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Bibimbap

November 5, 2008
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Serves 4

Make bibimbap in a deep cast-iron skillet, which produces a crispy crust on the bottom, or a nonstick skillet. The dish consists of rice and toppings, including an egg. Here are instructions for bean sprouts, carrot salad, cucumber salad, spinach, beef, and a tangy red pepper dressing. Use about 1 cup of each. This recipe has one egg, but you can also make one for each person. Add them to the bowls after serving.

SPROUTS

1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces soybean sprouts
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, salt, and sprouts. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and steam for 5 minutes.

2. Strain the sprouts and transfer to a bowl. Add the scallion, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

CARROTS

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
4 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and salt. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.

2. Remove them from the pan.

CUCUMBERS

4 Armenian or pickling cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons red pepper dressing (see below)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1. In a large bowl, toss the cucumbers and salt; set aside for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the liquid from the cucumbers. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Add the dressing. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

RED PEPPER DRESSING

2 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste (from a Korean grocery)
1 tablespoon rice or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon apple juice or water
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pepper paste, vinegar, honey, juice or water, and sesame oil.

2. Set the dressing aside.

SPINACH

1 pound fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the spinach for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out the water by the handfuls. Chop coarsely.

3. Transfer the spinach to a bowl. Add sesame seeds, oil, and salt.

BEEF

2 ounces beef rib eye, cut into strips (or use ground beef)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1. In a bowl, combine the beef, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar; marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Heat a small skillet. Stir-fry the meat for 2 minutes; set aside.

ASSEMBLY

2 tablespoons sesame oil, plus more for sprinkling
3 cups cooked white rice
1 egg, fried sunny-side up
3 tablespoons red pepper dressing (see above)
1. Set a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Heat for 1 minute.

2. Add the rice and spread it around the bottom of the pot to form an even layer. Cook for several minutes or until the rice begins to brown on the bottom and you hear the grains sizzle.

3. Carefully arrange each of the seasoned salads on top of the rice, grouping them like the spokes of a wheel. Set the beef in the center. Continue heating for 2 minutes. Set the egg in the center.

4. To serve: Add the dressing and fold the rice, vegetables, egg, and meat together, scraping the bottom of the pot to distribute the crust. Serve in individual bowls, sprinkled sparingly with sesame oil and extra dressing. Adapted from "The Korean Table"

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