Cooking Korean: Dolsot Bibimbap

I've been frequenting Korean restaurant so much that I am itching to make bibimbap (pronounced as "bee-bim-bop" ) at home. To go for the extra mile, I purchased dolsot, the earthenware bowl from Ampang's Korean grocery store.

The ingredient that makes a bibimbap, bibimbap: Gochujang/Kochujang. Bought this along with the dolsot.

Basically, googling up a recipe is as easy as a click, so I just simply pick one that sounds the easiest.

Dolsot Bibimbap Ingredients:
1/2 to 1 cup rice (uncooked) - I used normal rice
1/2 c kimchi
1 lb steak - subbed with pork
2 small carrots
10 oz spinach
8 oz bean sprouts - with or without attached beans - reject, I don't eat sprout
1-3 eggs
2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tsp ground sesame seeds
1 tsp grated garlic
1 tbsp vegetable oil (peanut, olive, etc)
1 tbsp soy sauce
gochujang enough to taste

We are supposed to start the rice cooking in a rice cooker or pot. While the rice is cooking make the namurus (side dishes). Then make the beef soboro (that's the meat of the dish). Finally, assemble the ingredients in the dolsots and cook them. Grate the garlic and grind the sesame seeds for all the namurus as once. We use a coffee grinder that's reserved for grinding nuts. Sesame seeds expand when ground; 2 or 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds will make ¼ cup of ground sesame seeds.

Carrot Namuru Ingredients:
2 small carrots
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp ground sesame seeds
¼ tsp grated garlic
a pinch or two of salt

Cut the carrots into matchsticks. Boil in salted water for a few minutes, covered. Drain. Put the cooked carrots in a bowl. Add the sesame oil, ground sesame seeds, grated garlic, and salt. Mix with your fingers.

Spinach Namuru Recipe:
10 oz spinach
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp ground sesame seeds
¼ tsp grated garlic

Put the spinach in a large covered pot with an inch or two of water. Bring to a boil and cook as usual. Stir occasionally to keep the spinach from sticking to the pot. The spinach is done when it's dark green and reduced to a small fraction of its original volume. Drain the cooked spinach. Cool by adding cold water to the pot and drain again. Squeeze the spinach in your hands to remove the water. Slice the cooked spinach into 1 inch pieces. Put the cooked spinach in a bowl with the sesame oil, ground sesame seeds, and grated garlic. Mix with your fingers.

Beef Soboro Ingredients: 1 tbsp vegetable oil (peanut, olive, etc)
1 lb steak
¼ c soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ground sesame seeds
¼ tsp grated garlic

Slice the steak thinly, but not paper-thin. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on high. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the beef. Stir fry. While the beef is cooking, add the sesame oil, ground sesame seeds, and grated garlic. Cook until the meat is well browned. Add the soy sauce. Continue cooking until the liquid has boiled off.

For the dolsot, rub the inside of the dolsots with sesame oil. Spread the cooked rice evenly over the bottom of the dolsots and part way up the sides. Place the namurus and the beef soboro on top of the rice, each in its own area. Cover the dolsots and cook over medium-high heat.

When the rice is crispy, carefully carry the dolsots to the dining table. Place them on small pieces of wood to keep the heat from damaging the table. Serve with kimchi. To eat, start by scraping the rice from the bottom and stirring the ingredients together with a metal spoon. The egg will cook as it breaks up. Be careful not to burn yourself on the dolsot.

I also added another 2 namurus, the edamame beans and sliced cucumber in salt (wash away the salt after the cucumber becomes soft). Colourful, isn't it?

It may seem like a lot of work but all the namurus and even the rice can be made in a large batch and kept in fridge. The next day when you don't feel like slaving in front of the stove, just whip out the dolsot, spoon everything in and heat it up for a quick meal.