Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bibimbap Served Paella-Style

We've been loving the vegetarian bibimbap bowls at DWJ 2, a new Korean restaurant with lots of vegetarian options. It's located in the Cooper-Young neighborhood of Memphis. The bibimbap comes to the table in a scorchingly hot stone bowl which renders the rice on the bottom of the dish crunchy and delicious. 

All we can even think about lately is this dish! Since we can't go out to DWJ 2 every single night like we really want to, we figured out how to get similar results at home without the use of a stone bowl. We thought about the many pans of paella we've shared with friends over the years and how the rice gets all crunchy on the bottom of the pan; this is called the socarrat.  This past Friday night when we had some time to develop this recipe, we decided to use our cast-iron pan to get the same result. Amazingly, it worked! 

We have to thank our friends Max and Marlinee for introducing us to DWJ 2. It's awesome! We recently took some of the family there for a late-night dinner, and they loved it, too! (One other tip for ordering: Get all of the vegetarian 50-cent sides. Twice.)

Bibimbap Served Paella-Style

1 1/2 cups sushi rice (rinsed until the water is clear)
1 1/2 cups water
8 ounces crimini or shiitake mushroom (sliced)
3 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (divided)

1 teaspoon soy sauce
4 large eggs

1 large carrot shredded
1 sheet nori (cut into thin strips using scissors)

2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 cup gochujang or Korean BBQ sauce (We like Bushwick Kitchen's Weak Knees.)
1 cup kimchi (We like Sunja's if we're out of our homemade TCV Kimchi)

Add the rice and the water to your rice cooker and start the timer. Alternately, follow the package directions to yield 3 cups cooked sushi rice if you don't have a rice cooker available in your kitchen. 

While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. In a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, add one tablespoon of the sesame oil and the sliced mushrooms. Allow them to cook undisturbed for three minutes before stirring them. Allow them to cook for another two minutes, add the soy sauce, and then remove it all from the pan. Set mushrooms aside until you're ready to assemble the dish. 

Reduce the heat to medium. Into the same cast-iron pan, add an additional tablespoon of sesame oil and fry the eggs in the hot oil until they're crispy on the bottom and the whites are set. Remove the eggs from the pan and set them aside until you're ready to assemble the dish. 

Scrape out any reside left behind by the eggs in the cast-iron skillet. Add the last teaspoon of sesame oil and press the cooked sushi rice into the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat. Add the eggs in a single layer, followed by the cooked mushrooms, shredded carrots, green onion, and a generous swirl of gochujang. Add the nori strips to the center of the dish. Serve the kimchi on the side. Place the dish in the middle of the table and allow everyone to serve themselves. (Makes 2-4 servings.)


Bianca said...

I still haven't been there, but I'm at Imagine, like, every week, and I keep passing by thinking I need to check it out soon. I'm sure they can make it vegan without the egg like Kwik Chek does. Is it better than Kwik Chek???? Cause that'd be hard to top!

Kelly G said...

I saw this in my email and we made this for dinner tonight! It was a big hit with my boyfriend and I! I think I will try salting the rice next time, and perhaps will try to get the rice even crunchier by leaving the heat on for a bit. This was super easy to make and came together very quickly, we'll definitely make again :)

The Chubby Vegetarian said...

B., it is pretty darn good! But maybe J and I need to revisit Kwik Check and see because that one is awesome, too.

Okay, that pretty much sounds like a must-do.