As promised, here are two of our favourite ways to get a taste of Korean without having to go on whacked out errand runs to try and find specialty ingredients. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing so, but finding a diverse range of uses for pantry and crisper mainstays is really the ticket to eating well—and with some excitement—without much effort at all.
The Korean Taco
This is pretty straightforward and nothing groundbreaking but utterly delicious and therefore worthy of any blog. I love cuisines—like Korean—that favour customization and personalization so I recommend setting up a taco bar. Am I the only one who finds eating this way the easiest way to make dinner feel like an interactive event? Ours included:
- White corn tortillas
- Sliced jalapeno
- Bean sprouts
- Lime wedges
I also made a very simple slaw with thinly sliced cabbage and red bell pepper with a dressing of fish sauce, lime juice and a dash of white sugar. I usually do almost even amounts of these three but then adjust it to my taste buds that day. The meat is sweet remember, so having a salty, crunchy kick is what we’re after. It helps create that perfect pickle/burger, sauerkraut/sausage combo of acid, sweet and, frankly, juicy, drippy meat. A good slap of kimchi, a few squirts of siracha and lime, and you’re ready to stuff your face.
Bibimbap (sort of….)
There’s something about eating out of bowls that screams instant comfort to me. It makes me want lay on the couch, dig my cold toes into the cushion seams, and hug the steamy, soothing bowl right to my chest (It’s probably why you’ll see a lot of one-pot cooking on this blog too!). I am also part of the school of thought that most anything that at once appears to be a side dish can be instantly elevated through the addition of a runny egg. Enter Bibimbap—leftover brown rice, leftover shredded meat, some roasted veggies and a sunny-side up egg, running liquid sunshine all over everything.
I based my own renditions of Bibimbap on this Epicurious recipe. The sesame salt that you use to roast your veggies takes a little bit of time, but you can make it in advance, and it’s great to use on its own. I serve the roasted veggies tossed in sesame salt with a side of siracha mayo as an easy appetizer or side dish. This recipe calls for asparagus but if you’ve never tried roasting green beans (green bean fries as Jessica calls them!) I highly recommend it. Authentic Bibimbap this is not—but fancy and effortless on Tuesday night it sure is.