Monday, June 27, 2011


Bibimbap (BEE-beem-bop) is a dish that I've made in the past, but I've never known to call it that. And, honestly, I didn't even know its origins until recently.

I've often made a rice and vegetable dish and topped it with a poached or fried egg. Through my research I've learned that this is a variation of Bibimbap, a Korean vegetable rice bowl. Although I don't follow a traditional way of cooking -- I have never used bean sprouts (yuck!), hot sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, or the traditional sizzling stone dish -- I think my version is good, and definitely good for you; imagine a ring of colorful vegetables surrounding whole grain rice and a farm fresh egg. It is the new food pyramid (or circle) realized on the family table. Plus it is the perfect recipe for "Meatless Mondays" with the eggs for protein.

The best thing about the dish, besides the fact that it is fun to say, is that it is customizable to every family member and you could use whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Here's my "Americanized" version of Bibimbap.

That Girl's Bibimbap

3 to 4 cups cooked rice (white rice is traditional, I like Black Japonica)
several garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
vegetable oil
2 zucchini, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
1 bunch spinach, washed and stems trimmed
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 or 2 eggs per person

While the rice is cooking prep the vegetables. Preheat oven to 200°.

Heat a nonstick saute pan over medium high heat, add a splash of oil (eyeball it, but don't overdo it!). When the oil is heated add the smashed garlic and cook until golden brown and the oil is infused. Remove the garlic from the pan and discard. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt; saute until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove spinach to a large serving plate that is large enough to hold all the sauteed vegetables and place in the warm oven.

Continue with each vegetable individually in the same manner, using a fresh smashed clove of garlic for each vegetable. (I don't use garlic with carrots, but that is an individual preference.) However, leave the scallions uncooked.

Fry or poach the eggs.

Place a serving of rice on the center of each plate and top with one or two eggs. Individuals can then choose what and how much vegetables to add around the rice. Traditionally the dish is thoroughly mixed before eating, but it is not necessary. Hot sauce (traditionally made from gochuchang) is a good addition, but again, based on taste.

Serves 3-4

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