Kimchi and Korean Food Lovers Rejoice! Cook Your Next Korean Meal at Home
BY SUSAN B. B. SCHABACKER
Love kimchi? Craving Korean food, but rather DIY at home? Skip the trip to the local Korean restaurant and try cooking your own delicious and nutritious meal in your own kitchen. However simple or complex you decide to go, here are some recipes to try and share. Be it bibimbap or bulgogi, learn to cook basic Korean dishes and apply the art of substituting whatever ingredients are already in your fridge and pantry.
Save an extra trip to the grocery store, conserve food, and save money, while you enjoy your own Korean-inspired meal. As a Korean American, I love to create mouth-watering Korean dishes whether spicy, savory, salty, or sweet.
For those of us who can’t afford or don’t always have the refrigerator and pantry stocked with every imaginable ingredient, creativity can come in handy when you’re missing an ingredient.
Cooking is not an exact science and it helps to think outside the box.
If you’re in an ambitious multi-tasking mode, you may be okay with using every burner on your stove top, even if it requires extra dishwashing. But, for those who prefer to keep the post-meal dishwashing to a minimum, you may be better off with a one-pot-meal. It just requires some think-through strategizing prior to cooking.
A Korean-style ramen dish is a great place to start if you love a good one-pot meal. For added antioxidants, you can boil noodles or rice with organic broth and green tea instead of water. Drop in some slow cooking sweet potatoes or other root veggies. For protein, you can add in an egg, chunks of chicken, beef, or seafood (fish, shrimp, or scallops), tofu, or tempeh in any combination. Finally, add in some quick cooking veggies such as spinach or bok choy. You can always add a variety of different colored veggies to your dish, so who says you can’t throw in some chopped cucumbers, radishes, carrots, or even beets?
Here is a recipe for cooking a fav Korean dish, bibimbap, a healthy staple perfect for those trying to avoid sugar.
BIBIMBAP – GLUTEN-FREE AND VEGAN FRIENDLY
Drizzles of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), avocado oil, or toasted sesame oil for a nutty flavor
¾ cup brown rice, white rice, wild rice, black rice, quinoa, or couscous
1½ cups vegetable, chicken, beef, miso broth, or water, plus 2 green tea bags (optional)
3 cups of a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, cabbage, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, eggplant, onions, and/or spinach
1 cup bean sprouts, mushrooms, and/or edamame
2 large eggs
2 stalks chopped green onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons liquid aminos, soy sauce, or tamari to taste
1 Tablespoon or more of kimchi
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional garnish)
Drizzles of gochujang sauce, siracha, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, or other sauce (to taste)
- Boil rice or other grain in liquid with green tea (optional) until tender, but not mushy and remove from heat.
- Add oil to a saucepan, add minced garlic, lower heat, and stir till slightly browned.
- Add veggies that take the longest time to cook, then add the quickest cooking veggies according to timing.
- Stir in liquid aminos or soy sauce and remove from heat.
- Transfer mixed veggies onto plate and set aside, add oil to the same pan and fry eggs.
To serve: Add cooked rice or grain to a bowl, arrange veggies overtop, followed by fried eggs, sprinkle with chopped green onion and sesame seeds (optional) as a garnish. Complete the dish with kimchi and sauce(s) of choice.
Bibimbap Recipe Adapted from: minimalistbaker.com/easy-bibimbap-with-gochujang-sauce/
Remember, it’s up to you how simple or complex you want to get with your approach to cooking. If you’re tired of the “same ole” and want to try something less traditional, don’t be afraid to explore new options and experience this colorful array of veggies and rice with a nice crispy crunch. You never know until you try it and it may become your new fav!