Bibimbap – Korean rice with egg and vegetable toppings

When Sydney was in lock down we ate like royalty every night, there was the luxury of time to plan meals and our house ran like a well oiled machine, we didn’t eat take away for months so all left overs were eaten and despite the panic buying my pantry felt like it had some kind of coherence and order.

Post lockdown, it’s another story and I feel like I’ve lost a lot of my cooking mojo. Making dinner after work can seem like gargantuan effort. Which is where the rice bowl in all its various forms comes to the rescue. Of all the rice bowls the Korean rice bowl – bibimbap with its super delicious gochujang sauce is our family’s favourite.

In the nineties, I made of version of bibimbap from one of my cooking bibles Madhur Jaffrey’s – Eastern Vegetarian Cooking. In those dark, distant days Korean food was completely obscure and this simple rice bowl meal took a lot of effort to pull together. There were the little side dishes to prepare and gochujang – the sweet, savoury hot pepper paste that is the backbone of the bibimbap sauce was almost impossible to find. Now Coles and Woollies stock gochujang paste and the vegetable toppings can be a combination of traditional Korean banchan or whatever takes your fancy.

In the bibimbap pictured above, I’ve used stir-fried spinach, cucumber batons seasoned with rice vinegar dressing, red cabbage sauerkraut, a mild carrot and ginger kimchi (from Woollies), seaweed salad (from the fish shop) and seasoned soya bean sprouts. Pick and choose, any stir-fired vegetable or Asian style salad will do for your vegetable toppings – put them all together wack a fried egg on top and, if you’re like my son, slather it all with gochujang sauce and you are – good to go!

Bibimbap – Gochujang sauce

Adapted from My Korean Kitchen

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang paste
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (I used cider or rice vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

Mix ingredients together to make a smooth sauce. This recipe can be scaled up to make a small jar which will last for weeks in your refrigerator.

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