I live in a very multi-cultural area of Melbourne so I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by authentic Vietnamese, Korean, Indian and Japanese restaurants in every direction from my house. It’s supremely awesome. I eat out quite often, but sometimes I just want the delicious flavours of my local Korean joint without having to leave the house.
Bibimbap has long been an obsession of mine – it’s a Korean dish that is literally meat, rice and vegetables. The term bibimbap translates to ‘mixed rice’ which is exactly what it is. Authentic bibimbap is pretty hard to replicate – believe me I’ve tried. Cooking fernbrake (a dried Korean green that’s a key ingredient in this dish – also called gosari) so it doesn’t taste like rubbery seaweed is something I’ve never been able to master. I do a much simpler version of my own that really hits the spot when I couldn’t be bothered trundling down the street for the real thing. It uses all the traditional flavours of bibimbap but I can get all the ingredients at my local supermarket and I don’t have to trek to a specialty shop to buy rare ingredients.
- 1 tsp white miso paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 600g lean beef mince
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 small carrot, cut into thin batons
- 1 small cucumber, cut into thin batons
- 1 nori sheet, finely sliced
- 1/4 cup sambal olek, or other chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Combine miso paste, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, onion, garlic and spring onions in a bowl. Add beef mince, mix well to combine and marinate for 20 minutes (you can marinate it all day if you like but 20 minutes is fine).
- Fry beef in a 2 tsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon for about 3 or 4 minutes or until sealed and remove from pan.
- Add 1 tsp oil to the pan and fry baby spinach for about a minute. Remove from pan.
- Add remaining 1 tsp oil to pan and fry eggs, sunny-side up. Remove from pan
- For the sauce, mix sambal olek, sugar, sesame oil and sesame seeds together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Assemble the bibimbap in 4 bowls – rice on the bottom, vegetables (note: carrot and cucumber are served raw), beef, sprinkle with nori and place an egg on top.
- Add sauce to taste and enjoy!
Tip: You can add kimchi or any Korean-style pickled vegetables as well.
Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle.com which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. She's the co-founder of of blog school Little Blog Big and co-host of podcasts Straight & Curly (for life improvement junkies) and Sweet Teen Club (for those of us who can't leave the '90s behind). Hoop earrings are totally her thing, Benedict Cumberbatch is her Beyoncé and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.