If I someone asked what is one of my favorite dishes, I would have to say that the Korean spicy delight known as Bi Bim Bop (Bap) would be one of the tops. I first had Bi Bim Bop as a child while living in Japan. My father was serving in the US Army and was stationed there for several years.
Having a Filipino mother guaranteed that I was going to have rice at dinner several times a week, so Asian food was not foreign to my palate. Being an adventurous eater and having a multicultural background made it easy to try new dishes.
My mother had a Korean coworker (Ms. Hitomi), and she invited us over for dinner. I just remember how addictingly sweet and spicy the sauce was. This was the Gochuchang, the soybean paste based spicy sauce that gives flavor to your bowl of rice and veggies.
I also had my first taste of kimchi!
Anyway, Bi Bim Bop is a very balanced meal…carbs, veggies, and protein. Traditionally, there are thin strips of meat and also a fried egg on top of the bowl. Since I’m vegetarian I usually have either graham fried tofu or sauteed gluten or beancurd skin strips.
Bi Bim Bop is very colorful and beautiful to look at. It’s also fun to say…even a 2 year old could say this dish. If you go to a Korean restaurant, your main dish will come with many different sides.
These are the namuls. The more they bring the better!
Here are many pictures of different Bi Bim Bop dinners I have made. You can get an idea of how to make it. You can even make this as a raw food dish by subbing processed jicama for the rice and leaving the veggies raw.
BI BIM BOP
-Steamed Rice (Brown or Jasmine)
-Various veggies sauteed in sesame oil and shoyu
-Mung Bean Sprouts
-Sesame seeds (white and black) for garnishing
Easy Gochuchang Sauce
6 TBSP Miso (Use white for a sweeter taste or aka (red) miso for a more robust taste)
1 TBSP paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBSP sesame oil
1 TBSP agave nectar
Mix together and add more cayenne pepper to your level of comfort.
You can also add a bit of water if you would prefer to have it less thick.
Serve about 2 TBSPs gochuchang in the middle of the bowl of each bowl (serves about 4-6)
Having a hard time finding vegetarian Kimchi with no anchovies or one that is raw with no preservatives? The heat could be kicked up a few notches, but for something labeled mild, this will do. Look for Banyan Foods…they are so honest!
“These are troubling times…of corporate lies and deceit…we must disclose to you, that we really aren’t Korean.”
Have a Happy Bi Bim Bop Day!