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So, I had this really great idea. I was going to bring you, my dear readers, the KB’s Asian Food Week. Not only would this week include several great recipes inspired by my favorite Asian nations, it would also feature an outstanding Japanese food slideshow complete with commentary on all the weird stuff I got to eat when I was in Tokyo, Japan, last year.
Alas, WordPress won’t let me upload my slideshow without paying some silly fee, and YouTube quality, as we all know, is miserable, so the KB’s Japanese Food Show will have to wait until I have time to conquer Apple’s iMovie program and produce a slideshow of presentable quality.
In the meantime, though, I’m offering a taste of Asian Food Week with today’s recipe, bibimbap. Bibimbap is basically a Korean rice bowl with steak, asparagus, and fried egg. It’s simple, delicious and great with an ice-cold beer. The garnishes, if you can find them, are what really set this dish apart.
I ventured to a Korean market here in Chicago—Chicago Food Corporation, aka Joong Boo Market—in search of freshly made kimchi. Kimchi (also spelled kimchee or gimchee) is a spicy traditional Korean side dish of fermented or pickled vegetables, with cabbage being the most commonly used main ingredient. The market had an entire salad bar dedicated to kimchi, so there were a variety of options to choose from. I picked a kimchi with fermented leeks.
I also picked up some Korean hot pepper paste there, although you might be able to find it at your local grocery store or specialty market. I found one labeled “Chile Paste With Garlic” and considered it close enough to what I was looking for. The kimchi and the chile paste are SPICY, so test them out before you add them both to your rice bowl. Either way, I think you’ll be coming back to this dish again and again. The combo of warm rice, meaty steak, crunchy asparagus, fried egg and spicy kimchi hit your taste buds in all the rights spots.
Bibimbap: Korean Rice Bowl with Steak, Asparagus, and Fried Egg
This recipe, adapted from Ivy Manning, is a take on a Korean dish called bibimbap. Be sure to taste the hot pepper paste and kimchi before putting them on your plate. Both garnishes really pack a punch on their own. Serves 6; 567 calories, 20.4 g fat, and 3.4 g fiber per serving. Click here to print a copy of this recipe.
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
¾ tsp. fleur de sel, sea salt or Kosher salt
½ tsp. New Mexico or Ancho chile powder
1½ lb. New York strip steak, trimmed
¼ c. soy sauce
3 Tbs. sesame oil, divided
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. sake or dry Sherry
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ lbs. slender asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tsp. vegetable oil plus additional for brushing
6 large eggs
6 c. freshly cooked medium-grain white rice
Korean hot pepper paste (kochujang)
Prepare spice blend. Toast sesame seeds in small skillet over medium heat until golden brown, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer sesame seeds to small bowl to cool. Grind sesame seeds, fleur de sel, and chile powder in mortar with pestle or in spice mill until about half of sesame seeds are finely ground. Return to same small bowl. DO AHEAD: Sesame salt can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.
Marinate steak. Place steak in freezer 1 hour for easy slicing. Cut steak crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Whisk soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, green onions, sugar, sake, and garlic in medium bowl. Toss steak in soy mixture. Let marinate at room temperature 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
Cook asparagus. Heat griddle or 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil on large rimmed baking sheet. Sauté asparagus until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Return to rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle sesame salt over; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Grill steak and cook eggs. Brush griddle with vegetable oil. Working in batches, grill steak until just browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to bowl; tent with foil to keep warm. Brush griddle with vegetable oil. Crack eggs onto hot griddle. Cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes.
Garnish and serve. Divide warm rice among bowls. Divide asparagus, then beef among bowls, placing atop rice. Top with fried egg. Serve with Korean hot pepper paste and kimchi.