Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bean sprout Bap (Kongnamul Bap)

This is a dish that many people are probably not familiar with. It's rice cooked with bean sprouts and topped with a sauce. Very simple and very healthy. I remember my mom cooking it for us when we were bored with regular rice. Could be good for pregnant ladies who don't have much of an appetite, as Jeana also really liked this one. The key is in the tangy spicy sweet sauce mixed with the fragrant veggies.

Ingredients for 2:
1 1/4 cup rice
1 piece of dried kelp
2 1/2 cup water
2 handfuls of bean sprouts
1 small bunch of rucambole (can be found in produce section of Korean market. Pronounced 'dallae' in Korean. Can be substituted with chinese leeks or other green sprouts)

2 T red chili powder
6 T soy sauce
2 T chopped green onion
1/2 T minced garlic
1 T Korean cooking syrup (or agave syrup)
1 T sesame seeds
1 T sesame oil
1/2 chopped green chili (optional)

1. Put the water, rice and kelp in a bowl and let it sit for at least 1/2 hour.

2. Drain the rice and save the water it was sitting in. Put the rice in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add 1 1/4 cup of the water you saved.
3. Add the bean sprouts and put the top on. Bring to a boil.
4. Flip the rice over before it has a chance to stick to the bottom. Lower heat and put the top back on. Simmer on low for 10-12 minutes or until the rice is done. The water should be all evaporated and the rice cooked through.
5. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

6. Place rice in the bottom of a bowl and top with the rucambole and sauce. Enjoy with some kimchi, of course.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


If you are Korean you may have some fond memories of getting hungry in the middle of the night and mixing up a bowl of rice with whatever banchan(side dishes) you can find sitting in the fridge. This is what bibimbap is essentially. Just mix rice, side dishes, some red pepper paste, sesame oil, an egg and you're done. It's one of the most popular dishes in Korea and also why we love to fly Korean Air. (They serve bibimbap and it beats any other kind of airplane food hands down.)

Here we will be making a typical version from scratch. But again, there are no rules. You can change what goes in it.

1 carrot sliced into match sticks
1/2 large zucchini sliced in to matchsticks
1 handful of shittake mushrooms sliced
1/2 bunch spinach
1/3 daikon sliced into matchsticks
2 oz of thinly sliced brisket (rib eye is also good. buy the meat that is sliced for shabu shabu. If you don't have an Asian market you can slice it thinly yourself by freezing the meat for 30 minutes)
Minced garlic
1 T soy sauce
1 t rice wine
Sesame oil
Seasame seeds
Cooking oil
2 bowls cooked rice
2 eggs sunny side up

3 T red pepper paste
1 t plum extract
1 t sesame oil
1 t sesame seeds
1 T Korean cooking syrup (oligodang)
1 t vinegar (we used apple cider vinegar)

1. Slice the meet into small pieces.  In a bowl add the meat, 1 T soy sauce, 1 t minced garlic, 1/2 t sugar, 1t rice wine, 1/2 t sesame oil, 1/2 sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Mix and let marinate. 
2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the daikon and boil for 5 minutes until slightly tender. Take them out and drain under cold water. Set aside. In the same pot of water add the spinach and blanche for 1-2 minutes. Drain under cold water and set aside.

3. In a bowl, add the spinach, 1/2 t minced garlic, 1/4 t salt, 1/2 t sesame oil and mix well. 

4. Heat up a frying pan and add the daikon matchsticks along with 1/2 t minced garlic, salt and pepper. Fry until tender and transluscent. Set aside.

5. In the same pan add some oil, mushrooms, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes until soft. Set aside.

6. In the same pan add the zucchini with salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes until soft. Set aside.

7. In the same pan add some more oil (if necessary), the carrots, salt and pepper. Fry until soft. Set aside.

8. Finally, add the marinated meat and fry until cooked through.

Here is a picture of all the toppings we just made. Kind of reminds us of japchae toppings.

9. In a small bowl, add all the sauce ingredients and mix well.

To serve, put rice in a large bowl and arrange the toppings. Add the egg and sauce. You can also add crushed seasoned seaweed for garnish.  This took us over an hour to make but if you have Korean leftovers in the fridge it might only take you 10 minutes.