Monday, May 1

Good Eating Monday: Homemade Korean Bibimbap!

Exciting this week: our A/C has to be repaired.
Not a little thing either. Major sudden leak in the coil that happened overnight when we turned it on this week. Just one of those things. Have to replace the coil and full freon refill. (It's the new breed of Freon used nowadays.)
Luckily, weather is still temperate to the cool side here in North Florida, so open windows and fans are keeping everything comfortable. 

Today's Good Eating recipe is Homemade Korean Bibimbap!
I hunted around until I found a recipe with enough specifics and pinned it to Pinterest myself.
I love Bibimbap and since our favorite Korean Restaurant closed, I just haven't had any, so I decided I learn how to make it myself!
What is it?
It's a bowl of steamed rice stopped with cooked, seasoned beef and a variety of cooked veggies topped with an over-easy egg. 
(Of course, you can omit the egg or cook it hard if you prefer)
In restaurants it's often served in a hot lava bowl, but you can make it at home and eat it in a regular bowl easily enough!
It has a wonderful, crunchy satisfying texture I really enjoy.
The trick with Bibimbap, however, is that each of it's ingredients has to be cooked individually.
I found it worked best to cook everything ahead, then, when I wanted to serve it, to put the bowls together and just microwave each.
That allows the flavors to sink in, too.
The recipe makes 4 bowls.

Homemade Korean Bibimbap
4 cups of steamed rice of Jasmine or reg long grain rice (= 2 cups uncooked rice)
6 cups of fresh spinach leaves
1 lb low fat ground beef 
1 cup carrot matchsticks
1 English cucumber, slicked
Bean Sprouts (1 package or about 2 cups worth)
Sesame seed oil
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Chili Garlic Sauce (or mince your own garlic and add a dash of red pepper)
Brown Sugar
Olive oil
Sesame Seeds
Eggs---1 per bowl, fried just prior to serving
Optional: sliced green onions for garnish and bottled  Kimchi for a side.

Cook & steam the rice while you're preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Cook the Spinach first: in a skillet over medium heat add 1 Tablespoon olive oil, swirl to coat pan, then add 6 cups of fresh spinach. Saute until just wilted, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil and add dash of salt. Then move spinach to a clean bowl or container.

Beef: Add the ground beef to the same skillet you just cooked the Spinach in. Cook the beef until fully browned, then add 2 Tablespoons Chili Garlic Paste, 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce and 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar. Stir & cook until well mixed for 2 minutes, then move to it's own bowl or container.
(Or, if you don't have or want the pre-made Chili Garlic Paste, just mince a clove of garlic and add to beef along with 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper. The meat should have a slight spiciness, but not hot.)
You can also replace the ground beef with thinly sliced steak.

Cook Each Veggie Individually:
Cucumber: slice thinly and saute lightly in a skillet with a little sesame seed oil, then move to a separate container.
(Cooked cucumber is yummy, by the way, and doesn't taste as "cucumber-y" once cooked.)

Bean Sprouts: saute lightly in skillet with a little Sesame Seed Oil and a pinch of salt, then move to a separate container.

Carrot Matchsticks: saute lightly in skillet with a little Sesame Seed Oil to warm, then move to a separate container.

Otpional: sliced mushrooms sauteed in Seasame Seed Oil may also be added.

To Serve:
Take 4 large serving bowls: fill each with 1 cup of steamed rice, then divide beef & spinach into 4ths, then add a little pile of beef  to top of rice, followed by a little pile of spinach adjacent to that, followed by a little pile of cucumber, then bean sprouts, then carrot matchsticks, so the ingredients both cover the rice and look pretty.
(see photo)
Garnish with sliced green onions, then top with a freshly fried sunny-side-up or over-easy egg and serve!
(You may also add a dollop of Kimchi, if desired.)

To eat: 
Stir everything together until thoroughly mixed, then enjoy! 
You might wonder why you should go to so much effort to arrange the meat and veggies over rice so carefully so you can see each ingredient?
Well, you have to remember Asian cooking isn't just about food, it's about beauty!
(photos from Budgetbyte)

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