If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, you’ve likely come across some version or other of Korea’s bibimbap. Bibimbap, literally meaning “mixed rice” because of all the ingredients you can include, is usually composed of a bowl of rice, sauteed and seasoned vegetables, and egg or cooked meat.
The good thing about this recipe is that you can make it as simple or as complex as you want, depending on how luxurious you want your meal to be. But try not to skip one of the unique ingredients that makes this dish burst with flavour: gochujang or Korean hot pepper paste – a crimson red paste made from fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, red peppers, and salt.
As with any rice dish, one of the key things to note is how you actually cook the rice. Absorption method is an easy way of cooking rice that retains more of the nutrients than boiling rice and draining it. Check out this basic recipe for specifics. The alternative is to use a rice cooker . We recommend using a stainless steel rice cooker rather than a n0n-stick coated bowl. Moreover, some of the new all in one cooking devices are wonderful and offer slow cooking, steaming and pressure cooking options and are worth investing in.
If you’re willing to take the extra step, you can even dramatically reduce the calories and glycaemic load in your rice, by adding a little bit of coconut oil to the water before cooking the rice and then refrigerating it for around 12 hours, which increases the all important resistant starch, as washingtonpost.com explains.
Once you’ve cooked the rice which will serve as the base of your dish, you’re ready to assemble your bibimbap.
1 serving of rice. We prefer basmati or brown rice to maximise this recipe’s health benefits, but white will do in a pinch.
(add a variety according to preference and feel free to choose whatever veggies you have on hand – get creative!)
- 1/4 of a carrot and 1/4 of an eggplant, cut into matchsticks and stir fried with a little soy sauce
- Bean sprouts, stir fried until tender, tossed in sesame oil
- 1/8 of a cucumber, cut into matchsticks and seasoned with salt. Dry before using.
- Spinach, sauteed and tossed with sesame oil and seeds
- 1/4 cup kimchi. (See our kimchi recipe for making your own kimchi)
- Cubed sauteed tofu or beef strips
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 tablespoon of gochujang or Korean hot pepper paste (this is usually available in the Asian section of your supermarket)
Article specially written for karenmcelroy.com.au – By Jennifer Birch