Surprise! You might have noticed that I’m posting on a Wednesday instead of the weekend like I normally do. Well it’s all due to the great outdoors. My family and I are going camping for the weekend so I won’t have access to internet, which is why I’m leaving you guys with this easy dinner idea before I go. I got this idea from a recent episode of MasterChef where I saw all these really yummy looking bowls of bibimbap being made. The contestants on that show are so talented! (I’m cheering for Dan by the way. Love him!)
Let me first explain what bibimbap is. A Korean dish, literally meaning “mixed rice”, it is usually served in a hot stone bowl with rice (the stone bowl is so hot that there is a delicious layer of crispy rice on the bottom) and topped with vegetables, meat and an egg in the middle. The most traditional dishes use raw eggs and raw meat which should get cooked as it is mixed in the hot rice before eating. I, sadly, do not have stone bowls and had to content with these colourful Moroccan bowls that my dad picked up from one of his many travels all over the world. And since I couldn’t heat my bowls over the stove top, I couldn’t get a crispy layer of rice on the bottom, but it still tasted delicious!
My version of this Korean dish leans towards the healthier side, with delicious pan-fried chickpeas, minced turkey and lots of vegetables. I had so many toppings that I forgot to add onions and mushrooms (which I would’ve caramelized in a pan to add flavour) but I will remember next time.
I’ve read that many people make this as a way of getting rid of leftovers from previous dinners, so go ahead and put anything you want over the rice. Maybe even use a different type of rice. Ohhh, now I’m starting to think about all the possibilities…
A traditional Korean dish made easier and healthier with lean turkey and delicious pan-fried chickpeas. Add anything you want on top of the rice!
2 cups rice
1 lb. minced turkey
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce or liquid aminos
2 tbsp. each salt & pepper
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, chopped into small pieces
4 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 can (540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. roasted sesame seeds (roast on dry pan for 2 minutes)
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. red chili pepper paste (gochujang)
2 tsp. each salt & pepper
Additional Toppings: boiled cauliflower, cooked spinach, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cucumber and/or pickled vegetables.
- Base: Prepare the rice as instructed in a rice cooker with water, or in a saucepan with water covering the rice with at least a cm space. If using a saucepan with lid, cook on medium heat until boiling and reduce heat. Let cook for 10 minutes before using.
- In a bowl, marinate the turkey with the sesame oil, soy sauce and salt & pepper for 20 minutes. Sauté in a pan over high heat for 10 minutes until cooked. In the meantime, heat a medium pan with a tbsp. of vegetable oil on the stove top. Add the slices of carrot and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 2 to 5 minutes. Remove the slices of carrot and bell pepper onto a plate and, using the same pan, cook the onions and mushrooms until soft and golden. In another pan, cook the chickpeas with sesame oil for at least 20 minutes until crispy. Put the chickpeas in a bowl and toss with paprika.
- Bibimbap Sauce: Mix all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Assembly: Divide the rice equally between the four bowls and pour the bibimbap sauce over top. Arrange the vegetables, turkey and any additional toppings on top of the rice and finish by either poaching or making sunny side up eggs to place on top and in the middle of the bowl. Serve straight away and make sure to mix the contents of the bowl before eating.