If you read the post about my journey into the world of kimchi then you will be aware that I promised a recipe for bibimbap in the near future. Well here it is now.
I first came across bibimbap whilst watching the Food Network and decided it looked like the perfect Saturday evening meal. It is similar to a Chinese stir fry but much more impressive. Admittedly it is a little more fiddly than a stir-fry, but not much, and it is nice to ring the changes sometimes.
The first thing you do is mix the sauce ingredients together, a quick and easy job. You then stir some of this into the minced beef and pop it into the fridge to marinade whilst you prepare and cook the vegetables. It helps if you have a couple of pans on the go when making this dish as all the ingredients are cooked individually. However, if this is not possible, don’t worry as the food stays nice and hot in the oven.
Bibimbap is traditionally served with sticky rice. I love sticky rice. I love the chewy texture and fragrant flavour. However, the trick to cooking great sticky rice is to soak it in advance for many hours, then steam it in a special steamer – not so practical on a day to day basis. Therefore, in this recipe I have suggested you use basmati rice as it also has a lovely fragrant flavour, much like sticky rice. Alternatively you could buy ready cooked sticky rice that you just heat in the microwave.
This is what I often do.
Just don’t tell anyone.
It may look like a long and complicated list of ingredients but essentially all you have to do is mix the marinade/sauce ingredients together, cook the rice, and stir fry the vegetables and meat. The only real preparation is marinating the meat, peeling the carrot and halving the mushrooms. As a result, I find that you can have this meal on the table in the same time it takes to make a pasta sauce. Just make sure you read the recipe through before you start and you will end up with a gorgeous, (semi!) authentic meal.
For the sauce
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 inches ginger finely grated
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 clove garlic (crushed)
For the meat
- 300 g minced beef
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
For the rice
- 300 g long grain rice or 4 portions ready cooked Thai sticky rice
For the vegetables
- 125 g shiitake mushrooms (large ones halved)
- 2 medium carrots
- 200 g bean sprouts
- 200 g baby leaf spinach
- Cooking oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 spring onions (finely sliced)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Sesame oil
- Chilli sauce (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 100°C and place a large oven dish or baking tray, covered in foil, in the oven (you will keep the cooked food warm in this).
For the rice
- If using long grain rice, cook in your usual way. If heating ready cooked rice then get this out and, once the meat is marinating, heat according to packet instructions.
For the marinade/sauce
- Measure out the ingredients and mix together.
For the meat
- Mix the minced beef, crushed garlic and two tablespoons of the marinade/sauce together and place in the fridge. (Start the rice heating if using precooked rice.)
For the vegetables
- Peel, top and tail the carrots. Now, using the peeler, ‘peel’ the carrot into thin ribbons. Set aside.
- Measure out each of the remaining ingredients halving any large mushrooms.
- Add a teaspoon or two of cooking oil to a non-stick wok or frying pan and turn the heat to medium-high.
- Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Place in the oven dish and cover with the foil.
- Add another teaspoon of oil, the carrot strips and a pinch of salt to the pan and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until softened. Place in the oven dish and cover with the foil.
- Add a further teaspoon of oil, the beansprouts and a pinch of salt to the pan. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Place in the oven dish and cover with the foil.
- Add some more oil, the spinach and another pinch of salt to the pan. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes until cooked. Place in the oven dish and cover with the foil.
- Once the vegetables are cooked add a teaspoon of oil to the pan along with the marinated mince. Stir fry for 5-6 minutes, breaking up any lumps, until cooked. Remove to a bowl.
- Add a last teaspoon of oil to the pan (if you have been using a wok up to this point you may wish to switch to a frying pan) and crack in your eggs.
- Whilst your eggs are cooking, divide the rice between four bowls. Top with the cooked vegetables and meat and pour over the remaining marinade/sauce. Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, place them on top of the meat and vegetables and sprinkle the whole dish with the spring onion and sesame seeds. Drizzle over as much sesame oil and chilli sauce as you like and tuck in.