Last year when I went to Korea, I flew by Korean Air and for supper they served bibimbap in metal bowls!! I don't eat supper so skipped it. Most of the passengers took it and I could hear the entire plane went "tok tok tok tok" (sound of mixing rice and ingredients using the spoon) during meal service hour. It seriously sounded yummy and I regretted not eating it :(
During the trip, I had wanted to try authentic Korean bibimbap at one restaurant in Myeongdong that's highly recommended by many, but the HB didn't like bibimbap so I couldn't eat it until the last day at the airport where I finally ordered it at a foodcourt with many food choices. And during the return flight, bibimbap was served again for dinner and this time, it was a must to eat it!
Actually bibimbap is not difficult to cook, just that the ingredients are prepared/cooked individually and hence quite tedious especially if you use many ingredients. I usually stick to 5 or 6.
Typical ingredients include meat (shredded or mixed), mushroom, spinach, cucumber, zucchini, soy bean sprout or mung bean sprout, carrot, egg etc. I also noticed this ingredient called gosari or fernbrake which is a type of mountain herb/vegetable? I tried to look for it at supermarkets but couldn't find it. Stupidly forgot to search for it at the traditional markets like Gwangjang market as I was too overwhelmed looking at all the food stalls.
For Koreans, I understand that they sometimes use leftover banchan (side dishes) which is super easy coz it's a matter of mixing them up with rice :p
Anyways, here's my version. Since I'm the only one eating it at home and cooking one serving is silly or rather difficult, I usually prepare double portion and eat it over 2 days.
(makes 2 servings) (reference from Korean Bapsang, Maangchi, My Korean Kitchen)
- 100g cucumber, sliced into thin pieces
- 40g carrot, shredded
- 100g swiss brown mushroom, sliced
- 120g soy bean sprout
- 100g spinach, cut into small sections
- 2 eggs
- 120g cooked short grain rice
- Cooking oil, sesame oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic (2-3 cloves), spring onion/chives
- Sauce: 1 tbsp gochujang, 1 tbsp honey, 1/2-1 tbsp water, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, sesame seeds, spring onion/chives
- Cucumber: Sprinkle generous amount of salt over sliced cucumbers and set aside for 15 mins. Squeeze out excess liquid. Toss with 1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, pinch of salt and pepper.
- Carrot: Add some sesame oil to a frying pan, saute the carrot shreds for 1-2 mins, add pinch of salt and pepper.
- Mushroom: In the same frying pan, add some sesame oil, saute the mushroom till soft, add pinch of salt and pepper.
- Soy bean sprout: Bring 2 cups of water to boil with 1/2 tsp salt. Add the bean sprouts and cook for 8-10 mins. Drain and squeeze out water. Toss with 1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, pinch of salt and pepper.
- Spinach: Using the same pot of water, blanch the spinach till just cooked, about 30 seconds. Drain and squeeze out water. Toss with 1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, pinch of salt and pepper.
- Eggs: Fry 2 eggs sunny side-up till egg whites just cooked and yolks still runny.
- Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients, mix well and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion/chives.
- Combine: Scoop 1/2 portion of rice into the middle of a bowl. Place the sunny side-up on top of the rice. Arrange 1/2 portions of the cucumber, carrot, mushroom, soybean sprout and spinach around and on top of the egg white. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped spring onion/chives. Drizzle desired amount of sauce, mix well and enjoy. Repeat for the remaining portion. If storing in fridge, keep in airtight box and steam for 5-6 mins before eating.