fun fact for those of you who know me as an exceedingly white-washed asian: i went through this phase in high school and university where i was absolutely hooked on korean pop culture (or as the cool kids call it, ‘k-pop’). i listened to the music (which i didn’t understand), watched the dramas (which, thanks to sub-titles, i did understand), and professed my undying love to Daniel Henney (and on the off chance he ever comes across my blog- I STILL LOVE YOU.) and while i’m on the topic- i can’t get over how addictive korean dramas can be- i mean when i think about it rationally they all end the same: 1) main character dies (typically after being diagnosed with cancer) or 2) main character’s love interest dies (typically after being diagnosed with cancer). but I STILL WATCHED EVERY EPISODE with the sad delusional hope that this one, this one would be different.
yeah they were never different.
so needless to say my devotion to k-pop has waned over the years, but my love of korean food remains unchanged. mmmmmm korean food. dukbokki (rice cakes in spicy sauce), bulgolgi (marinated grilled beef), kimbap (korean sushi), dubu jjigae (tofu stew), chapchae (glass noodles)- all of it= nom.
i had a hankering for korean food the other day and while O-town does have one or two decent korean places i just couldn’t be bothered to bundle up and venture out. so i made my own version of bibimbap! bibimbap is a traditional korean dish, meaning ‘mixed rice’. the way i made it is neither very traditional or korean so lest i incur the wrath of a sweet ahjumma somewhere i dare not call it the real thing. instead i’ll just say it’s bibimbap remixed (‘mixed rice’ remixed. confused yet? me too.). i subbed out the traditional white rice with brown rice and quinoa, put in kale instead of spinach, and ground chicken instead of pork/beef.
i basically white-washed bibimbap.
what, were you expecting anything else from the kid who basically didn’t even know she counted as asian until she was 10? hey i never said i was the sharpest tool in the box.
1 cup rice (you can use white, brown, quinoa, a mix of any of these, whatever you want- like i said i used brown and quinoa cuz i’m trying to be helllffee)
1 medium carrot, julienned (cut into matchstick size) or chopped
1 red bell pepper, julienned
~2 cups kale or spinach, chopped
1 tbs canola oil
~1 pound ground chicken (or turkey, pork, beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tbs soya sauce
1 tbs honey
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 eggs (depending on how many servings you’re preparing)
dash of sesame oil
korean red pepper chili paste
1. Mix together soya sauce and honey, then add ground meat to marinate for ~30 minutes (or overnight). I’m lazy and I skipped this step, just adding the honey-soy mixture to step #3 and it tasted fine to me, but some people have more discerning taste buds :P.
2. Cook rice/quinoa according to instructions. While it’s cooking you can prep the rest of the dish.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 2 or 3 minutes until they begin softening. Add in ground meat (and if you didn’t marinate it in the sauce, you can add the honey-soy mixture in when the meat is basically cooked through) and cook through.
4. Pan-fry the kale in a separate pan until bright green- about five minutes. For the carrots and bell pepper, i chose to chop it up finely and leave them raw for crunch/texture, but if you wanted to pan fry these veggies you can do that too. I give you permission.
5. When your rice is cooked, then it’s go time. Take your kale out of the pan, put in a bit of oil and fry your eggs- sunny side up. While they’re frying, dish out the rice into each bowl and top with veggies and meat, leaving a space in the centre for the egg. When your egg is done, slip it right in the middle, add a dash of sesame oil, sit back and admire the prettiness, and- here’s the fun part- take ~ 1tsp full (more or less depending on your spice threshold) of korean chili paste and smash everything up into a delicious disaster. Eat.