Anybody can make their own version of the Korean bibimbap but I think its best done and served in a dolsot, the stone pot cookware typically used in Korean cuisine. I waited to own one. Now, it’s part of my personal collection of home cookware. This is actually a trade-off from a colleague who wanted my induction cooker that I got as a prize from a Christmas raffle last year. According to my friend there are plenty of shops in Pampanga’s “Korean town” selling it. He delivered it to me last week. I wasted no time trying my hand at cooking bibimbap. That weekend, I bought fresh vegetables from the market which I used as my basic ingredients, plus ground beef. You can substitute beef with pork or chicken or seafood. But for this particular experiment, I chose beef. The only thing missing here are kimchi and the famous Korean fiery condiment gojuchang that’s made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt. It’s because my mom and I are not too comfortable with spicy dishes but for those who prefer an authentic taste, go ahead. My suggestion: buy a ready-made kimchi and gojuchang available at the nearest supermarket or in specialty Korean stores. But for me, I settled for a Filipinized version of this Korean mixed rice.
So here’s my personal take on the bibimbap:
1 whole piece carrot, julienned (cut into long thin strips)
1 whole piece sayote (chayote) also julienned
1 cup of chopped kangkong or water spinach
1 cup of firm Chinese tofu cut into little cubes
1 cup of toge or bean sprouts
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 kilo ground beef
1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
salt, pepper, sesame oil, sesame seeds
1. Pre-heat the dolsot in a stove;
2. In a hot pan, stir-fry carrots in two tablespoon sesame oil. Season very lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside;
3. In the same pan, stir-fry the rest of the vegetables and tofu one at a time following the first procedure. Make sure to season each batch lightly with salt and pepper;
4. Still using the same pan, sauté garlic then the ground meat. Season with salt and pepper, worcestershire sauce. Put more sesame oil if necessary;
4. Assemble the food: scoop a cup of rice and put it on the heated dolsot, carefully top it with the carrots, sayote, kangkong, tofu, ground beef on too if the rice in a circular design;
5. Top with fresh raw egg or if you want, make a sunny-side up;
6. Drizzle with sesame oil and sesame seeds.
6. For an authentic Korean version: add a tablespoon of kimchi and a dollop of gojuchang.
I’ve eaten my share of other Oriental versions of mixed rice or fried rice, but I’ve always voted in favor of a bibimbap. It’s sort of become my comfort food. If I have this urge to eat healthy, an image of a bibimbap first comes to my mind.
Now that I have my own Korean dolsot, there’s no need to rush to the nearest mall to order my bowlful of this dish. And I’m free to tweak the recipe ingredients depending on my mood.
I’m thinking the next time I make a searingly hot bowl of bibimbap, I will add variations to it, maybe add some shiitake mushrooms and or try it then with a bit of kimchi and gojuchang. 🙂