Ever since Jon and I moved to our new place, the absolute biggest responsibility we’ve felt was having to think about and prepare our own meals. We don’t always have lots of time nor energy to come home and prepare a meal and sometimes end up buying takeout instead. We’ve since been loyal customers of foodpanda.com.

As a result of this, I’ve come to immensely appreciate simple and delicious recipes, such as bibimbap! The best part about bibimbap is that you can put anything you want in it and after making this, I’ve come to realise that what makes bibimbap the dish it is, is the sauce. Essentially, you have a rice bowl of ingredients and once you mix it with bibimbap sauce, you get bibimbap! Am I over simplifying this?

It really is very easy and all I did was to reference this recipe from Two Red Bowls.

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If you have limited time and are not doing any advanced preparation like me, I suggest preparing this in the following order:

  1. cook rice – rice typically takes the longest to cook so you would want to do this first.
  2. marinate meat – the meat should be marinated for as long as possible so you would want to do this next and cook it last.
  3. make bibimbap sauce – this needn’t be warmed so it doesn’t matter if it is made early on
  4. prep all vegetables – wash, slice, chop, etc
  5. sauté vegetables – hopefully the vegetables will still be warm when you’re ready to serve but even if it is not, it is generally fine as the steaming rice would be enough to warm the vegetables up.
  6. cook egg(s) – this should ideally be done together with the meat so that it’ll be warm when served. It also cannot be microwaved as you risk overcooking the yolk.
  7. sauté meat – hopefully by this time, the meat would have marinated long enough.

As I had some thinly sliced pork collar on hand, I marinated the pork using this bulgogi recipe from Two Red Bowls. Although I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, it did not stop me from continuing with the marinade and basically just omitted what I didn’t have and replaced it with what I did have – for most cooking recipes, you really don’t need to have every single ingredient on hand to make it work!  I didn’t have a pear so I replaced it with half a yellow onion for some fragrance and sweetness. I also omitted the green onion as I didn’t have any on hand.

Let me just say that this marinade was so so delicious! I could totally do without the bibimbap sauce to flavour the dish as the meat was so flavourful already. Two Red Bowls suggest that you marinate it for at least an hour and I’m sure that would just make it even better but because I didn’t have time, I only marinated it for twenty minutes and it still tasted great.

The bibimbap sauce is a breeze to make and all you need to do is to stir everything together. I followed the bibimbap sauce recipe closely from Two Red Bowls and the taste brought me right back to college days, where I would have a stone pot bibimbap for lunch during winter. Yes, it was that good :)

To prep your vegetables, chop all your vegetables into matchsticks. You can do a variety of vegetables like zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, bean sprouts, seaweed, cucumbers or even mushrooms. You basically put whichever vegetables you like!

In terms of preparation, some vegetables are better cooked while others are better raw. You would want to lightly sauté zucchini, carrots, bean sprouts and mushrooms by adding a splash of oil and seasoning it lightly with some salt. Bell peppers can be either sautéed or eaten raw, depending on how you like it, while having cucumbers and seaweed raw would give your bibimbap a nice contrasting crunchy texture.

To cook a “crunchy” sunny side up egg, and by that I mean a sunny side up egg that is nice and brown at the bottom with crispy edges, heat 1.5 tbsp of oil in a small skillet on high. I usually crack my egg into a bowl first so I don’t have to worry about egg shells and oil splattering on my hand. When oil is hot, quickly pour the egg into the oil and let it fry. The whites will bubble and thats exactly what you want! Fry until the whites are cooked, bottom of the egg is brown and crispy, but yolk still runny.

Spoon your steaming hot rice into a bowl, top with all the vegetables and meat you’ve prepared, and top with egg, or maybe two eggs :P

Ending off with a picture without the egg!

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