This is the most delicious mix of rice, beef and vegetables cooked with garlic and sesame oil, topped with an egg yolk and gochujang (Korean chilli paste). The ingredients are cooked individually then beautifully arranged in a stone bowl called a dolsot, which is heated until the rice turns golden and crispy on the bottom. You mix everything together when you eat it. You will need four dolsot bowls, available from Korean grocery stores. The amount of garlic used in this recipe might seem high but remember that this is a culture in which most people eat seven heads of garlic a week! You can use less garlic if you like but once cooked it is delicious and not overpowering.
- 2 cups short-grain rice
- 400 g beef scotch fillet, finely sliced into strips 5 cm long
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 140 ml sesame oil
- 3 tbsp crushed garlic
- pinch of sugar
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, finely sliced
- 2 small carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 small daikon, cut into matchsticks
- 2 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
- 1 bunch spinach, leaves picked
- 1 generous cup bean sprouts
- 4 egg yolks
- gochujang (chilli paste) (see Note)
- 4 dolsot stone bowls (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Rinse the rice in cold water and drain, then repeat twice to make sure the grains are thoroughly washed. Put the rice in a saucepan and place a hand flat over the top. Fill with cold water to the top of your hand. Cover with a lid and simmer until the water is absorbed (approximately 20 minutes).
Combine the beef with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, a little sesame oil, 3 teaspoons of the garlic, the sugar and a pinch of pepper. Stir-fry until the beef is golden brown and set aside.
Mix the mushrooms with the remaining soy sauce, a little sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of the garlic and pepper and set aside.
Stir-fry the carrot in a little sesame oil with 2 teaspoons of the garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. Scoop onto a plate and repeat with the daikon and zucchini.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the spinach leaves for 15 seconds, then scoop out, drain, place in a bowl and toss with some sesame oil, a little garlic, and salt and pepper. Repeat with the bean sprouts.
Put a teaspoon of sesame oil in the base of each stone bowl. Put some rice in the bowls and arrange small mounds of beef and vegetables over the top. Gently place an egg yolk in the middle and a teaspoon (or more to taste) of gochujang to the side. Pour another tablespoon of sesame oil around the edge of each bowl.
Place the stone bowls over high heat on the stove for approximately 5 minutes, or until you can hear the rice popping and crackling. Carefully remove the hot bowls from the heat and serve.
• All these items are readily available at any Korean grocery store.