Kinda Korean Beef and Rice Bowls

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 5:45pm

This dish is my spin on the traditional Korean dish called Bibimbap. Bibimbap translates to “mixed rice.” It consists of sautéed seasonal vegetables, meat, egg, and other toppings including pickled or fermented veggies over rice. You might say that Bibimbap was the first “grain bowl” long before bowls were trending like they are today.

My version has layers of Asian flavor in a ground beef and vegetable stir-fry, coated with a slightly spicy, sweet and glossy sauce. The stir fry sits on a bed of sticky rice and is topped with tangy quick-pickle cucumbers and a sunny-side-up fried egg. Traditionally, all of the ingredients are put in the bowl and then everything gets tossed together just before eating.

Make it your own and use your favorite veggies and your choice of protein! If nothing else, it’s fun to see the skeptical looks on your family’s faces when you tell them you are making Bibimbap for dinner! Then... the look when they taste it and ask for seconds!


Pickled Cukes:

¾ cup cider vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup very thin cucumber slices

The Sauce:

½ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup chicken stock

The Beef and Veggies:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups carrots, chopped into ½” cubes
1 onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ pounds 80/20 ground beef
3 cups small-medium zucchini, cut into
½” thick half moons
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups pea pods, stringed
½ cup scallions, chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

The Eggs:

4 tablespoons butter
6 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

The Rest:

3 cups cooked sushi rice, cooked to package directions
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

To make the pickled cucumbers, combine the cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a large jar and shake to combine until sugar is dissolved. Add the cucumber slices and shake again so cucumbers are fully coated in the liquid. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the dinner, shaking the jar occasionally.

Combine all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to combine until the brown sugar and corn starch are dissolved. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the carrots, onion, and garlic to the pan and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the carrots start to become tender when pierced with a fork. Add the ground beef to the pan and continue cooking, breaking up the meat with a spatula while it cooks.

When the ground beef is close to cooked through, add the zucchini and red pepper to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes more, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender and begins to lightly brown. Add the pea pods and scallions to the pan and cook for one more minute, tossing to combine.

Whisk the sauce to reincorporate all of the ingredients that may have settled to the bottom of the bowl and add the sauce to the pan, tossing everything together as a rich, glossy sauce forms. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring, until sauce is thick and coats everything. Set aside and keep warm until you are ready to plate.

To fry your eggs, heat the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Crack the eggs into the hot butter and turn the heat to medium-low. Let cook 2-3 minutes until the whites are set. Tilt the pan and, using a spoon, baste the tops of the yolks with the butter from the edge of the pan. When yolks and whites are set (but yolks are still runny), remove from heat.

To serve, place about ½ cup of the sushi rice on the plate and top with the beef mixture, a few of the pickled cucumbers, and one fried egg. Garnish with sesame seeds and more scallions. Devour!

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