If you’ve tried my other recipes (if you haven’t…try them now!), you’ll know I love one-pan delights (basically to save washing up). This bibimbap is no different – plus, using a single pan for this dish has another advantage… to lock in the flavours.
All the aromas and flavours from every step accumulate – the umami and juices from the veggies and mushrooms fuse with the flavours of the beef, all which are then soaked up by the final egg fry-up. So no need to wipe down the pan between steps. Flavour conservation = YUMM!
It merges oriental flavours with the universal nourishment of:
- Fibre and antioxidants from colourful veggies +
- Protein and iron from beef and egg +
- Fibre and carbs from brown rice.
The ingredients list and recipe is longer than my usual recipes, but the ingredients are wholesome and the end product is SO worth it! If you’ve got the patience to read this far, you’ve got what it takes to make this dish. Despite the lengthy text on-screen, the actual cooking isn’t so long. Hooray!
Oriental health watch
Sauce, sauce, salt. Oriental cooking features a myriad of sauces. Black bean, XO sauce (seafood-based), hoisin, soy sauces, fish sauce, mirin, oyster sauce (it actually uses boiled oysters)… The rich flavours in many oriental dishes is partly thanks to the high salt in the form of regular salt and/or flavour enhancers like monosodium glutamate (621).
Yes, sodium is important for normal cell function. It’s also handy for preserving foods. But we can get enough from meat, dairy and shellfish, as well as in regular bread, cereals and pasta. The issue with added salt in our foods, especially packaged and processed foods, is the concern of exceeding our daily sodium limit of 1 teaspoon (5g, or 5,000mg). That’s not much. Above this, our risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke rise.
Time to rethink those takeaways..
Having more fruits and veggies provides us with potassium which counterbalances sodium and reduces blood pressure. For an average person, eating your daily 5 veggies and 2 fruits will provide you with enough potassium.
Maximise Asian flavours without overdoing salt by using lots of spices and other pantry goodies. Think star anise, cloves, peppercorns, five spice mix, chili, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, spring onions, sesame, rice wine, vinegar…
Note: Dark soy sauce vs Light soy sauce
Light soy sauce is relative to dark varieties, so it is usually sold as regular soy sauce. Most dishes that mention “soy sauce” refer to the lighter/regular type, whereas dark soy sauce is darker and thicker and usually to marinade or braise meats and eggs or in fried rice when you want to introduce richer flavour and colour to dishes. Dark soy sauce should be explicitly stated in the recipe.
Kimchi, a fermented friend
This dish also features a must-have Korean ingredient. Kimchi is a Korean fermented spicy pickled cabbage dish eaten with rice and most other meals. It’s made using Chinese cabbage in a mixture starring chili paste, fish sauce, garlic, salt and sugar.
Long health story short, it provides a helpful boost of gut-friendly bacteria to promote good gut health. Research is finding that eating fermented foods is also linked to better immunity, mood and also reduced risks of some cancers and diseases. To find out more, my fellow Accredited Practising Dietitian, Tim Crowe, from Thinking Nutrition has a great article here that breaks down the current evidence and what it means for you, your gut and its bacterial residents.
I’m one of those people who start sniffling and coughing after a trace of chili (hey, I’m improving… ), so this was a test for my senses. Also, households make their own as well as storebought varieties, so spice levels of kimchi vary from brand to bran and family to family.
Expressway to eating: Prep before you cook
To cook like a boss, prepare all your ingredients washed, sliced and lined up by your stovetop so that you can just fry each batch one after the other. Bam – bam – bam!
Costs: $16.30 ($4.10 per serve)
Cooking time: 40 mins
For the veggies
- 2 lebanese cucumbers, sliced into very thin rounds
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 5 tsp soy sauce, reduced salt
- 1 1/2 cups beansprouts or mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well
- 100g shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or brown swiss mushrooms or mixed mushrooms would work well too)
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or diced
- 1 bunch English spinach, cut into bite sized chunks (quarters, lengthways works for me – they wilt and shrink when cooked!)
- 2 tsp white sesame seeds
For the beef
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or diced
- 300g lean beef mince
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, reduced salt
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- 2 stalks spring onion, finely sliced
- Black pepper
For the rest
- 2 cups steamed brown rice, cooled slightly (see Notes)
- Olive oil spray
- 4 eggs
- White sesame seeds, to serve
- Spring onion, extra, finely sliced, to serve
- Kimchi, to serve
Let’s get cooking:
- Preheat the oven to 100°C. Divide half-cup rice into each of four large oven-proof bowls. Place bowls on baking trays and into the oven until serving.
- Place cucumbers and salt in a colander or strainer and mix well. Leave to drip and drain until serving.
- In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil and soy sauce and set aside.
- Heat a large frypan over medium-high heat and add beansprouts to pan. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until slightly softened. Add 2 tsp of soy sauce mixture and continue to cook until sprouts are soft. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Using the same frypan, repeat Step 4 separately for mushrooms and carrot.
- For spinach, heat the same frypan over medium-high and add garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add spinach and stir until just wilted. Add rest of the soy sauce mixture and stir in sesame seeds. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- For beef, add sesame oil to the same frypan and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until soft and fragrant. Add beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Add soy sauce, sugar and spring onions. Season with black pepper. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Spray the same fry pan with olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Crack eggs into pan and cook until yolk is still runny or to your liking (see Notes).
- Meanwhile, squeeze out the moisture from the cucumber mixture by pressing down the mixture with your hands (or the base of a bowl/cup).
- To serve, remove heated rice bowls from oven. Top rice with a fried egg. Working clockwise around the border of the bowl, add portions of beansprout, carrot, mushroom, spinach, beef and cucumbers. Top with extra sesame seeds, spring onions and kimchi, if using. Serve immediately. Mix the content together and enjoy.
- Cooling the rice down until it is no longer steaming prevents the oven from becoming a massive steamer. One of the joys of this dish is the slightly crispy outer surface of the rice served in a hot bowl, all while the inside grains are still moist and fluffy.
- Slightly runny egg yolks makes the final mixing/eating process even more delicious. The yolk with coat the other ingredients. Tips on sunny side up eggs? Thanks Jamie Oliver.
- Beef mince can be swaps for other meats and cuts such as strips instead of mince. Try turkey, pork or lamb. For a vegetarian twist, try hard tofu and/or extra mushrooms and break apart with a wooden spoon just as you would for mince.
- As you cook, you’ll progressively have a number of “covered plates” to keep each component warm. I just used the same dish for the raw veggies to keep it warm after cooking. The only red flag would be for the minced meat, which would need a new plate.
One serve provides 2.3 serves of veggies.
|Total fat (g)||20.7|
|– Saturated fat (g)||5.5|
|– Sugars (g)||6.6|
Image of spices and herbs from Pexels.