Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bibimbap

So some days, I get home from work, and I have no idea what I want to eat for dinner. I want something satisfying, but easy and fast to make. And, being Chinese, I am really tired of fried rice. (That's what you do when you're Chinese. It's the equivalent of a hash or an omelet in American cooking. Take whatever you've got available in the fridge, chop it up, and cook it up together.)

After trying bibimbap in a Korean restaurant (and enjoying it a lot), I knew I could recreate something pretty close at home, without too much extra effort. And no more fried rice! Yes!

My version is not exactly the same as the real thing, but it's close enough that my taste buds and my stomach can't tell the difference. And it's very easy and fast to make. In fact, you can cook the whole thing in one pan, if you have leftover rice sitting in your fridge (and I often do).

First! Reheat some leftover rice. You can also make fresh rice. Scoop out however much you want. Like so:


Next, heat some vegetable oil in a pan and toss in a couple of cloves of garlic. Then, take whatever looks appealing, and cook it up. Normally, I always have some spinach and carrots on hand. So I use those, along with whatever else I can find.

I was actually glad to use the spinach, because it was the last bits of wilting spinach in the bottom of the bag. Yay! And today, I had some leftover bean sprouts, and I cooked those up as well. (And these bean sprouts still have the beans on them. They're quite tasty! It adds a nice nutty crunch to a stir-fry -- almost like peanuts. They're much more interesting than normal bean sprouts.)

I cooked all of the vegetables, with a dash of soy sauce and some pepper.


(Do you see the beans on the bean sprouts?)

Then, put all of that directly on top of the warm rice. I took out the garlic cloves. (You could also mince the garlic and just leave it in after you cook the vegetables, if you're a garlic fan.)


Don't clean the pan. If the pan is looking kinda dry, pour in a little more vegetable oil. Then, crack an egg in there and let it cook until the egg white is... white. Slide the egg on top of the vegetables and rice.

Here, I've finished it off with a drop or two of sesame oil, a bit of green onion, and a dose of Sriracha hot sauce. (Oh God, I love that stuff.)


Here comes the fun part! Break the yolk and mix everything together!


Yummy! Just looking at that makes me hungry again.

You're thinking that looks like fried rice. The taste is very different, though. The soy sauce taste is negligible, and the egg yolk and hot sauce add a different dimension of flavor.

The best thing about this recipe is that... it's very adaptable. The concept is not difficult, and you can adjust the portion easily, depending on how hungry you are. You don't even have to cook your vegetables if you've already got some leftover. Sometimes, when I have leftover stir-fry or whatever, I just toss it all into a microwave, cook up an egg, and voila.

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