Most of you have probably heard about the famous Bibimbap, but I bet Cold Bibimbap is much less popular. When I saw it first time on cHow Divine blog, the idea was so seducing, I made it in the following two hours and loved it, in spite of some forced modifications. When I finally prepared it with all the required products, it tasted even better and now I am an avowed addict of Cold Bibimbap.
In spite of its exotic name, this dish contains ingredients easily available all year and in most countries in the world (apart from gochujang; see the TIPS below). It is perfect not only as a hot day, soothing meal, but also an excellent way to deal with leftover rice. For me it’s most of all a very original alternative to one-meal rice salads I have been preparing for long years, but in a rather European way, i.e. with mayonnaise or vinaigrette dressing. Thank you so much, Gomo, for one more extraordinary Korean discovery.
I have slightly modified the amounts, scaling down the recipe and also replaced salt with soy sauce. Gomo indicates walnuts, sesame seeds, spring onions and dates as optional toppings. For me the three first have become obligatory, but I haven’t used dates yet (I must admit I’m not very fond of them). Click here to see Gomo’s original recipe, as well as lots of other fascinating and tempting Korean dishes.
TIPS: You will be surprised to see that all the ingredients are easily available in most countries, though, like in most fiery Korean dishes I know, the presence of gochujang (Korean hot and sweet chilli paste) is crucial. I strongly encourage you to buy it if you intend to cook Korean cuisine, even rarely. Gochujang is sold on internet, keeps for ages in the fridge and you can play with it in Western dishes too. It cannot be substituted by any other chili paste, so if you cannot get it, I advise using more syrup and adding some powdered chilli. The result will not be the same of course, but it’s still better than using Chinese or Thai chilli paste for example.
The gochujang amount given below depends on how hot you like your dishes to be and also on the gochujang’s hotness level (mine was medium hot; grade 3).
Do not skip the walnuts! They are here not only for the additional crunchy texture, but they significantly enrich the bibimbap’s flavours with their slight bitterness.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Ingredients (serves two):
300 g (about 1 1/2 cup) cooked short grain white rice
half of a 400 g/14 oz can of red beans
1 small carrot, grated
two handfuls of sliced crunchy lettuce (or other crunchy salad leaves)
1/2 long cucumber
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
3-4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3-4 tablespoons chopped green onions or chives
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon syrup of your choice or honey (I have used agave syrup)
1 heaped tablespoon gochujang (or less/more, see the TIPS above)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Cut the cucumber in half, lenghtwise.
(You can remove the seeds if you wish; I didn’t).
Slice the halves, sprinkle with salt and let it soften for about 10-15 minutes.
Rinse them, drain and pat dry.
If you kept your rice in the fridge, reheat it in a microwave (covered) until it’s slightly warm (not hot!). Thus, it will be easier to separate the grains.
Cut the avocado into cubes.
Drain the beans.
In a big bowl mix all the dressing ingredients, adjust the taste if needed, and combine with the rice, the avocado, the cucumber slices, the grated carrot, the lettuce and the beans.
Serve sprinkled with walnuts, sesame seeds, green onions or chives (if you like dried dates, you might try them too).