Probably the most well-known of Korean dishes, Bibimbap is quite simply delicious. I certainly don’t claim this adaptation to be authentic; however, as the essence of the recipe is a rice bowl topped with meat, a fried egg, and/or vegetables, it conforms to that, and of course, includes gochujang, the vital ingredient that brings all the other components together. Gochujang is a hot, sweet, spicy and slightly addictive chilli paste and is available from Asian supermarkets, most large supermarkets and online.

Serves: 2
  • 1 x 225g-250g steak (I like rib-eye)
  • dark soy sauce, for coating
  • 125g raw basmati rice (or 1 x 250g ready-cooked pouch basmati rice)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sesame oil for coating and cooking
  • 150g shiitake (or other) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated or shredded into thin strips with a mandolin or by hand
  • 150g young or regular spinach leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly
  • sliced diagonally
  • mixed black and white sesame seeds
  • For the pickled cucumber:
  • ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced (I use a mandolin)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Mix the pickled cucumber ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients together in a separate bowl, adding ½ tbsp water and set aside.
  3. Rub the steak all over with a little soy sauce and set aside.
  4. Cook the raw rice with ½ tsp salt according to the packet instructions, or heat the pouch of rice according to the packet instructions. Divide between two bowls and keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a small, dry frying pan. Rub a little sesame oil over the steak and cook in the pan on a high heat for 2-3 mins on each side (or until cooked to your liking). Transfer to a plate and leave to rest somewhere warm.
  6. Add the mushrooms and some seasoning to the pan and fry on a high heat in the residual fat from the steak (add a splash of sesame oil if the fat is scarce) until beginning to brown. Divide the mushrooms between each bowl, spooned into a clump on top of the rice.
  7. Add a small splash of sesame oil to the pan and fry the carrot strips with a little salt on a high heat just until they begin to wilt, about 1 min. Add to the rice bowls in another clump.
  8. Add the spinach to the pan with a pinch of salt and a splash of water and cook on a high heat for a minute until wilted. Drain, squeeze out the excess liquid with the back of a spoon and add to the rice bowls in another clump.
  9. Lift the pickled cucumber out of its liquid with a spoon, leaving the liquid behind, and add to the rice bowls as before, then spoon over a little of the liquid (discard the remainder).
  10. Slice the steak on an angle and divide between the bowls in a final clump. Divide any beef juices between the bowls.
  11. Lastly, fry the two eggs in a little sesame oil (the yolks should be runny), then transfer one to each bowl, followed by a small dollop of the sauce to the side. Scatter with the spring onions and a few mixed sesame seeds and serve. Traditionally, the runny egg yolk is broken and mixed with the sauce, which in turn is mixed into everything else. Serve the remaining sauce separately.

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