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Monday, January 11, 2010
I am gripped by a scary sense of frenzy - I am finding myself blogging frenetically - trying to make full use of every little bit of time available to put up posts before I leave for my business trip to India next week. It is perturbing to realise that once the momentum to post has been set rolling, it can become quite a formidable force - aided by encouragements from fellow bloggers. I find myself constantly thinking about what to cook next... what boundaries to push, what interesting things to experiment. Some may have noticed, I have started to blog more on savory dishes recently where in the past, I would usually do sweets... for a very simple reason - I have to eat lunch and dinner every day. Cakes and sweets, on the other hand are too dangerous to partake of on a daily basis. So, the good thing that emerge from this almost helpless frenzy is that I get to eat better - LOL.
I have never made anything Korean before. I got piqued into doing this after watching an episode of a Taiwanese Variety show, 女人我最大 (WQueen). This is primarily a girly informatic variety show targeted at women of all ages, touching on topics ranging from the latest trends in Skincare, Makeup, Staying Fit, Eating Right, Hair Styling and Fashion. It runs 5 days a week and each day focuses on a different topic. My Taiwanese colleague had told me this is a powerful program that has many Taiwanese women (and beyond) hanging onto every advice/recommendation dished out in the program.
Anyway, one of the feature last week saw the program pitching 2 guests against each other to cook a healthy meal with left over rice. One of the guests demonstrated cooking Bimbimbap with the left over rice and it looked so good, I decided to do a little research and give it a go.
A quick trip to the local Korean grocery supply store equipped me with the required Korean Hot Bean Paste (gochujang) and... I just couldn't leave without getting one of those stone bowls!!!
It was relatively easy to put together. Although the recipe I found called for more garnishing vegetables, I worked with what I have in the fridge and am quite pleased with the end result. I got the required burnt rice crust (锅巴). To me, this is the definitive element of the dish, the result of cooking the rice in the hot stone bowl. One should be able to get the crust using normal claypot as well. There is no need to go rushing out to buy a stone bowl, I was just being vain and spendthrift!
Here's a close up of the burnt rice crust.
80g Minced Beef ( I used sliced beef because this is what I have in my fridge)
1 Small sized onion.
1 tsp Chopped ginger
1 tsp Light Soya Sauce
1 Small carrot cut into matchsticks (I used a shredder and cut it to shreds)
1 Small Japanese cucumber cut into matchsticks (I didn't have this but I substituted with some
1 Fresh shitake mushroom (I didn't have this as well)
30g Bean sprouts (blanched quickly in water to remove rawness)
1 Bowl of cooked rice
1 tsp Korean hot bean paste (I think I went too generous with this)
1. Pour 2 tsp of Sesame oil into hot bowl or claypot.
2. Put rice into the bowl and pack it well.
3. In a saucepan heat up 1 tbsp of oil and saute cut onions and ginger until fragrant.
4. Add in beef and soya sauce and fry until beef is just browned.
5. In the stone bowl, arrange carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, bean sprouts and mushroom and beef on top of the rice. Cover the bowl/ claypot and apply medium heat. I heated this for 10mins until the smell wafted out of the bowl and I could hear a sizzling sound.
6. At this point, crack an egg over the rice, cover and remove from heat. Before serving ,spoon bean paste on top. Mix well before eating.