Mix some veggies, meat and rice, and bibbedi boobedi bap you have the ultimate korean comfort food bibimbap(비빔밥)
Quirky as this dish might sound, bibimbap was listed at number 40 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods by a readers’ poll compiled by CNN Travel in 2011. The name litterlally means mixed rice, bibim-mix, bap-cooked rice. It is said that this dish was traditionally eaten on the eve of the lunar new year to get rid of all the leftover side dishes from the previous year. It is also thought to have been eaten by farmers during farming season as it was the easiest way to make food for a large number of people. Another version is that it originates from the traditional practice of mixing all the food offerings made at an ancestral rite (jesa) in a bowl before partaking in eating it. This made me think of an episode when a few ex-pat friends of mine went on a meditation trip to a Korean temple when I used to live in South Korea. The story goes that they did partake in such a rite and shared the ritual food. Unfortunately one of the ladies on this trip(not one of my friends), a picky eater refused to eat her portion of the food. This resulted in that her portion had to be shared amongst the others, so no food would go to waste. The ex-pat ladies did not have to partake in this, but the monks at the temple diligently ate the rest. When told this story, my reaction was, whaaat, she refused bibimbap. No matter the origines of this dish, I agree that this is a really nice dish.
If I do not make this myself, my go to place is a restaurant a just outside Oslo called Tintin Sushi, as they say on their own page, a hidden gem under the train station at Lysaker, they serve Japanese and Korean food. Not that many Korean restaurants in Norway and I am still waiting for a really good korean bbq place to open up.
This dish is quite easy to make, this can be made all vegetarian or with any kind of meat you like. I made this from how remember bibimbab from my time in south Korea, with a few changes. As happy and wealthy Norway has become, there are still a lot of ingredients that are hard to come by in this lovely country.
Ingredients, serves 4
- 5 cups cooked rice
- 12 ounces fresh bean sprouts
- 8 ounces of spinach
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 English cucumber
- 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
- ½ pound beef, I used rib-eye
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 eggs, I scrambled the egg, but you can serve it fried or raw.
- strips of kim (roasted seaweed, in japanese it is called nori)
- Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang), this is now available in Norway at some Asian stores.
- Cook the rice
- Thinly slice the meat and marinate i with garlic, soy sauce, honey or sugar, sesame oil and add sesame seeds.
- Quickly blanche the bean sprouts and spinach separately and drain
- Cut the vegetables in to match stick sized pieces and add a pinch of salt to them. Quickly saute the vegetables with a tiny bit of oil. You do not want them to get scorched.
- Saute the meat or if you use really fresh meat, you can use it raw.
- Scramble the eggs or fry them.
- Cut the kim into strips.
- Divide the rice into four bowls and add the rest of the ingredients on top of the rice with a dollop of the Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang).
Serve and enjoy.