Monday, October 16, 2006

Bibimbap- 비빔밥

Some years ago, when I became a fan of Bae Yong Joon, I started to take an interest in all things Korean, including Korean food. Joon's Family organised a Korean cooking class at one of the CC and we learnt kimchi and kong namul (곤나물). Obviously, I never harboured any dreams of making kimchi but I thought I could at least do the bean sprout dish.

I was wrong.

I can only say that my husband took one look at the sad-looking bean sprouts and stayed far away from it. I've not attempted to do any Korean food since then (unless you count cooking instant Kimchi noodle).

Well, on Sunday, I finally attempted once again to enter the world of Korean food. I cooked bibimbap.

In all honesty, this is not the hardest dish to do. But still, I wanted to be sure and so I consulted not one but two cookery books. ^^ (kiasu lah) The one on the left is published by Hollym (available in Kinokuniya) and the other is free from KNTO Singapore.


Both recipies are quite similar. They used a lot of sesame oil, sesame seed and salt. As for vegetables used, both recipes are similar too, with just some minor differences. Frankly, in a dish like bibimbap, you can generally use almost any vegetables, though there will be some staple ones like cucumber and bean sprouts.

In my case, I used:
bean sprouts (I couldn't get the mung bean sprouts in the market which would have been better)
shitake mushroom
french beans

Most of the ingredients just needs seasoning with sesame seeds, sesame oil and salt. I added garlic as well. For the cucumber and mushroom especially, squeeze out the excess water. Then stir fry all the ingredients individually except the bean sprouts, which should be boiled.

I wanted to buy Korean rice but almost had a heart attack when I saw the price. So I used the Japanese rice instead. It's still more expensive than the normal Thai rice. Has anyone tried the imported Korean rice? Is it better?

I think the most important thing was the seasoning of the hot pepper paste. This is what the recipe from the KNTO booklet said:
To make seasoned red pepper paste, combine 4 T hot pepper paste, 1 T sugar, 1 T sesame seeds and 2 t sesame oil and then mix them well.

I didn't exactly follow the recipe to the core but just did it according to my taste. I think it's probably better that way.

I think it turned out pretty well. Hehe!

For information on this simple, humble, highly nutritious dish, check out here

A couple of interesting sites on food:
Life in Korea

and both these two have started a special food blog... We really live to eat...haha!

Jos- Jos Loves Food
Yokee- Yokee's Korean Rice Bowl

You know, in all the Korean dramas and movies that I've watched, it seems almost normal to take the left over rice from the fridge and mix it with kimchi, whatever's in the fridge and hot pepper paste. The food would have been cold and come it always looks so delicious when they eat it? Hmm....


bb said...

ya! i esp can't forget that scene in BD where cjw and rsw fought in the kitchen over the rice! i thought to myself, that looked so good!!!

hehe, wanna invite some of us to your house to try your bibimbap? i can bring soju and ice cream, you know... :p

Yee said...

I did try "kim chi ji gei"(spelling??) following Ros's recipe, and my family likes it. But my Korean friend at work said very delicious but I put too much pork bellies.
I want to try what they are eating in "Full House" and My lovely Sam Soon", rice mixed with some red stuff(I thinkd chilki paste) and every one shared from one bowl. It looks so good, but I have no idea what it is. Any idea??

tiffany said...

bb... tempting idea... let me see how. But hor... you trust my cooking huh?

tiffany said...

Hi yee..

I believe that would be hot pepper paste. It's something that is used frequently in Korean dishes.


bb said...

sure, tiff, i trust your cooking.

p.s. you do keep stock of kimchi ramen at home, ya? just in case? :p

p.p.s. haha, or i'll just bring lots of ice cream...

marissa said...

your bibimbap looks appetizing. Hope it encourages you to try a new recipe next time.

tiffany said...

bb- kimchi ramyeon is a stable in my house... hehe!

marissa- not sure if I will have the energy to try something more complicated. Besides, hubby is a vegetarian...which rather limits the selection. ^^

Jos said...

oh... the bibimbap looks good. I am so hungry now :P

Rosa said...

I'd like to know where i can get the other book from?

tiffany said...

Hi Rosa

Whoch book are you talking about? One is from Korea Tourism Organisation (which is free). The other book is (Lee Wade's cookery) is imported in by me. You should be able to find it in the Kino- Take and Page One in Singapore. ^^

Rosa said...

The second book.

The first one you already stated is from kino..
so I would have to place order for it?

tiffany said...

Call up the Korea Tourism Organisation and see if they still have stock. It's free but I had the book some years ago, so I'm not sure if they still publish it. Anyway, call up your Korea Tourism Organisation in your own country (I'm not sure which country you are from) and check with them. Good luck!

Rosa said...

hey thanks alot
I'll give it a try..
I'm from SG