Guess what happens when you're craving Korean but don't want to get into a car and drive fortyfive minutes to the nearest Korean joint? This. This, is what you get - the lazy man bibimbap!
- fermented soybeans
- sesame oil
- hot pepper paste
- toasted sesame seeds
- diced yellow onion
- diced green onion
- nori sheets
The first seven ingredients are used to make the Ssamjang sauce. I used Maangchi's recipe which you can find on her website here. Essentially you're just mixing all the ingredients together to form a red paste.
I didn't have any soybean paste so I mashed the whole fermented beans I had with the side of my knife. It worked out great and I ended up really enjoying the chunks of salty soybean.
I like to make the ssamjang in large batches and use it anywhere I can - noodles, rice, tofu, you name it - I will throw ssamjang on it!
For the meat, I used short ribs I found at the asian market. You can also use tofu, sliced beef or chicken. I bought bottled marinade from T&T and added grated asian pear to make it a little bit sweeter and because I saw them do it once on an episode of Diners, Dive-ins and Dives.
FYI, I bought a pan of short ribs from the "new" asian store downtown and it was a load of s%^t! The first layer was beautiful but the last two layers were garbage! They were fatty and boney and a completely crappy product! I marinated the ribs overnight and then quickly pan fried it for the bibimbap.
For the veggies, I julienne what we had in the fridge; red onions, carrots, and Chinese cabbage. Mushrooms, spinach and just about anything would work as well. I sautéed each batch of veggies in a little bit of sesame oil and salt+pepper. I also used a pair of scissors to julienne some nori.
Usually when you order this at a restaurant it's served in a hot stone bowl. The rice continues to cook while you eat and what you end up with are nice crispy fried bits of rice - unfortunately, I am without a stone bowl. C'est la vie right?
I started with a scoop of rice and lined the outside with all the veggies and meat. I added a sunny side up egg and a few lashings of the ssamjang sauce. This would make a super easy lunch/dinner during the weekdays if everything is already prepped ahead of time.
The fun part about Bibimbap is mixing and mashing it all up. I like to mix and mix till each kernel of rice is coated with the runny yolk and ssamjang sauce. This'll definitely hit the spot if you're craving Korean! Enjoy!