Tuesday, November 17, 2009


So I mentioned last time that the minty cupcake day was a day of firsts. I forgot to explain that. First, I’ve never made ganache before. That was my first try. Turned out pretty well I think. The only thing is that I didn’t know how much I would actually need, so now I have a whole bunch of ganache left over in my fridge and I have no idea what to do with it. Ideas anyone? (I was thinking of adding some chocolate to the mixture to try to get a firmer consistency and then dipping mint chocolate biscuits in it. Good idea? Yes? No? I’m not the expert)

My other first had to do with the entrée of the night. It was my first attempt at Korean food. And I mean, like, complete first attempt. I had never even (seen) Korean food before. I became vegetarian about four years ago and before that, I never had the opportunity to try it. I feel like that’s a little bit of a strike against me, because I guess I don’t actually know what it’s supposed to taste like, so maybe my attempt was a complete failure… but it tasted pretty good to me?

The dish I made was called bibimbap, which, for all you newbies out there like me, means “mixed rice” (see wikipedia entry for more info). So I made this again today and I think it took me even longer to make than last time. This time I did all my cutting prep work beforehand, but then I ended up just waiting for certain things to cook while I stood there doing nothing, so I think it might’ve been more efficient to cut on the go, like I did last time.

Anyway, I used the recipe from this cute blog. Maangchi is a really cute Korean Canadian lady living in New York, I stumbled upon her blog through my many food blog reading sessions (instead of doing homework). Her site is really awesome because she even does Youtube videos for her recipes, so you can see how it’s done! She’s also got some Korean cooking books published, so if you’re an on-paper type person, you can check those out too.

So here’s my “vegetarianized” version of Maangchi’s Bibimbap:

First I put my rice to cook.

I used sushi rice because I thought it would fit with the Asian theme. I have no idea if it’s actually the type of rice that is supposed to be used for this dish. I thought it worked out okay though.

To cook the rice, I just did so according to the package. I used about 2 cups uncooked (makes about 4 servings). Then afterwards, I sprinkled in some rice vinegar and sugar. (I didn’t measure, I’m sorry – If you’ve ever had sushi, I made it to taste pretty similar to the rice used there).

Then, I cooked the bean sprouts.

I did this according to Maangchi – 20 mins in salty water. Then, when they are done, mix in with a chopped clove of garlic, salt and sesame oil.

Next was spinach.

Just plop it in to boiling water for about a min. Then drain and squeeze out excess water. Mix with a chopped clove of garlic, soy sauce (1 tsp) and sesame oil.

To cook the zucchini, I just chopped it up into strips, then sprinkled some salt over top and let it sit for a few mins.

Then I sautéed the zucchini in olive oil until the pieces became translucent.

Shitake mushrooms

– these are a little hard to find. They can be either fresh or dried (if they’re dried, you’ll have to reconstitute them). I actually found them at Safeway (I don’t usually shop there) and they were cheaper there than the dried ones at the local Asian market (I sent my boyfriend out on a mushroom run, but the ones he found were a little overpriced we decided). For my “mixed rice” I used fresh mushies. I just removed their stems and sliced the tops into thin pieces. Then in the frying pan, I sautéed them with 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sugar and a little bit of sesame oil. These actually turned out to be my favorite part of this dish, they had a subtle sweet flavour. Yummy!


For this part of the dish I used Yves Ground Round. This stuff is pretty good because it doesn’t really taste like anything, so you can flavour it however you want (but I definitely DO NOT recommend eating as is! haha). I mixed one package of ground round with 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and ½ tbsp of sugar and sesame oil and black pepper to taste. I sautéed all of this together until the soy crumbles were warm and the flavours of the different ingredients mixed together.

Platter so far (not bad, eh?)

Carrots – this is the easy part.

Just julienne and sautee for a little bit. I do mine until the pieces just start to get soft

And there you have it, the bibimbap platter!

I skipped making kosari. I couldn’t find it in my reg. grocery store plus I’ve read funny things about it being unhealthy. Either way, it’s not on my plate, but I would definitely try it just to taste in the future. I’m just like that.

Okay, last step. Fry some eggs – sunnyside up! Then mix them into the rice. I made 3 this time… but one disappeared in my transfer over.



You can pair with either hot pepper paste (which you can buy at your local Asian market) or Yangnyeomjang sauce (recipe on the same page as the bibimbap on Maangchi’s blog).


I like all the veggies this dish encorporates. I don’t really cook with a lot of these on a regular basis. It seems pretty healthy, and if you’re a college student, this recipe makes 4 servings, so there are lots of leftovers for lunch. The only downside is that this recipe takes a while because there are so many little parts being made separately, but I think the time can be minimized once you’ve tried making it a few times and have picked up the groove.

Oh yeah, and it’s really f*$%ing good.

Just sayin’



  1. There is no such thing as leftover ganache as long as you have a teaspoon to eat it with and a fridge door to hide behind! Still, if you want soemthing more sophisticated, blind bake soem tart shells, fill them with berries and drizzle your ganache on top.

    Nearly as good as the spoon idea!


  2. I agree with the above comment on "what the hell is LEFTOVER ganache!?!". Its so good by the spoonfull.
    I usually use it to make truffles though (make balls and roll in coco/coconut/more chocolate/nuts/etc., or a yummy chocolate truffle pie (with a cookie crust).