04 April 2011

Kale (not at all) Bibimbap

Continuing my week of destroying Asian dishes by using kale (yesterday I did it to sushi, tomorrow I'm going to cancel the trend of destroying them with kale because I'm now out of kale), I've moved a bit west to Korea. I get Korean food cravings every now and then, which is hampered by a lack of good Korean food in SF. Specifically, dolsot bibimbap. While my dining companions are getting their fill of sundubu jjigae, I'm patiently waiting for my egg and rice to crust-up on a hot stone bowl. Well, I don't have a hot stone bowl at home, so I'll have to settle for bibimbap. Except not really, because I'm busy destroying regional cuisines.
This dish can only barely be called "bibimbap". "Influenced by" might be a better term, but maybe I'm better off just not mentioning the inspiring dish. For one, my dinner lacked cucumber, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and basically all of the signature veggies you expect to find. It did have the signature egg, the spicy chile sauce, and seaweed. Still, a far cry from the real thing. Also it had avocado because, hey, who doesn't love it? The flavors were mostly right, given my massive substitutions, and I'd file this under "easy" as far as prep goes. So why not give it a shot the next time you've got some lacinato kale?
You could definitely add some sauteed sprouts and mushrooms to the recipe below, and optionally some tofu. I've also suggested you eat it with lots of banchan. I didn't have any, so I just had some amazing hummus and chips. Not traditionally a Korean side, but it will do in a pinch.
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Kale Bibimbap
Serves 2 (assuming a healthy selection of banchan)
2/3 cups rice
2 eggs
5-10 leaves of lacinato (dino) kale
1/2 red onion
1 small, ripe avocado
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
furikake (or other form of seaweed/fish flavoring)
lime juice
sriracha (or other form of spicy chili paste)

Cook the rice as per the cooking instructions. When the rice has about 10 minutes to go, dice the red pepper and cut the kale into strips, widthwise. Put in a frying pan with a dash of olive oil over high heat. After 5 minutes, add in a small amount of the following: lime juice, sriracha, honey, rice vinegar, and a dash of salt. Continue stirring until it looks mostly cooked, then remove from heat.

When the rice is done, add in 1 tsp rice vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil, plus a small pinch furikake and stir. Put rice into 2 bowls and split the kale and onion mixture between them; garnish with sliced avocado. In a frying pan over medium-high, crack in the two eggs. Fry them as to your liking, preferably leaving the yoke runny. When you think they are cooked enough, immediately (but carefully, so as to no break the yoke), place an egg on top of each bowl. Add a dash of furikake on top of the egg for a visual garnish. Eat immediately, breaking the egg and stirring everything together.

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