>> Tuesday, January 3, 2012

If you eat Korean food, then you've probably heard of bibimbap. If you watched last week's Top Chef episode, then may remember that Ed made bibimbap. Otherwise, you've probably never heard of this Korean rice dish that is loaded with bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated beef), cooked vegetables and topped with a fried egg. Yum!

The recipe as written takes quite a bit of prep and cook time, but if you plan ahead, you can use leftover vegetables and/or leftover bulgogi meat to save lots of time. This is a nutritious and delicious Asian dish that I just love. I'm a sucker for fried eggs so to me it was pure heaven mixing the runny yolk with the rice, meat and veggies. It's hard to even decide what my favorite part of this meal is - I love the spicy zucchini, the crunchy sweet carrots and the marinated beef is excellent. Oh and did I mention, there's a fried egg on top?!? While those things are my favorites, it turns out that Finley loves the mushrooms - she ate all of them! Andrew and I had to give her the ones of our plates too! And after all the really rich food, I've been eating for most of December, bibimbap is a wonderful change of pace.

recipe adapted from Food Network

Steamed white rice
Bulgogi, recipe follows
1 large carrot
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sherry
8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
3-4 cups baby spinach
1 zucchini, halved and cut into thin strips
1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (found in the Asian aisle of most supermarkets)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Soy sauce, to taste
Sriracha, to taste (the original recipe calls for Gochuchang paste but I didn't want to make an extra trip to the Korean market so I substituted the well-used Thai hot sauce)

Peel the carrot into thin strips with a vegetable peeler. Set carrot strips aside on a large plate.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil and mushrooms. Saute for a few minutes and then add sherry. Continue to cook until the mushrooms are softened and have released their juices. Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms to the plate with the carrot strips.

In the same pan, wilt the spinach in the mushroom liquid. Remove spinach to the plate with the mushrooms and carrots.

In a microwave safe dish, place zucchini slices and 1-2 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain carefully and toss zucchini with 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of garlic chili sauce. Remove zucchini to the plate of vegetables.

(I did all of the vegetable prep and cooking ahead of time. Just before serving, I microwaved the veggies for 30 seconds to take the chill off. The hot rice, meat and egg sufficiently heated the vegetables.)

In a saute pan, cook eggs over easy and set aside.

To assemble, place the cooked rice in bowls. Place bulgogi and vegetables on top of rice but placed separately so you can see each ingredient. Drizzle the meat juices over the dish. Place egg on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce.

When ready to eat, mix all ingredients together. Let each person season to taste with sriracha, sesame oil and soy sauce.

recipe adapted from Food Network

1 pound ribeye steak
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 pear, grated with juices
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 small onion, grated with juices
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (I used much less)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 12-oz can lemon-lime soda

Place ribeye in freezer for 30 minutes, or until it is partially frozen. Remove from freezer and thinly slice against the grain.

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ingredients in a large baking dish. Toss meat with marinade until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.

Heat grill (or indoor grill pan) to high. Remove beef from marinade and grill for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to compile Bibimbap.


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