||[Jun. 4th, 2008|12:34 am]
I (well, collwen and I) made bibimbab tonight, partly to use up some of the kimchi that's been sitting unopened in the fridge for several weeks. I used this recipe, slightly tweaked into a vegetarian form; it came out beautifully, and I highly recommend it (I can still smell a nice scent from the kitchen as I write this in the bedroom a few hours later). Some notes:
- Apparently there's some sort of weird food shortage going on due to weather in the south and west. So neither the supermarket nor the co-op had beansprouts, and I couldn't get the mint that collwen had asked me to pick up. Rats. On the plus side, however, that meant that a big helping of kimchi took the place of the beansprouts on the rice -- not a bad thing.
- I found presliced baby bella mushrooms at the supermarket, and used them in place of beef, without modifying the marinade at all (except that we didn't have quite enough scallions). Then I accidentally dumped the marinade into the skillet when stir-frying the mushrooms, rather than taking them out of the marinade. I'm glad I did: the marinade turned into a delicious sauce, surprisingly teriyaki-like. Yum.
- Bibimbab is traditionally served with a spicy sauce involving kochu chang (spicy soybean paste). I'm sure the Korean grocery has it, but that was out of the way for me, and none of the other stores had it (no real surprise). So I improvised. I picked up some very dark miso (brown rice miso, specifically), and -- not really expecting it to taste quite "right" -- mixed it with sriracha, a little sugar, and enough water to thin it to the proper consistency. Wow! If I hadn't known it wasn't the proper kochu chang sauce, I would not have guessed: it tasted just like the real thing. And given the small amount used, it's surprisingly essential to the overall flavor of the dish. I'm glad I didn't just leave it out.
- The recipe doesn't say this anywhere, but kim is simply the Korean term for nori. If you're like me, you probably have some in the house.