I usually associate ‘comfort food’ with me holding a bowl of rice food, snuggling on the couch and watching Netflix all night. And I would be using only one utensil, like either a spoon or a fork. I don’t know if that’s a universal image of comfort food, but for me, it HAS to be a bowl and it HAS to be a rice dish. The winner of all comfort foods for me has to be kimchi bibimbap.
I remember when my mom wouldn’t have time to cook us a full-blown meal, she would quickly stir-fry some vegetables, top it up on some rice, add an egg, and finished it off with a dollop of butter. If I have to describe the flavor of that bibimbap right now, I would fail miserably. I can only describe the joy I felt every time I would take a spoonful of kimchi butter bibimbap. It was magical, it was musical, it was magnificent, it was unbelievable!
I’ve never seen anyone add butter to their bibimbap, or any other Korean food for that matter. It’s not controversial in any Korean cuisines to use butter. I mean, when I was younger, it was even difficult to find plain yogurt in Korea, let alone for butter to be readily accessible as a “normal” ingredient to be used in foods. But the mixing of cultures in food gives birth to magical flavors. And this is why I’m here to share my multicultural food experiences with you.
Kimchi Butter Bibimbap
- 2 cups sticky rice (cooked)
- 1/2 zucchini (julienned)
- 100g mushroom of choice
- 1 paprika (julienned)
- 1 cup kimchi (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 100g bean sprouts
- 1 bunch spinach
- 3 tbsp cooking oil
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- a dollop of butter (15g)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- seaweed flakes (optional)
- Cook your rice using either a rice cooker or a pot. Set aside and let it cool down.
- Follow the instructions below for stir-frying each vegetable one by one.
- Add your rice to a bowl and start decorating your bowl with all the stir-fried condiments that you prepared. Make it look beautiful as possible by mixing in all the colors.
- Add 1 tbsp of gochujang to each bowl. Placed on top of the rice usually.
- Add a dollop of butter next to the gochujang. Make sure your rice is still warm so that it can melt the butter.
- Fry an egg however you like it and place it on top of your bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and seaweed flakes if you like.
- Mix everything up and enjoy!
- In a non-stick pan, add a drizzle of cooking oil (about 1/2 tbsp). Add the mushrooms and fry until it has reduced in size and has given off some liquid. Then add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar and let the sauce thicken. Set aside.
- Pat dry the zucchini with a paper towel. In a non-stick pan, add a drizzle of cooking oil (1/2 tbsp). Fry zucchini until lightly cooked. Turn off heat and add 1 minced garlic. Mix and set aside.
- In a non-stick pan, add a drizzle of sesame oil. Add bean sprouts and let it cook until soft. Turn off heat, add 1 minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Mix and set aside.
- Add spinach to a non-stick pan. Let it cook until soft. Turn off heat, add 1 minced garlic, 1 tbsp sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Mix and set aside.
- Cut paprika in julienne. Add a drizzle of oil to a non-stick pan. Stir-fry paprika until cooked. Add a pinch of salt and set aside.