Sunday, May 23, 2010

Korean Rice Bowl

I've been eating a good deal of Korean food lately, so I thought I would try it at home. The April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit had a recipe for an easy take on a classic Korean dish that I thought would be perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Korean Rice Bowl

Bibimbap is pretty much the poster child of Korean food. It's as much of an icon as pho is for Vietnam, tikka masala is for India, and spaghetti and meatballs are for Italy. In classic bibimbap, a combination of vegetables and bulgogi beef are served on top of rice with a spicy sauce and a fried egg is placed right on top. If you order bibimbap in a dol sot (a hot stone pot), the dish comes out sizzling and the egg starts off raw but cooks as you mix the food around.

In this simplified version, rice is served with slices of strip steak, asparagus sauteed with garlic and sesame, and, in keeping with tradition, a fried egg is put right on top. Add a side of kimchi and you're set. I enjoyed this dinner immensely because it felt rather healthy and fulfilling. When you see all of the ingredients in the final product, it feels so elemental. The fried egg helped to add some unxiousness to the dish after I popped the yolk and let it run into the rice. This version of the Korean staple is simplified, but it also maintains a combination of clean and satisfying flavors.

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