When I have a lot of random leftover veggies in my fridge, this is my go-to recipe:
This time, it was some carrots, broccoli, and kale! So I threw them in a stone bowl with some protein (chicken breast) and called it lunch. There really isn’t much else to be said about it. It’s simple, healthy, filling, and delicious. How much better can a homemade lunch get?
If you haven’t tried (or even heard of!) bibimbap yet, you must try it now. Sure, you can go to a Korean restaurant near you and order one there, or you can make it at home knowing what goes in the bowl. Since I’m leaving for college soon and have to empty my fridge as much as possible, I couldn’t have asked for a better time to use up all those scattered bits of vegetables that weren’t quite enough to make a salad out of but is still too much to just throw out and waste.
Bibimbap is traditionally a Korean dish, literally meaning mixed rice. It is essentially rice, vegetables, sliced meat (usually beef), and an egg served in a sizzling hot stone bowl. To eat, you simple mix everything together with some gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste). Since gaining popularity all around the world, it has been modified in many creative ways. My recipe certainly is not the traditional one, but I love it for its convenience. Feel free to switch up the vegetables with whatever you have in your fridge. And if you have some time on your hands, really get into it by making a homemade gochujang. My favorite recipe is by the lovely and talented Maangchi. (But no one will judge you if you buy some store bought sauce, since it is quite the process).
One thing I must stress about this dish is that it is crucial to cook in the stone bowl meant for bibimbap. Only this way will you be able to cook it right on the stove and get that delicious crust on the bottom layer of the rice. You can find the bowl at your local Asian/Korean grocery store!
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ chicken breast
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cooking oil, divided
- ½ inch ginger, roughly chopped
- ½ cup kale leaves
- ½ cup broccoli florets
- 3 baby bok choy heads
- 1 carrot
- ¼ medium onion
- 1 egg
- gochujang, to serve
- Chop the chicken breast into strips. Place in a bowl with the soy sauce, ginger, and garlic to season.
- Prep the vegetables by first washing them thoroughly. Julienne the carrot, onion, and bok choy leaves. Roughly chop the kale leaves.
- Bring a pot of lightly-salted water to boil, blanch all the vegetables except for the onion in the water for 30 seconds. Strain well and set aside.
- In a non-stick pan, heat ½ tsp cooking oil on high heat. Pour chicken with seasoning into the pan and stir-fry for about 2 minutes until meat is cooked through. Set cooked chicken aside.
- In your favorite egg pan, heat ½ tsp cooking oil and fry egg sunny-side-up. Remove from heat.
- To assemble bibimbap: Coat the bottom of the stone bowl with olive oil. Scoop the rice into the bowl and level as much as you can. Place the vegetables and chicken strips on top in sections. Finally, place the egg in the center.
- Place the stone bowl directly on the stove on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until you hear continuous sizzling sounds.
- Remove bowl from heat carefully (very hot!) and serve with gochujang.
Play around with what you throw in your bowl until you find your favorite combination of vegetables and protein. You are the boss of your bibimbap.