I'm sure you've noticed by now, but I'm Asian. I was adopted from South Korea when I was 5 months old and grew up in Upstate NY with parents of Italian descent. Thus, my knowledge of Korean food is little to non existent. When I was younger, my parents offered to take me to Korean restaurants, but I never had much interest.
As I've become older, my palate has changed and I'm really into trying ethnic food, so this week I tried to find a version of bibimbap, a classic Korean dish, to try.
From my research, I discovered that bibimbap = a bowl of rice topped with a variety of meats and/or veggies with gochujang sauce. Bipim means mixing and bap means rice by translation.
Since bibimbap is quite involved cooking multiple veggies, meat and rice, so I opted to use leftover steak to eliminate a step; this is a great dish to utilize your meat leftovers! I also chose to use cauliflower rice for a lighter option.
Another great thing about bibimbap is that it's super versatile, there are so many veggies and meats you can use, in addition to a range of spice (heat).
Many stores sell pre-made versions of the gochujang sauce, but I made one myself combining a few recipes I found online together. Although I am Korean, I will by no means claim that this is authentic - rather, and interpretation of authentic recipes I found!
The gochujang sauce would also be great for a marinade or wing sauce if you have some leftover!
Bibimbap made with leftover sirloin steak strips served over cauliflower rice.
Protein: your choice - used beef in this version Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Gochujang Sauce (11):
gochujang chili paste (1/4 c)
brown sugar (1/8 c)
water (6 tbsp)
soy sauce (3 tbsp)
fruit preserves (apricot or seedless berry variety, 3 tbsp)
honey (3 tbsp)
rice wine vinegar (1 1/2 tbsp)
garlic (1 tbsp minced)
ginger (1 tbsp minced)
ketchup (1 tbsp)
Bibimbap Components - Use your imagination for types and amounts!:
rice - white, brown, or cauliflower
protein of your choice, or can be vegetarian!
cucumber (or for quick cucumber pickles - rice wine vinegar needed)
To make gochujang sauce: - Combine all ingredients for the gochujang sauce in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a low boil over medium heat.
-Boil until it thickens, which may take a few minutes - if it doesn't thin out, you can add a small amount of water then turn off heat or keep warm on very low heat.
To prepare bibimbap toppings: -Since rice can take a while, start preparing your rice now!
(I made a lighter version using cauliflower rice that comes in a steamable bag, so I popped that in the microwave)
-Cut cucumber slices - if you like vinegar, soak the cucumbers in rice wine vinegar during prep, then when ready to plate, strain and rinse in water lightly for a quick pickled effect.
-Julienne carrot and saute in a small amount of sesame oil until softened and set aside.
-Julienne zucchini and saute in a small amount of sesame oil until softened and set aside.
-While the pan is still hot, saute spinach and bean sprouts lightly and set aside.
-Reheat your leftover meat or cook the protein you desire, including a sunny side up egg!
-Once you've prepared all of the components you'd like (this may require several pans at once to time your cooking), plate the rice and then the toppings. Add as much gochujang sauce as you desire and start mixing - the flavors are amazing!
-Garnish with kimchi, sesame seeds and green onion for even more flavor!