I also substitute rice recipes with a variety of grains, such as this Bibimbap, made with black rice. It is really tempting to make Bibimbap whenever I see cucumbers and carrots in my fridge.
For a meatless version, I add mushrooms, spinach, and a fried egg. Otherwise, simply replace one vegetable with a stir fried meat of any kind.
I used to fry the individual vegetables with cooking oil, and then mix with some sesame oil. Recently, I came across a Korean recipe book that stated cooking the vegetables in sesame oil instead. I thought that could reduce the total amount of oil used in this dish, and have been using this method since. I still add a small quantity, about a teaspoon and a half, of sesame oil before serving as I like that distinctive sesame fragrance that tend to get lost after cooking.
BLACK RICE BIBIMBAP
ADAPTED FROM MAANGCHI
SERVES 2 GENEROUS PORTIONS
2 cups black rice, wash and soak overnight 1 bunch of spinach* 1 small cucmber, julienned 1/2 carrot, julienned 5 fresh shitake mushrooms, sliced 2 fried eggs Sesame oil Korean hot pepper paste For garnish :sesame seeds
01. Cook black rice with 2 cups of water, till they turn soft but remain chewy.
02. On a pan over medium heat, pour enough sesame oil to cook the bunch of spinach till they wilt. Transfer spinach to a plate, set aside.
03. Repeat step 2 to cook the rest of the vegetables and mushrooms, separately. Set them all aside on individual plates.
04. To assemble, put rice first in a serving bowl and arrange cooked vegetables/mushrooms neatly on top to cover the rice. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil. Place the fried egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and finally a tablespoon of hot pepper paste.
05. Stir to mix and eat immediately.
NOTES TO SELF
* I prefer leafy spinach variety to make this dish.
* I do not add salt or soy sauce as I derive most of my Bibimbap kick from the hot pepper paste, which to me is salty enough.
* More on black rice here. Do not be confused with black glutinous rice used in Pulut Hitam.