Beef Bulgogi Bibimbap with Korean Marinated Vegetables and Crispy Brown Rice (Gobble)

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As sent: ***

Hackability: ****

I love bibimbop.  Not only is it the funnest food name ever, but it is just one of my favorite things to eat.  It hits all the parts of the palate—all five flavors.  Also, I just adore bulgogi, the deep, rich barbeque like meat flavor.  So I was really disappointed when this dish, while good, just didn’t come together the way it should.

Tasting:

For me, these boxes make a big mistake when they ask you to set the oven to 500, then bake vegetables.  The broccoli and shishito peppers are cooked this way, and the vegetables just end up bitter and dry.  The carrots are just bland.  I don’t understand why the brown rice should be cooked here, because normally the rice is the counterpoint to the richness of everything else.  For a good bibimap, the whole is better than the sum of the part.  That didn’t happen here.

Cooking:

The peppers and the broccoli are cremated in a 500-degree oven.  I get that people don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, but this is ridiculous.  The chard is sautéed in a pan, and the beef, which comes pre-marinated, is heating in a pan.  The brown rice is added to a hot pan with sesame oil, which is an unnecessary step.  Then the rice is put into a bowl, and the other ingredients are arranged on the rice, and the whole is topped with a fried egg.

Hacking:

Boil some water, and blanch the broccoli for three minutes, then remove it to an ice water bath.  Don’t even turn on the oven.

Next, in a pan, heat a bit of oil, and add the peppers.  Saute over medium heat until they are soft but still crunchy, then add the ginger marinade, and let cook a minute to coat.  Remove and keep warm, then add the broccoli and some minced garlic and the ginger marinade, and salt and pepper.  Sautee until warmed through, and remove and keep warm.  Add a bit more oil (peanut, if you have it, with a dash of sesame oil), then add the Swiss chard, and cook until it is wilted, and season with salt and pepper.  Remove and keep warm.  Add a little more oil to the pan, and add some minced ginger, then the carrots, and a pinch of sugar.  Let that cook until the carrots are warmed through and slightly soft.  Remove and keep warm.

Continue with the rest of the recipe, except skip the step with the browning of the rice in the pan.  Instead, put the rice into a microwaveable bowl, cover with a wet paper towel, and microwave until heated through, about 2 minutes.  You may want to stir it halfway through.

To fry the egg, use a small pan, and add some peanut oil and a dash of sesame oil.  Fry the eggs over easy, so the yolk is still liquid.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put the rice into the bowl, and assemble according to the instructions on the recipe card.  Now, the vegetables should add nice flavors to the dish.  It might have taken a bit longer to make, but I’m willing to wager the flavors are vastly improved.

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