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Mixing Rice

March 31, 2012

That over yonder is what Westerners like to poke fun at when vacationing in Korea.  Everywhere you look there are hilariously nonsensical phrases that are squished together.  Whether it be a jab at being comical and making fun of themselves or what, it appears that lots of Korean companies enlist the help of “Engrish” to sell their merchandise.  I returned from my last visit with armfuls of cute Strawberry scented Stationary–all of which read “to the loving most that we can spend time, you and me.  loving so!”  Our first Korean “Mega-Market” just opened up down the street and needless to say, I was pretty stoked.  On a banner, prominently displayed in the center of their store, it reads: “Bringing to you the Fresh of Seafood, knowing always, the best!”  lol, but on a serious note, I will literally have a party the day when I can go to one single Market to buy my International and American Groceries.  I’ve noticed more and more the international aisle expanding everyday in my regular Marketplace, but the day that I can purchase my various Korean Pastes and schmancy Cheeses will be the day!!

There I go rambling again, lol.  I bring up Engrish because a). I find it endearing, not an ounce of me is referring to it in an insulting or malicious manner.  As I always like to say…”A+ for effort!!” and b). Mixing Rice is exactly what I’m sharing with you today.  CNN reported that it’s among the 50 of the most delicious foods in the World–the World, people…pay attention!  =D

In my humble opinion, I find it to be a visual stunner.  She’s a gorgeous thing with all sorts of colorful veggies stacked up neatly in a circle on her bed of hot, fluffy rice.  She even has a sunny, Yellow Hat!  One of the most beautiful aspects of this dish is that every ingredient has something different to bring to the table (literally).  For example, there’s the Fern Brake that’s chewy and tender, you get satisfying crunch from the Sprouts, gooey richness from the Yolk, a gentle smokiness all around from the Sesame Oil and etc, which brings me to the point that you can really make Bibimbap with whatever you have, like, or is one sale. (Really, I could go on and on but I doubt anyone wants to read an abridged book version of my love for Korean food). 

It’s best served in Dolsot Bibimbap form.  (The same dish but served in a very cool (hot, lol) Stone Pot).  I’m very, very sad to say that I do not own one.  It’s fantastic because it serves your entire meal piping hot and it develops a delicious, blistered rice crust on the bottom that you can later swirl around with hot water to drink and cleanse your palette with.

With Bibimbap, you can serve it any which way you’d like.

Here are some other options:
Zucchini, Tofu, Chicken/Fish/Pork, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Romaine Lettuce (Mom is particularly fond of crunchy, refreshing pieces of Romaine running through her bowl, it definitely provides a nice burst of cracklin’ freshness)!, Squid Jerky, Daikon, Carrots, Burdock or Bellflower Root, Broccolini, Baby Bok Choy, insert here ____ <<- go wild and crazy.

If you don’t like the idea of all the Sesame Oil, sub with Olive Oil or whatever Fat replacement you’ve got goin’ on.  I don’t feel it tastes the same, but do your thang!!

Here is me and Mom’s Bibimbap!

  • 1 sunny side Egg
  • 1 c blanched Soy Bean Sprouts
  • 1 c blanched Spinach 
  • 1 c Kimchi + 1/2 tb Butter + 1-2 slices of Bacon
  • 5-7 Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 1 c cooked Fern Brake (Gosari)
  • 1 c julienned Mu (Korean Radish)
  • 1 c Bulgogi *recipe below
  • 1 c crumbled roasted Seaweed
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seed
  • Green Onions
  • Garlic
  • S & P to taste
  • Red Pepper Paste *recipe below

Spinach & Soy Bean Sprouts

  1. Blanch both in hot water until the Sprouts are tender.  Extract the Spinach immediately after it’s wilted (do not over cook)!  Plunge into ice cold water pronto and squeeze out any excess moisture.
  2. This will apply to both: drizzle in about 1/2 tb Sesame Oil, 2 ts Sesame Seeds, 1 1/2 ts minced Garlic, 2 ts chopped Green Onion and S & P to taste

Kimchi

  1. Fry the Bacon until it gets nice and juicy, throw in the Kimchi with the Butter and cook until the Kimchi has softened.

Mushrooms, Fern Brake, Mu

  1. Glaze the pan in between each with Sesame Oil (about 1/2 tb- 1 tb or so), stir fry each with 1 ts Soy Sauce, 2 ts Garlic, 2 ts Sesame Seed, and 2 ts Green Onion.  S & P to taste.

 Bulgogi (you can also use hamburger meat instead)

  1. Submerge your 1 c of Beef (thinly sliced, it’s easier to slice it paper thin if you pop it in the Freezer for a bit) into this marinade:
    • 1/4 c Soy Sauce
    • 1 tb Sesame Oil
    • 2 tb Brown Sugar
    • 2 tb Honey
    • 2 tb of Asian Pear or Coke
    • 2 ts Garlic
    • 1/2 ts Ginger
    • 2 ts Sesame Seed
    • 1 stalk Green Onion
    • Liberal amount of fresh Pepper

Pepper Paste “Sauce”

  1. Combine 4 tb Pepper Paste (Gochujang) + 1 1/2 tb Sesame Oil + 2 ts Sesame Seed + 1 ts Sugar
  2. Mix well and drizzle over your dish.

To Assemble:

  1. In the center of your bowl, lay a bed of Rice.
  2. Arrange your Veggies and Meat on top of your rice.
  3. Top with your Egg
  4. Sprinkle with Sesame Seed or Green Onions
  5. Drizzle with Pepper Paste “Sauce”
  6. Mix together thoroughly and enjoy.
    • (This goes very well with a clear Soup).

 Serves 2

About to rush downstairs to have another bowl…
Your Squishy Monster =D

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