Recipes and images from Korean Food Made Simple by Judy Joo (Murdoch Books, $45, hbk).
It might seem silly to cook the vegetables separately, but it makes a big difference in the ﬁnished dish. I’ve simpliﬁed this version slightly by making one seasoning mix for all of the vegetables. I also make one giant bibimbap to share – as that’s easier too.
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 875 g (2 lb) steamed white rice
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or ﬁnely chopped
- 1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tsp crushed roasted sesame seeds
- 115 g (4 oz) very thinly sliced beef bulgogi meat (see Note) or rib eye
- 2 tsp sugar
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 100 g (3½ oz) bean sprouts, tails and soft or brown pieces removed, rinsed and dried
- 55 g (2 oz) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 5 mm (¼ in) slices
- ½ zucchini (courgette), thinly sliced on an angle
- 85 g (3 oz) snow peas (mangetout)
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 180 g (6 oz) baby spinach
- 115 g (4 oz) drained chopped cabbage kimchi
- 3 large egg yolks or fried eggs, to serve
- black sesame seeds, to serve
- radish sprouts, to serve (optional)
Gochujang sauce (chogochujang)
- 3 tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
- 2½ tbsp mirin
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp thinly sliced spring onions, sliced on an angle
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.
To make the gochujang sauce, in a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Cover and store in the fridge if not using immediately.
Heat a large heavy-based frying pan (preferably cast iron) over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and gently spread the rice over the base of the frying pan in a loose layer. Cook, undisturbed, for 8–10 minutes until the bottom of the rice develops a golden crust. This should be about the same time the toppings are done, but if the rice is ready beforehand, just turn off the heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the mirin, the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. Mix 2 tablespoons of the sauce with the beef and sugar and set aside. Set the remaining seasoning sauce by the hob.
As each topping is ﬁnished, arrange it on a section of the rice in the pan so the toppings resemble the spokes of a bicycle wheel.
In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat ½ teaspoon of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Add the bean sprouts and 1 teaspoon of the seasoning sauce and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Arrange the bean sprouts on a section of the rice.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the frying pan, add the beef and cook for 1–2 minutes until cooked through. Arrange the beef on the rice.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan, add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and cook for 1 minute until tender. Arrange the mushrooms on the rice.
Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in the frying pan, add the zucchini and 2 teaspoons of the sauce and cook for 1 minute until just tender. Arrange the zucchini on the rice.
Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in the frying pan, add the snow peas and 2 teaspoons of the sauce and cook for 45 seconds until crisp-tender. Arrange the snow peas on the rice.
Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in the frying pan, add the carrot and 1 teaspoon of the sauce and cook for 30 seconds until crisp-tender. Arrange the carrot on the rice.
Finally, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the pan, add the spinach and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and cook for 30 seconds until just wilted. Arrange the spinach on the rice.
Deglaze the pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon mirin, scrape up any browned bits from the base and spoon the juices from the pan over the meat on the rice. Arrange the kimchi on a section of the rice.
Spoon the gochujang sauce on the centre of the rice or serve on the side, if you like. Make a little well in the spinach, mushrooms and beef and gently put an egg yolk into each or arrange the fried eggs (if using) over the dish. Sprinkle the bibimbap with black sesame seeds and radish sprouts, if liked. Bring the pan to the table, set it on a trivet and mix everything together before spooning into bowls.
• Bulgogi beef is sold at Korean supermarkets.
• The ubiquitous gochujang sauce is a Korean hot sauce that can be used anywhere you want to add a touch of heat. This recipe makes about 120 ml (4 fl oz).
View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.