Quinoa Bibimbap

5 Dec

quinoa bibimbap

On Monday, I posted a great recipe for when you don’t have the time or energy to cook something elaborate. By contrast, here’s a complex recipe – for when you do feel like dedicating some time to the kitchen. Bibimbap is a classic Korean dish with a rice base and various vegetables as toppings. There are a lot of components here, but you can make this easier on yourself by preparing some ahead of time or omitting some. Or you can get creative and add different components using whatever you have on hand (bell peppers and zucchini, for example, are commonly used).

quinoa bibimbap

I stayed mostly traditional with the components here, with two main differences from the bibimbap you may have encountered before. For one, I omitted bulgogi (Korean barbecued beef) for a vegetarian version – you can add it back in, if you’re a meat-lover, or conversely, go a step further, and omit the fried egg and kimchi (or use a vegan kimchi) for a vegan version. For another, intead of rice, I used quinoa, mixed with chia seeds, as a substitute. Quinoa is a favorite of mine – a lot healthier than rice with a bit of a nutty flavor – and the inclusion of chia seeds helps to create a nice, sticky texture (while adding even more health benefits). Of course, using rice will also work just fine. However you customize this recipe, it’s a fun kitchen experiment and a tasty way to eat fresh veggies.

quinoa bibimbap

Quinoa Bibimbap (adapted from Maangchi)
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Chia Quinoa “Rice” (see below)
  • Korean Bean Sprouts (see below)
  • Blanched Spinach (see below)
  • Sauteed Carrots (see below)
  • Sauteed Mushrooms (see below)
  • kimchi*
  • cucumber sesame salad
  • fried eggs**
  • sesame seeds
  • soy sauce***
  • sesame oil
  • gochujang****

*Omit or use a vegan version to make this vegan.
**Omit to make this vegan.
***If you can’t eat gluten, make sure you’re using a gluten-free soy sauce.
****Gochujang is a spicy fermented Korean sauce that provides a crucial element to bibimbap – in a real pinch, you can substitute with another Asian hot sauce (like sriracha), but it’s worth it to seek out gochujang at an Asian market.

Method:
Distribute Chia Quinoa “Rice” among 4 – 6 bowls, then top with Korean Bean Sprouts, Blanched Spinach, Sauteed Carrots, Sauteed Mushrooms, kimchi, cucumber sesame salad, and fried eggs. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and season with soy sauce, sesame oil, and gochujang, to taste.

quinoa bibimbap

Chia Quinoa “Rice” (adapted from Tastespotting)
Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Method:

  1. In a medium pot, heat 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil over medium heat, then toast 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 2 1/4 cups water, and bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and let simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 20 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat, stir in 1/4 cup chia seeds, then let sit, covered, for 5 more minutes.
  4. Fluff with a fork, then serve.

Korean Bean Sprouts
Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces bean sprouts, rinsed well
  • water
  • salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Method:
In a medium pot, combine 8 ounces bean sprouts, rinsed well with enough water to cover and a pinch of salt, then bring to a boil, and let cook until the bean sprouts have begun turning translucent, about 20 minutes. Drain, and mix with 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tsp sesame oil, and salt, to taste.

Blanched Spinach
Yield: 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 large bunch spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

*If you can’t eat gluten, make sure you’re using a gluten-free soy sauce.

Method:
In a medium pot, boil 4 cups water, then stir in 1 large bunch spinach. Let cook until bright green and reduced in size, about 1 minute. Drain, and rinse in cold water, squeezing out any excess water. Mix with 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp sesame oil.

Sauteed Carrots
Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 – 2 carrots, julienned

Method:
In a sautee pan over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil, then add 1 – 2 carrots, julienned, and sautee until just softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the pan.

Sauteed Mushrooms
Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 12 – 15 shiitake mushrooms, diced*
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce**
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar

*You can use dried shiitake mushrooms; rehydrate ahead of time by covering them with boiling water and letting them sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
**If you can’t eat gluten, make sure you’re using a gluten-free soy sauce.

Method:
In a sautee pan over high heat, heat 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil, then add 12 – 15 shiitake mushrooms, diced, and sautee until browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce and 1/2 Tbsp sugar, and stir together. Remove from the pan.

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    [...] I know I just posted about quinoa bibimbap, and yet here I am posting another recipe using both quinoa and kimchi. But this recipe [...]

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