Rice is commonly served at each meal in Korea. Frequently it is served as porridge, particularly for elderly people and kids in the morning as breakfast. In the rest of the other meals, steamed white rice, prepared with the absorption method, will be consumed alongside the soups, meats, veggies and, needless to say, the authentic kimchi. Rice is actually of such great significance that each meals are generally referred to as comprising rice and panch’an, which is an expression that includes other things that are served together with rice. Bibimbap is delicious, gorgeous on the plate, and easily tweaked for different palates and spice levels.
- 500 gm medium-grain Korean (or Japanese) rice
- 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin strips
- 300 gm bean sprouts, parboiled and squeezed of excess water
- 300 gm spinach, parboiled and squeezed of excess water (3/4 lb before cooking)
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated if dried and then sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced into thin strips
- 225 gm meat (optional, both and cooked ground meat work well)
- Fried egg as a topping (optional)
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
- Cook rice in rice cooker or on the stove.
- Give cucumber strips a saltwater bath for 20 minutes and then drain.
- Season spinach with 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt, and a dash of sesame seeds.
- Season bean sprouts with 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt, and a dash of sesame seeds.
- Sauté carrots with a dash of salt.
- Sauté mushrooms with a dash of salt.
- Sauté zucchini with a dash of kosher salt.
- Place cooked rice in large bowl and arrange vegetables on top.
- If desired, beef or egg can be placed in the center.
- Serve each with small bowls of red pepper paste (kochujang) and sesame oil.