Bibimbap-Inspired Rice Bowl
In Korea, bibimbap is a clear-out-the-fridge dish — a meal you’d make when you need to use up any bits and bobs in the veggie drawer. It was in this spirit that our test kitchen cooked up this beautiful bowl of chewy rice, sesame spinach and bean sprouts, sautéed zucchini and matchstick carrots, caramelized shiitake mushrooms, and savory ground beef. And seeing as it’s bibimbap-inspired, we just had to put a fried egg on top. We love how the rich yolk runs over all those goodies!
Traditionally, bibimbap is served with gochujang, which brings deep, funky-sweet heat to the dish. But here, we whisked up a bright sriracha-sesame sauce to round out the bowl’s umami-rific, deeply comforting flavors. That delightful drizzle of heat makes your tongue tingle … but not so much that it’ll stop you from shoveling spoonfuls of the rice, beef, veggies, and egg into your mouth. (Yes, spoonfuls! Koreans never eat their bibimbap with chopsticks.)
A few tips from the test kitchen: Don’t scrimp on the seasoning for the veggies — you should low-key want to eat each on their own (and sneak little bites as you’re cooking). The order in which you cook the veggies and meat is strategic, so you can use a single pan without cleaning it out between ingredients. (All the flavors build on each other that way, too!) And finally, you might consider doubling everything, so you get multiple meals out of the prep.
Bibimbap-Inspired Rice Bowl
To make the seasoned spinach: Fill a medium pot ¾ of the way with water, season it liberally with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and gently stir to combine. Blanch for 30 seconds until wilted, strain immediately, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Gentle squeeze the excess water from the spinach, and place it in a medium bowl. Season with ½ of the minced green onion, ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Gently mix and adjust the salt, if needed. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To make the seasoned bean sprouts: Fill the pot ¾ of the way with water, season it liberally with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the bean sprouts and stir to combine. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes until softened, strain immediately, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
Gentle squeeze the excess water from the bean sprouts, and place them in a medium bowl. Season with the remaining minced green onion, ½ teaspoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Gently mix and adjust the salt if needed. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To marinate the mushrooms: In a small bowl, stir together the mushrooms, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, ½ teaspoon garlic, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Let sit at room temperature while preparing the other vegetables.
To sauté the zucchini: Heat 1 teaspoon of the grapeseed oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a small bowl and set aside.
Add 1 teaspoon of the grapeseed oil to the skillet. Add the carrots, a pinch of granulated sugar, and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a small bowl and set aside.
Add the mushrooms and their marinade to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to caramelize, about 4 minutes. Return the mushrooms to their bowl and set aside.
To sauté the beef: Add the ground beef to the hot skillet, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon garlic. Continue to stir until well browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beef to a clean bowl.
Remove the skillet from the heat and wipe it out.
To fry the eggs: Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of grapeseed oil to the skillet and heat over medium until shimmering. Add the eggs and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are jammy, about 3 minutes.
To make the Sriracha sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the Sriracha, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Note: Leftover sauce can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To assemble the bibimbap: Divide the rice between 4 bowls. Top each with the bean sprouts, spinach, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, and beef, placing them towards the edges of the bowl. Place the fried egg in the middle of the bowl.
Top each bowl with the Sriracha sauce and garnish with a few pinches of seaweed strips. Serve with extra Sriracha sauce, and mix everything together before eating.
Recipe adapted from: My Korean Kitchen