Growing up my family ate a lot of different types of food from all over the world. We were constantly trying new restaurants and even making it at home. We always loved Korean food and there were a few good Korean restaurants in Provo. When I was younger the one we went to most often was called SamHawk. The food there was delicious and really authentic, but it always made your clothes smell. Like Korean food. So strong. Don’t get me wrong, I love Korean food, but I don’t love smelling like it for HOURS after eating it! But, the food was great so we still went.
On my mission in California, there were a lot of asians. The population of my first area was 55% Vietnamese! It was awesome. In my last area, there was a rocking Asian strip mall full of incredible restaurants and shops. I could go on and on about all the delicious food I ate at the different places there, but I will constrain myself to one…for now. There was a huge Asian store called H-Mart which was the size of Costco but full of Asian goodness. They have lots of locations all over the world, thank goodness.
Within the store there was a food court where you could get traditional and street style Korean food. The first time I went I got hot-stone bibimbap and it changed my life. Not really, but it was delicious. For those who don’t know, hot-stone bibimbap has the normal ingredients for bibimbap but they are put in a pipping hot bowl so the rice gets crispy and all the vegetables are really warm. It is so so good. After having it there, I think I dragged my companion back at least 3 times to get it again.
After all this inspiration I decided to attempt bibimbap on my own. And it is surprisingly easy! And so yummy. And so fresh. And so healthy. I love making things as healthy as I can, without compromising taste, and thats exactly what I’ve done here. Instead of real rice, I used cauliflower rice, and used ground turkey instead of beef. These simple substitutions still taste so good, but really make a difference.
I’ve never attempted making my own kimchi, but maybe I should. Its always just seemed more simple to me to buy a huge bottle of kimchi for $3 than rather go to the process of fermenting it myself. But who knows, maybe someday I will become a fermentation master. Burying cabbage in my backyard. Ha. Stay tuned. Anyway, make bibimbap. You will not regret it.
Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers:
- 1/2 water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 lbs cucumber
- 1/2 lbs shredded carrots
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lbs ground lean turkey
- 1/4 cup thai chili sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 handfuls of spinach
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp garlic
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup kimchi
- 4 eggs
- sesame seeds
For the pickled carrots and cucumbers, heat the water in the microwave for 2 minutes, or until the water boils. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, add the rice vinegar and salt and let the mixture cool. Once cool, add the carrots and cucumbers and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferable longer.
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces then pulse in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor you could also use a cheese grater, using the large holes. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cauliflower, cooking for 6-9 minutes.
Add a little oil to a heated pan and add the ground turkey. Cook the turkey until brown, then add the chili sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar.
To prepare the spinach, heat the sesame oil in a pan. Add the garlic and cook until brown, then add the spinach. Cook the spinach down until the water from that comes off of the spinach is cooked of and the spinach is wilted.
In the same pan used to prepare the spinach, add more sesame oil and the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are almost done, add the salt and basil and cook until done.
Fry each of the eggs sunny side up, with the yolk slightly raw. The eggs can be cooked more or less, depending on your preference.
To assemble, add cauliflower rice to the bottom of the bowl. Next add the turkey, spinach, mushrooms, kimchi, and pickled carrots and cucumbers. Top with an egg and sesame seeds.