Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bibimbap (or the best fried rice you'll ever have)

I had never heard of bibimbap until a friend mentioned it on Facebook.  A few days later, I came across a version in my Cooking Light magazine.  It seemed like the universe was telling me to make it.  My internet research revealed that bibimbap is literally "mixed rice" in Korean and the ingredients vary.  It's essentially a deconstructed fried rice.  What really set this apart was the last of my pickled carrots and daikon from when I made banh mi and the runny yolk of the sunny-side up eggs, otherwise, use whatever you have left over in your fridge.  

If you don't have pickled vegetables (and really, why would you), you can pickle them quickly while you cook the rest of the ingredients.  Cooking each ingredient separately is a bit tedious, but can easily be done in the time it takes for the rice to cook.  I've never had bibimbap in a restaurant, but evidently you can get it in a heated rock bowl that makes the bottom layer of rice crispy and the whole thing hot enough that the raw egg can simply be cooked right on top.  I don't have a bowl carved from the very earth itself, so I simulated the results by frying the rice in a bit of oil and cooking the eggs sunny-side up.  It was the best fried rice I've ever had!

Serves 2

1 cup long grain rice
8 oz firm tofu
2 tbsp. ginger, minced
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1/3 cup pickled vegetables
1/4 cup green onions
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
6 cups kale, roughly chopped
4 eggs
3 tbsp. sesame oil
Sriracha, to taste 

1. Cook rice according to package directions.
2. Cook tofu, mushrooms, and kale individually with 2 tsp. of oil and 2 tsp each garlic and ginger. Season with soy sauce.
3. Fry cooked rice in 1 tbsp. of sesame oil and divide between serving dishes.  Assemble all toppings.
4. Cook four eggs sunny-side up until whites are just barely set and set on top of the rice.  Serve immediately.

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