Cooking with DIY Grrrl: Korean Edition

It seems like every year, I discover a different culture’s amazing food. In 2010, it was Indian. Last year, I got really into Thai. So this year, I’ve decided, will be the year of Korea.

Boyfriend loves Korean food and he’s always talking about how we should eat it. Unfortunately for him, the smell of kimchi makes me want to hurl. So I decided, why be subjected to the smell of pickled cabbage in shrimp paste, when we could be eating these supposedly delectable dishes in our own house? Hence, tonight’s dinner: Bibimbap. (Pronounced bee-bim-bop.) Original recipe here. Our modified recipe follows.

One of the ingredients in this recipe is “Korean red pepper paste” but I couldn’t find that at the Asian market. So we used Sambal Oelek (a staple in our pad.) I’m not sure how this affected the taste. Also, we assembled everything on individual platters, which Boyfriend tells me is “more authentic.”

Here are all the ingredients:

And here is the finished product:

If I were to make this again, I think I would use less sesame oil. The recipe called for a lot and it did seem quite oily in the end. Other than that, it tasted really good. Maybe I can venture into a Korean restaurant now.


The Toppings:
(Use 1 cup of each of the vegetable toppings for the rice.)

Seasoned Bean Sprouts

1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
12 oz soybean sprouts
4 tablespoons minced green onion
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1. In a medium-size saucepan, with a lid, combine the water, salt and soybean sprouts. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover with a lid, and steam the sprouts for 5 minutes.
2. Strain the sprouts and transfer to a mixing bowl.
3.  Mix the sprouts with the green onion, toasted sesame seeds and sesame oil.

Seasoned Carrot Salad

4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchstick strips
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1.  In a medium size skillet heat the sesame oil on medium heat. Add the carrots and salt.
2. Stir-fry the carrots for 2 minutes.

Spicy Cucumber Salad

4 Armenian or mini cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber, sliced in 1/4 – inch rounds
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 tablespoons Tangy Red Pepper Dressing
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1. In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers and salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the liquid from the cucumbers. Transfer to a serving bowl.
2. Combine the Tangy Red Pepper Dressing and cucumbers. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

Seasoned Spinach Salad

1 pound (500 g) spinach, rinsed carefully
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute.
2.  Strain the spinach into a colander and rinse with cold water. Take one handful of spinach at a time, and squeeze the water from the spinach. Lay the spinach on a cutting board and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces.
3.  Transfer the spinach to a bowl and add the sesame seeds, sesame oil, and salt. Mix well.

Seasoned Beef

2 oz rib eye cut into strips (or ground beef)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar

1. In a small bowl, mix together the beef, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
2. Heat a small skillet and stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Set aside.

3 cups cooked white rice
2 tablespoons sesame oil plus extra for drizzling
1 fried egg, sunny-side up
3 tablespoons Tangy Red Pepper Dressing

Tangy Red Pepper Dressing

2 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (also called Kochujang)
1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon apple juice or water
2 teaspoons sesame oil

1. In a medium bowl whisk the ingredients together

To Assemble

1. Have the seasoned salads and beef prepared in individual bowls.
2. Place a cast iron skillet or pot on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil.
Heat the oil for 1 minute. Add the rice and spread it around the bottom of the pot to form an even layer. Cook the rice for several minutes or until the rice begins to brown on the bottom. You will hear the rice sizzle.
3. Scoop the rice onto plates or bowls. (In a restaurant, this would be served in stoneware bowls so the ingredients continue to cook and are piping hot.)
4. Pile the veggies on top and add the egg.
5. Mix everything together and drizzle with Tangy Red Pepper Dressing and Sriracha sauce, to taste.

And after all that, kimchi somehow made it into my fridge anyway. 😦


One thought on “Cooking with DIY Grrrl: Korean Edition

  1. pixygypsy says:

    I don’t know why I love kimchi so much, but I really really do!

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