I have a rather big soft spot for Asian cooking. I was over the moon when an Asian grocery store opened in the neighborhood. To my husband's amusement and then frustration I would walk up and down the aisles ogling the condiments, pickles and vegetables.
Being a vegetarian it is rather hard to explore other cuisines that is of course if you live outside the new jersey, new york area. I discovered Bibim Bap for the first time in the Korean street in NYC. I was instantly in love. And after many months of thinking that I want to make this at home I finally got around to it last Friday.
My Bimbim Bap had mushrooms (white mushrooms and dried Shitake), soy bean sprouts, spinach, Bok Choy served with rice and a fried egg on top. You could use any mix of vegetables for Bibim Bap. I also picked up a packet of Gojuchang from the Asian store.
Soy Bean Sprouts ( recipe taken from here)
Wash soy bean sprouts thoroughly. Add the bean sprouts , a cup and half of water, a little salt to a pot. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes drain the sprouts, and add a little soy sauce, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds and set aside. Check in between to make sure that there is enough water.
Spinach (recipe taken from here)
Wash spinach thoroughly. Add to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, squeeze gently to remove a little of the excess water. Add soy sauce, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds and set apart.
Ginger garlic Bok Choy ( recipe taken from here)
3 to 4 heads of Bok Choy chopped to large bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic grated fine
1 tsp finely grated ginger
soy sauce to taste
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
In a hot pan add 1/2 cup water and add the ginger and garlic. Cook while stirring for 3 minutes. Throw in the Bok Choy. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the cover and drain water in case there is too much water. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds and stir to coat and set aside.
Mushrooms (recipe take from here)
You can use dried or fresh mushrooms. If using dried mushrooms first rehydrate them in boiling water. Slice the mushrooms thinly. Heat some vegetable oil in pan. Add the mushrooms and saute. In case of fresh mushrooms cook them till they stop oozing water. Cook on a medium flame and make sure you don't burn the mushrooms. Add a little sugar and soy sauce to the mushrooms and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Julienne carrots. Add to pan with a tiny amount of oil and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from pan and set aside.
Assemble the Bibim Bap in a plate. Traditionally Bibim Bap is served in a Dolsot which is just a heated dish where the food continues to cook just a little bit. I did not have these so I served the dish on plates. Put rice down and surround with all the vegetables.
Add a fried egg of top and serve with soy sauce, Gojuchang and sesame oil . Enjoy.
The joy of this dish is you can adjust it to taste and add any vegetables you want. Next time I also want to add Kosari which was delicious at the restaurant.