Over the weekend I bit the bullet and traded in my iPhone 5 for its sexier looking younger cousin, the iPhone 6. It was a choice I’d been contemplating for a while. I needed more storage space and wanted an even better phone camera, but the fact that there was really nothing else wrong with my iPhone 5 held me back from making the switch.
I was waiting for my car to be serviced and found myself strolling up the street, into a Fido shop with no real intention to do anything other than get an idea of how their plans compared to the one I’m currently on. Before I knew it, my new plan was selected, credit card was swiped and the girl helping me was en route to another Fido location across town to pick up a silver iPhone 6 so that I could get my phone that day. (Side note: Shout out to Pepper Wireless – the customer service I got was 100% top notch. They even gave me a sweet pair of touchscreen-friendly gloves which are perfect for selfies on the sea wall like this one.)
I’ve had the phone for 4 days, and while Apple’s products have always impressed me, I have to say that I’m FASCINATED – yes, all caps – by the fingerprint recognition option that unlocks the phone. I know that fingerprint ID technology is by no means new to the world, but guys, this is magic! I can put my right finger or my left thumb over the home button for a couple of seconds and BOOM. Unlocked. I think I spent about 15 minutes the other night testing different grips to see if it would still work, and it does. Mind. Blown.
On the lower-tech end of things, I’m currently fascinated by Korean food. A loooong time ago I did a 4-part series on Thai cooking, which is hands-down one of my favourite cuisines. In the past I haven’t gone out of my way to try Korean recipes or seek out restaurants, but my curiosity was recently piqued by this Korean barbecue tofu bowl recipe from Oh My Veggies which was absolutely fantastic.
I’ve been reading some really helpful blogs (including My Korean Kitchen and Korean Bapsang) to learn more – particularly as far as ingredients are concerned. Vancouver has a very large Asian population which makes finding authentic ingredients easy, but none of those required for the Veggie Korean Bibimbap recipe I’m about to share required me to go outside of my usual grocery stores.
Bibi-what?! Yes, exactly. So here’s what I’ve learned: Bibimbap is basically a dish made of rice, mixed vegetables and meat. Serious Eats tells me that it should be pronounced ‘bee-bim-bop’, and that in Korean, bee-bim means mixed and bop means rice. In the event that you find yourself ordering it in a restaurant, you’ll thank me for this little nugget of knowledge. 😉
Apparently there are loads of bibimbap variations, including meatless ones. Some of the more traditional recipes are made with raw beef and raw egg yolks, but that’s a little bit wild for my preferences so I opted for cooked eggs.
But the learning didn’t stop there. Bibimbap is served with a sauce that, while I personally don’t think it ranks as highly as peanut sauce, is still super tasty. It’s a mix of garlic, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds and gochujang (red chili paste). Gochujang is kinda like ketchup is to North America, in that Koreans seem to put it on everything. It’s made from rice, soy beans, chili powder and rice, and is spicy with a subtle sweetness. Admittedly, at the time of making this recipe I didn’t buy a bottle because I already had chili garlic paste at home (yep, I cheated), but I’ve since purchased some.
Alright, let’s get to it!
Veggie Korean Bibimbap
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown or wild rice
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 3 baby bok choy, washed as diagonally sliced into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms
- 2 scallions, sliced diagonally
- 1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if you are ok with gluten)
- 1 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 2 eggs
- sesame seeds, to garnish
Bibimbap Sauce (you may have some leftover):
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2-3 tsp water, to thin
Cook the rice in boiling water on the stove, according to package directions.
Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables as indicated above and whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. (If you can, shake them in a bottle or sealed container to create an even mixture.)
Heat the sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Sautee the garlic for 1 minute, then add the bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, half of the scallions and tamari. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. The bok choy should be wilted and vibrant green.
When the rice is ready, mix in 1-2 tbsp bibimbap sauce, depending on your spice preference. Divide the rice between 2 bowls.
Follow by distributing the bok choy mixture, zucchini, carrots, and sliced avocado on top of the rice.
Fry two eggs to your desired firmness and place them on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions, sesame seeds, and serve the remaining sauce on the side.
Just before eating, mix your veggies and rice together. Add more bibimbap sauce if you like, and enjoy!
Now over to you! Let’s hear…
- Are you a fan of Korean food? What are some of your favourite dishes?
- Anyone else currently loving the iPhone 6?