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and serve alongside the Bibimbap or drizzled on top. Eat with a side of kimchi.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

For more hands on experience with kimchi and dishes like this one, check out our Far Eastern course selection!

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