let’s be clear, i am a mutt of anglo-euro descent. i have naturally (dirty) blonde hair and blue eyes, and could only be mistaken for being of any sort of asian descent in the dark. perhaps, though, this is the reason behind my long-standing fascination with the far east–it’s foreign, mysterious, and has always seemed slightly out of my realm of understanding. or maybe it’s just that many asian countries produce hella delicious cuisine (yes, i said hella), and i love me some good food. regardless, i often (blindly) fumble my way through preparing asian-inspired dishes in our home kitchen, sometimes winning and sometimes leaving me feeling like mulan when she’s can’t quite seem to get through her lady-schooling.
the other night, though, i had a rather successful (and easy!) experience making an off-the-cuff westernized version of a korean staple, bibimbap, a rice bowl topped with banchan, or sides, and a fried egg. i upped the ante by foregoing the standard white rice and using equal parts black and brown rice cooked in a mixture of broth and coconut milk. aside from that, i didn’t measure most of what i was doing, nor were most of my banchan traditional (but they were local, seasonal, and tasty). that being said, the following is a loose guideline for making your own not-so-authentic bibimbap at home.
Bibimbap (for two)
- 1 cup of rice (i used 1/2 cup of brown and 1/2 cup of black), soaked 4-8 hours, if possible
- 1.5 cups of broth of your choice
- .5 cups of full-fat coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 2-4 tsp of soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2-4 tsp of rice vinegar
- 2 tsp of coconut oil
- 1 tsp of dried ginger
- 1 carrot
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of loosely packed hardy greens (like kale), roughly chopped
- optional : toasted sesame seeds, chili flakes, sambal oelek, cilantro
- rinse your rice well, and combine in it a pot with the broth and coconut milk. bring to a soft boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until all liquid is absorbed (begin to check around the 40 minute mark)
- while the rice is cooking, shave the carrot with a vegetable peeler into thin ribbons, then toss the ribbons with the dried ginger and cover with 2-3 tsp of soy sauce or aminos, setting them aside to soak
- thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. in a bowl or cup, soak them in 2-3 tsp of rice vinegar, a dash of salt, and, if desired, chili flakes for a quick pickling
- heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan, add garlic and cook for one minute, then add greens. sauté for a couple minutes, then add a splash of rice vinegar and soy sauce or aminos, cooking until the moisture is absorbed. set aside when done
- when the rice is close to ready, fry your two eggs to over easy, then remove from heat
- divide the cooked rice between two bowls and top with your banchan (veggie sides), fried eggs, and other optional toppings (the sesame seeds and sambal oelek elevate the flavor game in a major way, fyi). drizzle either or both of the sauces used on the veggies for added flavor, grab some chopsticks, and hop to it
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