Well, not entirely kdrama, but k-variety shows got me making their seemingly delicious K-dishes by myself.
Watching Three Meals a Day, Running Man’s cooking contest specials, and recently, Youn’s Kitchen roused the inner “Jang Geum” in me. Not that I’m good at all, or much less a pro. It’s just that I’ve always had this instinct to mix and match ingredients that *I think* suit my cravings.
Seeing the celebrities cook a variety of dishes made me think I can do so, too. So far, following examples from those three shows
(and some stock memory from kdramas and personal dining in Korean restaurants) I have [subjectively] succeeded in making kimchi pancakes, kimchi jjigae (stew), eomuk guk (fish cake soup), hotteok (pancakes // update: I just blogged it here), and my latest–bibimbap (mixed rice).
I’ve always meant to blog about my K-show-taught recipes but also always forget to take photos. But this time, I did not. Probably because it took lots of time to prepare and cook Bibimbap ingredients, not to mention, I had to stir fry them separately. While preparing each ingredient, I realized these vegetables could also serve as side dishes. I also thought that if I want to make another Bibimbap, I can just choose three to four toppings instead of the ala-Christmas variety of eight that I did this time.
Should you want to try this at home, please allot at least an hour if you’re including everything I used.
Bibimbap (a Korean rice bowl with mushrooms, tofu, and vegetables, serves 8)
4 cups grain rice
4 blocks of tofu, cubed
1 can (425g) mushroom pieces and stems
1 bunch of spinach
1 celery, chopped
1 medium-sized zucchini
3 medium-sized carrots
3 greenish to red bell peppers
5 teaspoons of minced garlic
3 scallions, chopped
sunny side up eggs (optional)
salt and pepper
5 tablespoons of Korean red chili paste (it’s available in most SM grocery stores, and your nearest Korean convenience store)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons soysauce
2 tablespoons water
Mix and you should have this or something with a thicker feel and look.
Rice: Cook rice with lesser water than usual as Bibimbap rice should be a bit dry when mixed with the rest of the meat and vegetables.
Meat: You can use beef (tenderloin or sirloin), pork, or chicken. But since I’m cooking for my parents, too, I decided to stick with tofu and mushrooms.
- Tofu: cut into cubes and stir fry using olive oil. Season with sesame oil, salt and pepper
- Mushrooms: I used the canned pieces and stems and did not chop further. Sauté in crushed garlic and season with salt and pepper. I also used olive oil (actually, at home, we pretty much use olive oil as much as possible so my parents can enjoy the food as much with less guilt)
- Spinach: Put salt into 5 cups of water. Once it boils, blanch the spinach for about 15-30 seconds. Drain quickly and wash with cold water. Squeeze to dry and cut into 1/3 lengths. Sauté in sesame oil, minced garlic, scallions, sesame seeds, salt and pepper.
- Celery: Stir-fry with the remaining scallions using olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cucumber: Cut in thin half circles and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Most Korean blogs advise to add scallions, minced garlic, sesame oil and sesame seeds as it is. However, I was too absorbed in stir-frying that I also sautéed my set of cucumbers on olive oil for a good three minutes. Luckily, it still tasted good but I wonder if it should have left a refreshing aftertaste instead.
- Zucchini: Cut in a similar shape as the cucumber and sprinkle with salt. Sauté in olive oil for 3 minutes or less. Add minced garlic and sesame seeds.
- Carrots: Cut into long thin strips and sauté until it turns into deep orange (or how soft you prefer it). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bell Pepper: Cut into long thin strips and sauté for 2 minutes in medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Finally, we have all the toppings to assemble in a pretty manner. I swear, I never found vegetables to be so pretty until I learned to eat and cook Korean dishes. To assemble and mix, place rice in a big bowl (or big wok). Place the tofu, mushrooms and vegetables over the rice. Quickly drizzle some sesame oil and sesame seeds. I got too exhausted to prepare eggs so I topped it instead with crushed dried seaweed. Pour in the sauce you made. If you don’t like spicy food, just add soy sauce (or the Pinoy-famous toyomansi).
Take a picture. And mix away. Alternatively, you can assemble and mix in separate bowls.
Should expert and professional chefs chance upon this blog, please know that I only made this with a heart that wants to learn how to cook my own cravings AND share it with family and friends. No intention to be a pro or claim to be one. Comments are welcome. -grin-