In 2010 I visited a buddy in Seoul, where I fell in love with Korea’s national dish: BIMBIMBAP!
Rings all my flavor bells: spicy, sweet, salty, sour + OH, SOOO UMAMI!
Despite being absolutely delicious, for a long time I never even thought to make it for myself knowing: One, lotta parts requiring separate cooking…translation: cleanup is as tedious as the cooking. Two, lotta sodium + rice. Like most rice bowls, Bimbimbap traditionally contains way more rice than I could eat in a meal (bout 2 cups cooked = 4 servings for me) + before slipping into a carb coma.
Pure hunger for those exquisite flavors compelled me to combat these issues + create a recipe that we can enjoy without post-meal guilt or mountains of dishes. I strongly believe that whatever we wanna enjoy in a sandwich or over pasta, noodles or rice can be enjoyed over a canvas of veggies instead. Here, I’ve chosen very thinly sliced gently steamed green cabbage as it’s mild flavor doesn’t take over dish like some other greens. You can choose to have a small portion of slow cook brown or wild rice if you like.
Recipe serves 2.
As always, please choose organic GMO-free ingredients for YOUR health!
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
8-16 oz lean protein of choice
1/2 green cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 Chinese eggplant
1 large carrot
1/2 bunch Tuscan kale
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
(Optional) slow cook brown rice, cooked
1 tsp roasted sesame seeds
Slice protein into thin slices unless using ground meat (ground turkey is actually my favorite + quickest to cook). In BPA-free plastic zipper bag, add 1/4 tsp sesame oil, 2Tbsp water + gochujang + shake to mix marinade. Add protein + massage to distribute. Press out air before sealing bag + set aside.
Prep all veggies, thinly slice or spiralize when possible. Dice scallion + cilantro + set aside. Gently steam cabbage in basket over stove or in microwave in large bowl covered with plate for 2 min or until tender. Divide between 2 large bowls + cover with plate to keep warm.
We enjoy daily bowls of chaos from these whoppers. Size greatly reduces spilling + guess who hates cleaning?!
In small pan over medium heat, sauté minced garlic, shallot + pepper til fragrant. Add tamari. Realize you’ll be using this mixture to sauté all veggie toppings (not cabbage), so set aside portion for remaining veggies + use sparingly. Gently sauté veggies separate, in order of increasing color. << Maintaining naturally vibrant hue of each veggie magnifies the visual appeal of veggie-dominant dishes, drawing even the veggie-haters to the table…+ begging for seconds! >> Here we cooked first the bean sprouts, then mushrooms, eggplant, carrot + lastly kale. After cooking each veggie, we divided it between the 2 cabbage bowls. <<Technique renders drastically fewer pans to cleanup >>.
Now it’s PROTEIN TIME! Heat larger pan over medium/ medium-high heat, as desired. Add protein + sauté. Reserve any marinade that has not been absorbed. Add after protein has cooked + turning off heat. This will permit us to first get good exterior sear, locking in moisture vs boiling protein in marinade, rendering rubbery + in my picky opinion, inedible!
Simultaneously, “fry” those signature Bimbimbap sunny side up eggs. Save time cleaning + use same pan you cooked veggies. Wipe with paper towel if any watery muck remains. Raise heat to medium-low heat. Crack eggs into pan. Cover pan to allow heat to circulate around vs cooking solely from bottom. Eggs are ready when whites are set but the yolk is still runny.
Divide marinated protein + optional rice to bowl. Add 1 egg to each bowl. Top with diced scallion + cilantro.