food for thought

by michelle

bi bim bap

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This Korean rice dish is traditionally served in heated stone bowls, making the rice crispy around the edges. For my version the ingredients you will need from a Korean or Japanese store are rice (short grain sushi quality), dried sliced Shitake mushrooms, toasted nori strips, black sesame seeds, chilli paste and white miso. Measure the rice into a heavy saucepan (½ a cup per person) adding a little salt and a splash of corn or sunflower oil (or similar). Now boil a kettle of water and during this time stir the rice over medium heat until the oil is well distributed and some of the rice is beginning to turn opaque. Turn down the heat and add 1 cup of boiling water for every ½ cup of rice. Cover the saucepan and cook for 15 minutes then switch off and leave undisturbed until required. Meanwhile, to serve over the rice, place some of the dried sliced Shitake mushrooms in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Simmer until soft then add a tablespoon of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed. Now shred or finely slice some carrots and some zucchinis. Each of these should be briefly cooked in a little oil with the addition of a little salt. For protein I have sometimes served this dish with grilled salmon (see my grilled salmon) or strips of omelette flavoured with a little soy sauce and sesame oil. This time it was steak marinated in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of red wine vinegar, 1 clove of crushed garlic, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and pepper to taste. This was quickly fried in a hot pan then rested for a minute and sliced. To serve, portion the rice into bowls and arrange all the other ingredients on top. Sprinkle with the toasted nori strips and black sesame seeds. Serve this dish with a sauce made by mixing chilli paste, miso and some sugar with a little hot water, tasting to balance the salt, sugar and heat.


Written by michelle picker

February 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

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