Authentic Korean Bibimbap is always delicious and colorful! I always keep adding and adding spoonfuls of Korean spicy fermented condiment - Gochujang! By mixing in the Gochujang, the homemade Bibimbap tastes so much better than a bowl of seasoned vegetables, yummy meat and white rice combined!
8 -10 Shiitake mushrooms (depending on its size and your liking)
100g Bean Sprouts
2 packs of Pork Slices
2 medium Yellow Onions
1 bulb of Garlic, chopped and minced
2 cups of Steamed White Rice (leftover or fresh)
1 Egg (optional)
Spoonfuls of Gochujang (aka Korean spicy fermented chili paste)
Chicken Stock (optional)
A large bowl of ice water
An Enameled Cast Iron Cocotte or an oven-safe container (Round shape would be more preferable)
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Step 1: Prepare the Shiitake Mushrooms!
Wash the shiitake mushrooms. Then immerse the mushrooms into a bowl of tap water. Let the mushrooms soak in water at room temperature until they soften. Depending on the size of your shiitake mushrooms, this could take an hour to reconstitute the mushrooms . (Meanwhile, we could move on to step 2 for preparations of the spinach first.) Remove the stems. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the mushrooms. Slice them. Marinate them evenly with 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of white sugar and one tsp of sesame oil. Let them sit for around 15 mins. Then heat up a pan with the addition of cooking oil and lightly fry the shiitake mushrooms until the fragrant mushroom smell fills the kitchen air.
Step 2: Next Ingredient: Spinach!
Remove the roots of the spinach. Wash the spinach in running water. Drain the excess water in a colander. Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water or chicken stock for 30 to 40 seconds (less than a minute). Then quench the cooking process by putting the spinach in a large bowl of ice water. This could keep the spinach green. Again, drain and squeeze the spinach to remove excess moisture. Then heat up a skillet, add one tbsp of cooking oil. Cookl the spinach using medium heat. Add one tbsp of garlic. Add a pinch of salt and a tsp of sesame oil. Lightly fry the vegetables evenly. Set aside.
Step 3: Get Other Vegetables Ready!
Slice the onions. Set aside for later use.
Julienne the carrot. If you are pressed for time, you might want to consider using the food processor for the job. Lightly blanch the carrot strips in salted boiling water, then drain. I lightly fried the carrot julienne in a pan with soy sauce and some minced garlic.
Wash the bean sprouts. Then drain. Heat up a skillet and get ready for some more cooking! Add a few tsp of cooking oil and then fry the bean sprouts. Add one to two tsp of soy sauce. Add one to two tbsp of minced garlic and a tsp of sesame oil. Stir-fry the bean sprouts. If excess moisture is released from the bean sprouts during the cooking, turn the heat up a little bit. Try keeping the fried bean sprouts as dry as possible. Set aside for later assembly.
Step 4: Marinate and Fry Meat (and Sliced Onions)!
If you are using a cast iron cocotte or other cast iron container, lightly oil the inside of the cocotte. Then place the cocotte into the oven and turn the heat up to 180 degree Celsius. But if you are using an oven-safe container, you could just turn up the oven for preheating.
As the pork slices are paper-thin, the marination takes almost no time. Marinate the pork slices using 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tsp of white sugar, 1 tsp of sesame oil and the remaining minced garlic. (It‘s my perference whatever is available in my fridge. I used a storebought chicken marinade instead. The marinade tastes like sweetened soy sauce.) Heat up the pan. Fry the onions using medium-high heat. Then add the pork slices into the pan. Stir-fry the pork slices until they turn brown like the picture shown. Set aside. We are now on our way to the assembly part!
Step 5: Assembly Time!
Now you have the bean sprouts, carrot, shiitake mushrooms, spinach and the pork slices ready for assembly. Bring out the freshly steamed or leftover white rice. Remove the enameled cast iron cocotte from the oven. Layer the bottom with white rice. Then one by one add spinach, carrot , shiitake mushrooms and pork slices with onions on top of the rice (like the picture shown). Place the cocotte into the preheated oven for 10 mins. This is to ensure all the bibimbap elements get a final cooking. Meanwhile, you could fry a sunny-side up egg and place it on top of the bibimbap toppings after the oven-cooking process finishes. However, this is totally optional. You could skip this step and move on to the next!
Step 6: Mix and Serve!
Spicy, spicy, spicy! A bibimbap has to be spicy! Take two tbsp of Gochujang (aka Korean Fermented Chili Sauce) and mix it into the bibimbap (like the picuture shown). Add more chili sauce if you love the heat! (Frankly, I always keep adding the chili sauce! Just can‘t control myself, haha!) Now your Homemade SPICY Bibimbap is ready! Serve and Enjoy!
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