Korean Rice Bowl (Bimibap)

Korean Rice Bowl (Bimibap)Lauren Volo

Bibim – what? This Korean word means “mixed rice,” but to us the true translation of this dish –with its tofu slices, mushrooms, spinach, bean sprouts, radishes, and carrots – should be something like “the ultimate rice bowl packed full of flavour, colours, textures, and toppings.”

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 55g firm tofu, drained and cut into 1cm thick cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 30g thinly sliced chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 55g baby spinach leaves
  • 175g cooked rice, preferably sushi rice
  • 1 medium egg, fried
  • 3 tablespoons fresh bean sprouts
  • 2 radishes, grated
  • 3 tablespoons grated carrot (about 1/2 of a small carrot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Gochujang (red chilli paste), to serve

Method

  1. In a medium frying pan, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu slices and cook until golden brown on both sides, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the tofu to a plate and return the pan to medium-high heat.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in the pan. Add the mushroom caps and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the plate with the tofu and return the pan to the heat.
  3. If the pan is dry, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 10 to 15 seconds. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted and tender, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Mound the rice in the middle of a shallow serving bowl and top with the fried egg. Arrange the tofu slices, mushrooms, spinach, bean sprouts, radishes, and carrots in separate piles around the perimeter of the rice. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the egg.
  5. Serve the bibimbap warm with the gochujang alongside.

TIP- Draining Tofu: Tofu is usually packaged in liquid, which is great for keeping it moist – but it won’t sear or absorb flavours well unless you drain it. Place the block of tofu on a double-thick layer of paper towels on a plate, cover with more paper towels and another plate, then weigh down the whole setup with a heavy frying pan or a couple of large cans of tomatoes. Let sit for 15 minutes, drain off the excess water, and repeat the process one more time.

Recipe extracted from: Tasty: Ultimate (Ebury Press, £20.00) 

Photography by Lauren Volo

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