Not heard of it? A simple mix of warm rice, sautéed vegetables, Korean paste topped with a fried egg and sliced beef. Korean food is on the rise in the London dining scene and this rich dish is a home staple. It is traditionally made on the Lunar New Year as a way of cleaning your pantry.
Wash the rice under cold water until it runs nearly clear. Drain off the rice, place in a saucepan along with 750ml of cold water.
Bring the pot of rice up to the boil. When boiling, lower the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes.
Trim any undesirable fat from the steaks, then cut into thin slices. Using about half the soya sauce and about a tablespoon of the go chu jang, marinate the beef until needed.
Remove the stems from the shitake mushrooms, and slice thinly across the cap.
Top and tail the carrot, then peel. Cut into matchsticks.
Top and tail the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice each half into a fine julienne.
Using scissors, shred the nori leaves.
Shred the baby gems into thin ribbons.
Heat a wok on a high heat, add some sesame oil, and stir-fry the carrots until cooked but still firm. Season with soy sauce, and set aside.
With a splash sesame oil, saute the shitake until they begin to brown, season with the rest of the soy sauce.
Using the same pan, fry off the soybean sprouts until they begin to turn translucent.
Use the remaining sesame oil to stir-fry the beef until cooked to your liking.
Eat a frying pan with the sunflower oil, and fry the eggs to your liking.
To assemble the dish:
Mound a portion of rice at the bottom of each bowl, and place each vegetable in a small pile all around the edge of the plate. The beef should have pride of place in the centre.
Sprinkle the finished dish with the shredded nori, and top with a fried egg.
Serve with a side of go chu jan so that each diner can add as much or as little as they like of chilli paste.
«Bi bim bap was traditionally eaten on the eve of the lunar new year: this dish was created in order to clear out the store cupboards before the new year, so you can substitute most of the ingredients for anything else you may have in your fridge.»