Friday, May 22, 2009

Rice rice baby!

So in my highly unscientific and informal poll on the blog, twitter and facebook, with regards to the question "which starch would you choose - rice or noodles?" - Rice won by 3 votes out of 40. Pretty close I have to say. But since rice won, today, for Asian Heritage month, I shall share with you one of my favorite Korean rice dishes - Dulsot Bi Bim Pab. Which basically means mixed rice in a nuclearly hot stone pot.

So you can see that it is a very vegetably dish. There is rice on the bottom and it is topped with bean sprouts, pickled radish, marinated ferns, garlicky spinach and some lettuce. You don't see it but there is also delicious meat in the mix also. In this picture, the egg on top looks practically raw. This is unusual, but keep in mind that the stone dish that it is served in is so hot that the egg will cook immediately upon stirring. However, most places serve it with an over easy egg.

The stone dish is dangerously hot so whatever you do, don't touch it! The rice on the bottom crisps up with the heat of the pot. On the side, you will get a little dish of spicy red pepper paste that you can add to the mixture, at your discretion. As soon as you get your dish, you want to add the red pepper paste and mix everything up, making sure to lift up the rice from the bottom of the dish to get blended in. I've seen non-Koreans eat this unmixed, each part separately. Me and my big mouth always has to butt in and explain that bi bim means mix and show them how to mix it all up. Trust me, it is better that way!

So McKoala wanted some Asian recipes. Unfortunately, this is one of those dishes that is very difficult to recreate at home as the components are very time consuming. And unless you have an earthen stone dish in your house, it will be nearly impossible to get that lovely crisped rice effect so get thee to a Korean restaurant (preferably a good one! I took a friend to one in NY that I was sadly disappointed in so make sure to get good recommendations.)

Instead, for McKoala - I shall give you my shumai recipe. Here it is. You know how if you go to a Japanese restaurant you order shumai and you pay like $6.00 for 6 pieces of shumai? What a rip off! Wouldn't it be so much cheaper to eat at home? Absolutely. Here's my recipe. Get in your car, drive to your local Asian marketplace. Go to their frozen food section and find frozen shrimp shumai in packages of 24 for $4.99. Take home, heat in microwave and serve. For those of you who do not have an Asian marketplace near you - NO SHUMAI FOR YOU!

Ok - so are you getting the sense that I don't have lots of good recipes to share with you? Yeah, how sad is that. I realize that I cook more Italian food at home than Asian. But when we go out to eat, we eat more Asian. Unfortunately we go out to eat too much.

But because I hate to turn you away without any kind of recipe, I'll give you my Mother's grilled shrimp recipe. It is very easy. You want shrimp in their shells Throw them in a large ziploc bag and cover them with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Korean Kochukaru (which is crushed red chili flakes). If you don't have the Korean version look for red chili flakes - I'm sure there is a similar spice you can use. This is all to taste so you can make it spicier or milder, up to you. Shake the bag until all the shrimp are coated in the mixture. I like my shrimp to have a nice coating of red, since they are shelled, you get the taste more from your fingers. Grill and serve.

My next Asian heritage month question is - Do you like sushi (and I don't mean California Rolls! I mean the real raw fish stuff)? If yes, what and why. If no, have you ever tried it?


laughingwolf said...

yummies, thx el :)

yup, a huge sushi lover, older daughter and i go for the real stuff at a local japanese spot she introduced me to... we get the dinner for two called 'tokyo special'

mmmm mmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Charles Gramlich said...

Rice for me too. This sounds delic.

Anonymous said...

Toro . . . 'nuff said.

Although I'm hoping one day to go fishing for them and then I could eat Toro sushi/sashimi until I'm actually full every day for a week and not miss the mortgage payment for that month!

Da' Man

Aniket Thakkar said...

Any post on food is a great post! :D

I am a vegetarian so haven't tried it and have no intentions of trying one in the near future.

But I do love sushi... coz I watch a lot of Japanese anime and read a lot of Manga. And in Prince of Tennis they all used to eat Kawamura sushi. They had this whole episode on how tough it is to make a perfect sushi.

Sushi and Ramen look great. Dunno how they taste though. :P

pacatrue said...

Love the shumai recipe. To make my own, I usually stop at 7-11 and buy the little group of 6 for $3 or so.

Gaby317 said...

This post was pretty funny!

I have an award for you


moonrat said...


i haven't had bibimbap in more than a week ::cries like an infant::

re: sushi: ...seriously?

off the top of my head, i'd say, yellowtail, cuttlefish, flying fish roe, saltwater eel, octopus, squid, salmon and tuna (natch), and anything in combination, particularly if it features avocado, mango, or hazelnuts.

i don't LOVE sea urchin. ya got me there.

Kimbra Kasch said...

Love hearing about different types of dishes - especially culturally based.

My husband loves steak tar-tar, with a raw egg on top and capers and kosher salt.

He flash boils the egg for 10 seconds to get the bacteria off the shell - that's where the salmonella comes from - he says.

Christina Farley said...

Yum! I bee bim bop! Both cold and hot but hot maybe is my favorite. It's one of my favorite things to eat actually. So yummy. I like to pour sea weed soup in mine too.

McKoala said...

McKoala is a little sad that Ello doesn't cook Korean every day. Why, up in the eucalypt we live on haggis, neeps and tatties! Frozen shumai do sound good, hm, wonder if Sydney can rise to that...

Sushi for me. Love it. So does Soccer Boy.

Kim, alas for your hubby, only complete cooking kills salmonella...

Mary Witzl said...

Rice or noodles? Must I choose? It depends on the rice and it depends on the noodles. If we're talking brown, hardly cooked stuff, then I'll have the noodles, please. If we're talking the polished, delightful stuff that clumps together, like in Bibimbap (I know I've spelled that wrong...), then I'll have the rice, please.

Do I love sushi? Get out of town -- I'm insane for it! I don't care if I get worms from it either: I've already got them.

I've got a great gyoza recipe, and I swear it's easy! All you need is rice, water and salt to make the casings -- and maybe three extra people. I'd rather have a nice dim sum place nearby, but fat chance of that here.

Sylvia said...

I love sushi. I'm allergic to most seafood and there is very little fish (and no shellfish) that I can eat. I keep tasting bits of sushi to see if I can discover more that I can eat safely!


There are no Korean restaurants around here and I've been experimenting with cooking at home. No doubt my dishes are about as "Korean" as Pizza Hut is Italian but it's making for some nice meals.

Karissa Chen said...

im def a noodle person tho i do like rice too. mmm bibimbap....... nums.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to drop in to let you know your blog was mentioned as A Book Blogger’s New Discovery by Starting Fresh .

Vivian Mahoney said...

Bibimbap is one of my favorite comfort foods and it always tastes better when my mom makes it for me.

And yay for sushi!

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Ello,

My blog post today is, in part, dedicated to you.


Anonymous said...

Chris...if that doesn't worry El, it worries me...

JaneyV said...

I did a zoology module in college where we had to dissect a dogfish. The thing was riddled with parasitic worms. Having asked the teacher what they were he replied, "They're nematodes - very common - lots of fish have them. Don't worry cooking kills them."
Nothing would prevail on me to eat raw fish. I will eat smoked fish but that's it.

Rebecca Knight said...

I was wary about sushi at first, but now I literally can never have enough. Unagi! Sake! Spicy tuna! I could eat flying fish roe with a spoon, I swear... :P.

This post was hilarious and informative. Thanks for turning me onto this Korean dish! I happen to have some "homemade" shumai in my freezer at home right now ;). Dinner? Indeed!

Thanks, Ello!

Search This Blog