I fell in love with Korean food last year when Olivia and I hangerly (anger induced hunger = Hanger) made our way into a Korean restaurant right around the corner from Berkley Iron Works where we do our strength training. Whenever I see anything on a menu that is topped with an egg I usually order it...that day I saw Dolsot Bibimbap, which not only has a cool name but was also described as rice bowl topped with all sorts of delicious veggies, amazingly marinated beef, and topped with an egg served in a cast iron bowl, (which makes the rice deliciously cripsy), yeah I was easily sold! And now I am a bibimbap addict! There is nothing more motivating during a hard gym workout than the thought of delicious food as a reward (yes I motivated by two things, success and my tummy...the latter may take top priority ;) I never in a million years thought this was something I could actually make myself until we visited friends in New Jersey who, unknowing of my extreme love of bibimbop, cooked it for us one night and assured us how easy it was! So I tested it out at my family vacation in McCall and cooked up a big batch of it for nearly 20 people! It was a hit! This is such a fun thing to make for friends and family, and the name always makes people laugh! The recipe below will make enough for 4 people (keep in mind I made this for 4 athletes who eat a lot and we still had left overs...so it might feed 6 regular, non-ravenous individuals:)
Meat Marinade Ingredients:
- 2 lbs Skirt, Flank, or Flap steak
- 1 cup Soy Sauce (gluten free if you have gluten sensitivity, low sodium is also a good option)
- 2 Asian pears, grated including juices/skin
- 4 Cloves of garlic
- 1 small white onion chopped, or 1/2 a large one
- 2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger (peeled)
- 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 4 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 4 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
- 2 Tsp. Ground red pepper (Cayenne)
- 1/2 Tsp. Ground black pepper
- 4 Green onions sliced
- 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- Cut the meat into long thin slices (you can even put the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes to make this a little easier).
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, add in the meat making sure marinade covers it and then let it marinade for 30 minutes-3 hours before cooking it.
- Once all the veggies are ready, (see veg recipes below, I cook meat last because it only takes about 3-4 minutes) add the meat to a large pan (I use a big skillet pan with high edges. It needs to be at least an inch deep because you cook the meat with a bit of the marinade and don't want it bubbling out of the pan). Cook the meat on medium heat, the marinade will get bubbly but don't let it go boiling like crazy, and just cook it long enough that the middle of the meat stays pink but outsides brown up nicely (3-4 minutes, flipping it half way through). I end up cooking the meat in 3 waves because it wont all fit in my pan at once. Once the pieces of meat look done fish them out with a fork and put aside in a bowl (cover with foil so they stay warm). Once all the meat is cooked and you just have the remaining liquid from the marinade left in the pan, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce for 5-7 minutes. The marinade then become a delicious sauce to add to the bibimbop!
Bibimbop Veggies (The veggies are the creative part, you can really add whatever you'd like, these are just my top favorites!)
- 4-5 Carrots, julienned. (Saute these in a pan with sesame oil for 3-4 minutes until they are slightly soft but not too soft. Then season with sea salt and pepper)
- 1-2 Zucchini or Yellow squash (Saute these in a pan with sesame oil for 3-4 minutes until they are slightly soft but not too soft. Then season with sea salt and pepper)
- 2 Yellow, Orange, or Red Bell Peppers (Saute these in a pan with sesame oil for 3-4 minutes until they are slightly soft but not too soft. Then season with sea salt and pepper)
- Broccoli (Cut the Broccoli into bite size pieces, blanch them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, and then saute them in a pan with sesame oil for 3-4 minutes until they are slightly soft but not too soft. Then season with sea salt and pepper)
- 3 Cups of Shiitake Mushrooms. (Put whole mushrooms, 1/3 cup of soy sauce, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar in a pot and bring to a boil...mix soy sauce and brown sugar together before adding the mushrooms. Once they are boiling lower the heat and cover them. Let them simmer for 12-15 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften. Remove from heat, let cool, and drain off remaining liquid. Slice them, toss with 1/2 Tsp of toasted sesame seeds and Salt/Pepper, yum!)
- 20 oz. Spinach (Cook spinach in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and cool. Heat 2 Tbsp of sesame oil in a pan, add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook 1 min. until fragrant. Add cooled spinach, 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tsp white wine vinegar, and salt/pepper to taste.)
- 1 bag of Mung bean sprouts
- 1 Large cucumber, peeled and julienned.
Other Toppings (the funnest part about this dish is all the fun things you can throw into it!)
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Gochujang paste (This is definitely the secret ingredient in making this dish incredible! However it can be hard to find, and is usually only at asian markets or specialty stores. However if you can't find it, look for any kind of red pepper paste. The key to making the perfect Gochujang hot sauce for this dish is to mix together 4 tbsp. gochujang paste (or red pepper paste) with 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, and two tbsp sesame oil. Use this sparingly as a topping at first because it has a kick, but if you like spicy throw it on by the spoonful and mix it in with the bibimbap, its YUMMY!
- This is the fun part! After the meat, veggies, and rice are cooked (I used two cups of dry sushi rice for 4 people and it was barely enough so maybe do 3 cups to be safe) divvy it up into each persons bowl. I like to set out all of the toppings out in separate bowls on the table and let everyone build their own bowl with all the veggies and toppings they like. The meat and sprouts are added last and then the best part of all, top it off with a fried EGG!! (Runny yoke style!). Then top it off with the extra add ins like the sauce you made out of the marinade (this is also delicious dished right on your rice before you add the veggie toppings), the gochujang sauce you mixed up, and some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on to make it pretty! Take photos, blow them up on instagram/twitter/facebook and then enjoy!!:)