Bulgogi and Bibimbap

I feel like this blog has been a little baking-crazy lately.  Well, it has.  My skinny jeans would agree.

So here’s a dinner recipe – Korean food!

I first ate bibimbap at a neighbour’s house and was totally blown away.  It’s a really neat meal to serve to guests:  it’s like build-your-own-omelette, with an exotic twist.  And building your own omelette reminds me of this video:

Oh, I love this woman.

So.  It starts with bulgogi, actually, which is a Korean recipe for marinated beef.

Here’s what you need:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. grated pear or apple

1 scallion, diced finely

1 medium clove garlic, diced finely

2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

2 tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 ground black pepper

1 lb. steak, sliced finely

Here’s what you do:

Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and marinate for as long as you can – overnight is best.  Especially if you’ve got a tougher cut of meat.

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The bulgogi plays a starring role in bibimbap.  Bibimbap is basically just rice topped with bulgogi and various and sundry other stir fried/pickled vegetables, a fried egg, and a good dollop of gochujang (which you can find at your local Korean grocery store).

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This is one of those recipes that changes based on what’s in my fridge.  In my world, a few handfuls of bean sprouts blanched for a few minutes and tossed in a bit of sesame oil is the only real necessity.  You can saute mushrooms and onions in some sesame oil, you could saute spinach and top with sesame seeds (notice a sesame-related trend here?).  Recently, I grated some raw carrot and marinated it briefly in dollop of honey ginger white balsamic vinegar from Liquid Gold and put that on top of the dish.  The sky’s the limit, really, and I’m going to leave it to you to use your instincts here. Use what’s in the fridge, use your favourites, prepare them in a way that gives them a bit of an Asian flavour profile and go for it!  Oh yeah, and most would argue that, for authenticity, your bibimbap should include kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage).  So look into that, too.

Here’s what you do:

Steam up some rice.  Stir fry the bulgogi.  Prepare your vegetable toppings as desired.  If you’re a lightweight, like me, you might want to take your gochujang and mix it with sugar and sesame oil until it’s a little less spicy, but do what you like.  Note:  all of the components of this dish can be prepared ahead of time and reheated as necessary, or you can have all burners on your stove going at once in an impressive feat of coordination and timing that will amaze your guests.

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As everything is coming together, fry an egg in hot hot hot peanut oil to top each dish.  I like my egg niiiice and runny so that when I eat my bibimbap there’s creamy yolk mixing in with all the toppings in my bowl.

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Enjoy!

Recipe heavily adapted from “Hungry Monkey:  A food loving father’s quest to raise an adventurous eater”

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