26 Jun


We eat bimbimbap at least a couple of times a month. In fact, Lyra was surprised to discover that her friends don’t eat it at their homes. The name means “mixed rice”, and one of the most satisfying things about the dish is stirring the carefully arranged rice, gochujang, egg and vegetables into a delicious, sticky mess. The only “speciality” ingredient is the gochujang, which is available from Asian grocery stores.

(serves 4)

  • 2 cups Japanese short grain rice
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 lb fresh spinach
  • 1 med courgette, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 green onion, sliced finely
  • sesame seeds, toasted
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • sunflower oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tb gochujang hot pepper paste (or to taste)
  1. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Drain well, and add to a pot with four cups of water. Cover, bring to the boil, turn the heat to low and cook until all the water is absorbed. (Do not remove the lid, stir, or otherwise disturb throughout the cooking process.)
  2. Put the bean sprouts in a large bowl. Boil the kettle and pour boiling water over them to cover. Drain after one minute, and rinse under cold water to stop them cooking. Repeat this step with the spinach.
  3. Squeeze the excess water from the spinach and chop well.
  4. Toss the spinach with sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a separate bowl, toss the bean sprouts with sesame oil, soy sauce and green onions to taste. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a couple of teaspoons of sunflower oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the courgette slices for a couple of minutes. Season and set aside.
  7. Add a bit more oil if needed, and fry the sliced garlic until coloured slightly. Remove from the pan and drain on a piece of kitchen towel.
  8. When the rice is cooked, add a couple more teaspoons of sunflower oil to the frying pan, and fry the eggs.
  9. To assemble, put a mound of rice in each of four bowls. Top with a spoonful of gochujang. Arrange little piles of spinach, bean sprouts and courgette around the bowl, then top with a fried egg and garlic slices. Admire it for a couple of seconds, then stir it all together before eating.

Family score: 9.3 out of 10

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