Bibimbap With Tofu, Cucumbers, Spinach, Shiitakes and Carrots
Looking for a delicious late-winter weekend project? Look no further than NYTimes Cooking’s Bibimbap recipe.
FOR THE TOFU:
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ pound tofu (to taste)
FOR THE VEGETABLES:
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced or puréed
2 to 3 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Salt to taste
Korean red pepper paste (kochujang) to taste (available at Korean markets) (optional)
2 Persian cucumbers or 1/2 long European cucumber, thinly sliced
6 ounces carrots (1 large), peeled and cut in matchsticks or grated
1 large bunch spinach, stemmed, or 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
Soy sauce to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
FOR THE RICE AND GARNISHES:
1 ½ to 2 cups brown rice, barley, quinoa or another grain of your choice, cooked (keep hot)
4 eggs (optional)
Korean red pepper paste (kochujang) to taste (available at Korean markets)
2 sheets nori seaweed (kimgui), lightly toasted* and cut into thin strips (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds or black sesame seeds
Toast nori sheets (if not toasted already) by quickly passing them over a gas flame (hold with tongs) until crisp.
- Combine all of the tofu marinade ingredients in a 2-quart bowl. Whisk together well.
- Drain the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick dominoes, blot again with paper towels and add to the bowl with the marinade. Gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes to an hour, or for up to a day.
- Mix together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, scallions, sesame seeds and salt to taste in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add red pepper paste if desired. Set aside.
- While the tofu is marinating, toss the cucumber with salt to taste and place in a colander in the sink for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse and squeeze dry. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons of the vinegar and sesame oil mixture. In a separate bowl, toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and sesame oil mixture. Refrigerate both the cucumbers and carrots while you cook the tofu, spinach and mushrooms.
- Wash the spinach and wilt in a large frying pan over high heat. Remove from the heat, press out excess water and toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and sesame oil mixture.
- Heat a wok or large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately on contact and add the canola oil. Stir-fry the tofu for 3 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned, and remove to a plate. Add the shiitakes to the pan, let sit without stirring for 1 minute, then stir-fry for another minute or two, until tender. Remove to a plate.
- Fry the eggs in the hot pan or in a separate nonstick skillet until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. Season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 4 wide soup bowls. Place a mound of hot grains in the middle of each one and surround with the tofu and vegetables, as well as kimchi if desired, each ingredient in its own little pile. Place a fried egg and a small spoonful of chili paste on top of the rice and garnish with the toasted nori and sesame seeds. Serve at once. Diners should break the egg into the rice. Pass the chili paste and add more as desired.