Korean Bibimbap is a surefire crowd pleaser. The combination of white rice, vegetables, marinated beef, chili pepper paste, and egg is hearty, delicious, and can be tailored to the palate of each of your dinner companions. Love all the veggies and knock-your-socks-off spice? Great! Prefer your food mild and hold the greens? That’s fine, too! Let everyone prepare their own bowl, and everyone will be happy. Let’s get started!
Ingredients (Serves 6)*
*Note: if you don’t care for one or more of the veggies listed below, just omit them or replace them with something else. There are really no rules regarding which vegetables to include in your bibimbap!
6 cups cooked white rice
Chili pepper paste to taste (Korean gochujang, Nam Prik Pao, or Sriracha)
1 1/2 pounds flank steak or skirt steak, sliced into thin (bite size) strips
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 cups thin sliced greens (I used kale)
1 1/2 cups cucumber cut into 2 inch sticks
1 1/2 cups carrot cut into 2 inch sticks
1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sweet potatoes or yams (any color)
sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
Step 1) Combine soy sauce, onion, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Add sliced beef and stir to coat the beef evenly. Cover bowl and set in refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour. You could also do this the night before dinner.
Step 2) While the beef is marinating, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until hot (not boiling), and then stir until sugar and salt dissolves. Add carrot and cucumber sticks; toss lightly to coat vegetables. Cover and place in the refrigerator. This step will lightly pickle the carrot and cucumber – yum!
Step 3) Poke sweet potatoes several times with a fork and microwave until cooked through (a fork will go easily into the center of the sweet potato). Time will vary from one microwave to the next; this step took about 8 minutes here at Crowded Earth Kitchen. After your sweet potatoes are cooked, allow them to rest for 5 minutes. Then, slice into 1/2 inch thick rounds (no need to peel). Arrange on a small plate and set aside.
Step 4) Working with half of the beef at a time, stir-fry the beef in a large pan over medium-high heat until it is done medium-well. You shouldn’t see any pink on the outside of the beef, but if you cut one of the slices in half and see a bit of pink in the center, that’s fine. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon to drain slightly, and transfer beef into a serving bowl.
Step 5) At this point, invite each diner to prepare their own bowl of bibimbap. Start with a scoop of rice in the center of a wide, shallow bowl. Add chili pepper paste over the rice (I like a tablespoon or more, while some people might like just a speck). Spoon some beef into each bowl next to the rice, and add veggies (raw sliced greens, tomato slices, sweet potato slices, pickled carrot and cucumber sticks) all around the sides of the bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Step 6) While your dinner companions are assembling their bowls of bibimbap, fry the eggs. Spray a nonstick frying pan with vegetable oil, then crack an egg into the pan over medium heat. When the egg looks like the egg in the photo above, simply slide it out of the pan and onto the top of the rice in one of the prepared bowls. Repeat as needed.
Enjoy this very traditional Korean dish!
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