This, the opening Lab Cookbook recipe, comes with all the trimmings! Not only did I receive the recipe itself from Nick, but he also gave me two dolsots and a jar of gochujang to properly set me up for making bibimbap at home.
The recipe's name makes two big promises - that it is amazing and that it can plausibly be made on a weeknight - and it delivers on both counts. The ingredients can comfortably be chopped and sauteed in the time it takes for the rice to cook. Then it's a 10-15 minute job to layer everything up in the dolsot, ensure it's warmed through, and sprinkle over your choice of toppings. There are a lot of ingredients, but there's also a lot of room to pick and choose what's convenient for you.
While you could potentially concoct some kind of leftover lunch from it all, it wouldn't be quite the same. Developing a layer of crunchy sesame-oil rice against the dolsot, frying an egg just so, and maintaining the crunch of the toppings are all special parts of the experience, I think! Instead, we doubled our rice, tofu and greens and made an even easier second batch one night later.
Amazing weeknight dolsot bibimbap
(a recipe shared by Nick)
8 tablespoons gochujang
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 serves pre-marinated tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 serves Asian greens (we used wombok), sliced
2 tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 serves cooked rice
toppings, choose some combination of:
1/4 sheet nori, cut into short strips
2 tablespoons Japanese pickled ginger
2 tablespoons Korean/Chinese pickled vegetables
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 large spring onion, chopped
2 tablespoons kimchi, sliced
1 carrot, julienned and sauteed
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. You won't need any more than half of this for two bibimbap bowls, so freeze or refrigerate the rest for later.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frypan over medium-high heat. Slice the tofu into large matchsticks and fry until crisp; set them aside. Fry the garlic and ginger for a minute, then add the Asian greens and soy sauce and fry for a couple more minute; set them aside too. Finally, fry the eggs on one side only, keeping the yolks runny; get the frypan off the heat.
Set the dolsots over medium flames (or heat them in an oven). Drop a tablespoon of sesame oil into the bottom of each one. Place a half-serve of rice into each bowl, mix it through the oil, and press it across the bowl bottom to form a crunchy layer. Turn the heat down to low and pile in the remaining rice. Arrange the tofu pieces, sauteed greens and fried eggs over the rice. Pop the lids onto the dolsots and let every get all steamy and heated through for a good 5 minutes.
Remove the dolsot lids and sprinkle over your choice of toppings. Make sure you've got a good oven mitt and heatproof mat set up while you're eating from these very hot bowls.