If we say Korean food, the first thing that comes right to our mind is the famous kimchi, a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables usually napa cabbage seasoned with a variety of spices. As the Korean cuisine mainly centered, organic, lots of greens and brightly colored vegetables play an important role in the Korean diet that is why it influenced the globe and Korean restaurants are a flourishing success and accepted by many food enthusiasts.
Rover loves every piece of bowl prepared in a Korean set–up. I am a foodie but not a pro chef when it comes to it though because of the influences of Korea, I’ve learned to love and at least be a worthy cook of the internationally known cuisine that I often see and feature on mass media.
Some of the popular Korean food that I am good at preparing are rice cakes (songpyeon), kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap), kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae), ramyeon with pork dumplings (mandu), pan–fried or grilled beef and pork belly (bulgogi and samgyeopal), sweet and crispy chicken (dakkangjung), as well as egg side dishes such gyeranmalye and gyeranjjim.
On our first “Flavors of Korea” feature recipe, I will share one of my favorite signature Korean dishes, a bowl of mixed rice with meat and sautéed vegetables (namul) toppings ― bibimbap.
|Chopsticks to mix well, delight in and enjoy your bibimbap.|
Some of the ingredients we need are sold fresh in the Korean store near your area. If you have all the ingredients prepared, let us then start cooking our mixed rice and try the authentic Jeonju version as much as possible or otherwise put some Filipino twist.
Beef and marinade sauce
- 150 grams of tenderloin beef
- 1 tablespoon of garlic mince
- 1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2–3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of calamansi juice (optional)
- 100 grams of shiitake mushroom (or any kind)
- 100 grams of soaked kosari (fernbrake)
- 125 grams/1 piece of zucchini
- 125 grams/1 small piece of carrot
- 150 grams/1 bunch of spinach
- 150 grams/1 package of bean sprouts
- 4 to 5 serving portions of cooked rice
- 1 teaspoon of ground salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 5 piece of medium–size eggs
- 1 cube of tufo (optional)
- Some cooking or vegetable oil, roasted sesame seeds, fermented red chili paste (gochujang) and seasoned laver seaweed (gim) for garnish.
|A platter of meat and assorted vegetable toppings for our bibimbap version.|
2. Marinate the thinly sliced beef with minced garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and a pinch of ground black pepper while preparing the other ingredients. Leave the marinated beef for about 30 minutes to enrich the flavor. If you want a Filipino–style marinate, put some freshly squeezed calamansi juice to add aroma, sweet and sour taste to your meat.
3. Cook the marinated beef. Heat a pan until hot then put some vegetable oil and cook the meat thoroughly for about 3 to 5 minutes. Do not overcook the meat or else you will end up a chewy beef.
4. Put some vegetable oil, minced garlic and onions along with brown sugar to a pre–heated pan. When the onions are glazed, sauté the thin slices of shiitake mushrooms then add about a tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of ground black pepper and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Prepare the soaked kosari for 4 to 5 portions of bibimbap. Quite the same procedure as the shiitake mushroom, cut the kosari into strips and sauté them for 3 to 5 minutes with cooking oil, minced garlic, some sugar and soy sauce in a pan. If you can’t find a pack of fernbrake in the market consider it as an optional topping for your bibimbap.
6. Rinse and chopped cut in julienne or thin strips the zucchini and peeled carrot. In a separate pan, individually sauté the vegetable over medium heat with vegetable oil and minced garlic until translucent. Set them on a platter.
7. Blanch the spinach for about seconds in a pot of hot water. If spinach is not available in your local market, try any substitute leafy vegetable or any greens you want to have in your mixed rice version. Drain the spinach and rinse it in a cold water then add a pinch of salt, some minced garlic and about a teaspoon of soy sauce.
8. Next part, blanch the sorted bean sprouts separately in boiling water. Get the bean sprouts and soak it for about 3 minutes, drain the vegetables and mix it with some garlic mince, sesame oil and ground salt to taste.
9. Make the fried eggs depending on the servings made. It’s up per your preference if you want it underdone or well–cooked but to add some delight on your bowl why not a sunny side–up. To blend more color on your bibimbap, it’s optional you make tofu strips. Finely sliced a cube of tofu, add a pinch of salt to each of the pieces and fried them in a separate non–stick pan then after cut the tofu into strips.
12. Mix it well, delight in and enjoy. *I rather eat the sunny side–up egg first before the rest of the toppings than mixing all the ingredients at the same time.
|Korean signature dish bibimbap paired with a bowl of mushroom soup and some mandu as side dish.|
|Bibimbap go great served with a cold iced tea.|