Bibimbap, made following a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Emily Jacobs

“Even though I grew up with lots of Japanese cooking from my grandmother (who has lived in Maine ever since being brought here from Japan after WWII), the complexity and techniques of Asian cuisine often intimidate me.

“My husband and I loved eating out at various Asian restaurants, but as that became more difficult in the past months, I tried to bring the salty and umami flavors to our own kitchen. This recipe turns an intimidating (and delicious!) Korean dish into something you can do yourself. The various textures and colors are also helpful in making it both enticing and attractive! (I always think an egg on top makes everything look better.)

“Until we can get back to restaurants, it’s been fun to experiment at home and try reproducing those fantastic flavors that exist in the world beyond our home. This recipe came from ‘The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook’ by America’s Test Kitchen.” – Emily Jacobs, Wilton

Bibimbap

Makes 2-4 servings

Pickled vegetables:

1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 cup rice vinegar (or distilled white vinegar)

Rice:

2 cups short-grain white rice
2 cups water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Vegetables and eggs:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
3 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces (10 cups) baby spinach (kale works well, too)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Salt and pepper
2-4 eggs (one egg for each person)

1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, pressing to submerge vegetables in vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. Before serving, strain vegetables, discarding liquid.

2. Bring rice, water, vinegar and salt to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until liquid has been absorbed, 7-9 minutes. Remove rice from heat and let sit, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until they release their liquid, 5-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach, a handful at a time, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.

4. Crack eggs into two small bowls (two eggs per bowl) and season with salt and pepper. Wipe out now-empty skillet with paper towels, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Working quickly, pour one bowl of eggs in one side of pan and second bowl of eggs in other side. Cover and cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 2-3 minutes.

5. To serve, portion rice into bowls, top with vegetables and fried egg, and serve with pickled vegetables.


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