It may be that you don't remember Hanson, of MMMBop fame. Without trying to insult anyone who loved that boy band from the late 90s, we would probably count them in the category of One Hit Wonders. Yet we just couldn't help ourselves in naming this post after their hit song. Corniness has its place in the world, doesn't it?
Okay, all corniness aside, in case you're wondering what exactly this post is about (if not Hanson), it's about the Korean smorgasbord-in-a-dish that is known as bibimbap. The name alone is so fun to say, we think you should say it out loud right now. Come on, have a little fun. Bibimbap!
The basics of bibimbap involve a bowl with some rice and vegetables, and perhaps some meat or fish, all topped with a fried egg. It's everything in a bowl. It's healthy and delicious. It's fun. It's amazing. Say it again - Bibimbap!
Asian Pear (above), grated (below)
Making bibimbap at home is somewhat of a chore, as you can probably tell, because each component must be made separately and then assembled into the bowl. Frankly, it's a pain in the arse. But if you have the time, a bunch of frying pans, and the inclination, you should try it at least once.
We used, as our guide, this recipe from this month's Bon Appetit via Epicurious. Since we took the time to pickle a pound of daikon radish we got from the farmers' market Sunday, we allowed ourselves to cheat a little by buying a pint of sushi rice from our favorite sushi joint. Cooking is about flexibility, after all!
Mix-in One: As we just mentioned, we started the night before by making pickled daikon for one of our bibimbap "mix-ins" using Tyler Florence's recipe exactly. They came out looking like this (great color, eh?):
Pickled Daikon Radish
On the night of bibimbap, Amy stopped at the store for the final ingredients - scallions and an Asian pear. She forgot the scallions, so we used dried chives. Although the checkout person didn't know what the Asian pear was, the store did have it, and it did make a huge difference in the flavor of the meat, so definitely look for it if, like us, you live in the frozen tundra known as New England where such things are so alien.
Marinating the beef
Amy got home and marinated the meat (thinly sliced ribeye also from the farmers' market) right away before setting about making the other mix-ins, again using the Epicurious recipe as a guide.
For the marinade:
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons Ponzu sauce
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
freshly ground black pepper