My first bibimbap experience was with my co-worker, actually I think she was my boss, in the days I worked in advertising pre kids and yoga. After a client meeting, always-up-for-an-adventure-Karen was driving me home and asked if I minded stopping at the best Asian market in Chicago.
It is called Joong Boo Market right off the highway at Kimball, a spot I have passed countless times without noticing. The huge warehouse had everything you could possibly need to prepare Asian food. I know I bought some Soba Noodles - as they were the closest item I could relate to at that time.
Then in the very back tucked in a corner, there was a tiny little counter where you could order warm food to go. There might have been 3 or 4 tables as well. I assume I copied Karen and ordered what she ordered which was bibimbap.
A rookie mistake, I poured all the hot sauce on the dish immediately. Despite the fact that my mouth was on fire, I knew I had found a unique combination of delicious and fresh ingredients.
I was hooked! Since then I've found bibimbap throughout the city, but knew it was time for me to make my own.
Bibimbap with Quinoa and Tofu (Adapted from The Law Student's Wife)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons sesame oil
6 cups kale; chopped
1 cup bean sprouts
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 green onions thinly sliced (white and green parts divided)
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms; sliced thin
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons Sriracha
Prepare tofu by cutting into squares and sautéing in olive oil until brown. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Toss with cooked tofu and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chopped kale and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the water and squeeze dry. Toss with 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Set aside.
Refill pot with fresh water and return to boil. Add bean sprouts and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes. Remove to bowl, toss with 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Set aside.
In a large skillet add white parts of the green onions, olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Toss with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and set aside.
Heat the remaining teaspoon olive oil and add carrots, remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and one teaspoon minced garlic. Sauté 2-3 minutes and set aside.
Just before serving, heat same skillet over medium heat. Cook eggs sunny side up. Stir together the Sriracha and remaining tablespoon honey in small bowl.
Place cooked quinoa in the bottom of the bowl. Then top with tofu, kale, mushrooms, carrots, and bean sprouts. Top with toasted sesame seeds, a fried egg, and the green tops of the green onions. Serve with the Sriracha.
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- Check out my 2014 photo project How Quickly They Change.