Monday, April 29, 2013

'Blitzkrieg Bap': Korean BiBimBap Re-Imagined

Blitzkrieg:  a swift intensive military attack designed to defeat the opposition quickly.  Literal German translation: 'Lightning War'.

BiBimBap:  a ubiquitous dish found in a Korean restaurant consisting of rice topped with sauteed vegetables, chili paste, and meat, sometimes with the addition of a fried egg.  Literal Korean translation:  'Mixed Rice'.

Blitzkrieg Bop:  the debut single by NYC punk band, The Ramones, released in April 1976.  The opening track to the band's debut album, Ramones.

'Blitzkrieg Bap':  An assault on the taste buds designed to defeat a growling stomach.  A veggie-heavy combination of salads and brown rice influenced by Asian/Korean cuisine.  The debut recipe by up wide....Hey Ho, Let's Go!

Ever since completing my detox diet over a month ago, I've been striving to eat a more sugar-free, processed foods-free, and mostly meat-free diet.  I've stocked up on a variety of grains and legumes that I've purchased in the bulk food section of my local grocery.  It's been a fun challenge to cook with these diet limitations, but I've been able to make it work.  My taste buds have awakened to the intense flavors that spices, fresh fruits and veggies, legumes, and grains can create when prepared together.

Maybe it was the Ramones song I heard playing in the grocery store this morning, or perhaps it was the trip to the little Asian grocery, Maruta Shoten, near my work.  I wanted to make some magic out of some adzuki beans & brown rice.  My fridge was loaded with tons of veggies and fruits that I had just bought on my weekly trip to the produce stand; so they needed to be thrown into the mix.  The more I thought about it and with a little help scouring the internet for aha moment was to do a new take on BiBimBap!!

For my version of BiBimBap- I'd surround a ball of brown rice with 3 different veggie/ fruit salads that had an Asian flavor- think sesame oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce with toasted sesame seeds to create that base flavor & texture.  So first, I had to make the salads!

#1 Adzuki Bean Salad

Starting from the pic at the top left:
Prepare dried adzuki beans:
1)  Soak 1 cup dried adzuki beans in water for 1 hour or more.
2)  Drain, rinse, toss in a pot, add enough water to cover 2" above the beans.
3)  Crank the heat up, boil, skim foam from top, turn heat down and simmer for about an hour.
4)  Drain and place in a bowl.

Pic at the top right:
Prepare the ingredients for the salad:
1)  rinse well and chop the following veggies matchstick-style:  cucumber, radishes, carrot.
2)  Mince 2 cloves garlic.
3)  Grate some fresh ginger.
4)  Chop up a bit of fresh pineapple.
5)  Throw all ingredients into a big mixing bowl with the adzuki beans.
6)  Juice a lime into a separate bowl, add 2 tbs rice vinegar and 2 tbs tamari with one tbs of sesame oil.  Whisk well and douse over the adzuki bean mixture.

Pic at the lower left:
Season with red pepper flakes, Gomasio (Toasted Sesame Seeds).  Alea- Red Hawaiian sea salt was an optional seasoning I threw in.  I tend to go mixmastermike when I make salads and use a bunch of different spices.

Pic at lower right-
Voila!  Adzuki Bean Salad!
Cover bowl with foil, stick in the fridge to chill.

Next up, my Eastern Bloc Rockin' Beets Salad adapted to the Asian persuasion.

#2 East Beets West Salad

Pic at top left:
I used Golden Beets, but you can use whatever color you want for this.  They all taste the same.
To prepare the beets, we will roast them in the oven.  Preheat oven to 375 F.
Scrub beets well, chop off the top and bottom, drizzle a little olive oil on them, wrap them in foil, set them on a baking sheet. Bake for 45min- 60 min.

Pic at top right:
Remove beets from the oven when finished roasting.  Allow them to sit 10 minutes to cool before removing foil.  Open the foil, remove beets, wash under cold water and rub off the skins.  Grate the beets with a thick grater into a bowl.

Pic at lower left:
I used some simple ingredients in this salad.  Roasted beets, 2 cloves of garlic- minced, pine nuts- which I mashed up with a knife, and 1 tbs spoon of olive oil + 2 tbs of rice vinegar.  Mix together in a bowl.

Pic at lower right:
Voila!  There you have your East Beets West Salad!  Stick this in the fridge to cool.

And thirdly, the last 'salad'.  I was trolling the internet for potato recipes, as I love all the interesting side dishes they serve you when you go to a Korean restaurant.  One of them always stuck out in my mind as something so damn easy to make, I could do it at home.  So, after I typed in Korean, Potatoes, Soy Sauce, I came upon a website with an easy recipe that had the flavor I desired for my BiBimBap.

#3 'Gamja Jorim'- Potato with Soy Sauce

Pic at the left:
I used 2 yams instead of your typical white/ yellow potatoes, cuz I be yammin', mon.
1/2 cup chopped white onion, 2 cloves garlic minced, 1 tbs sugar, 2 tbs soy sauce to cook together.

Follow the recipe instructions here at this link to make Gamja Jorim- Potato with Soy Sauce.

Pic at the right:
Gamja Jorim with Yams- drizzled with sesame oil and sprinkled with Gomasio- Toasted Sesame Seeds.
Stick in the fridge to chill.

Now on to cooking your rice.
I chose short grain brown rice just to up the health factor on this dish.
I found one of the best ways to cook brown rice when you don't have a rice cooker.
Check out the link here for Perfect Brown Rice on and follow it to a tee.  Works like a charm all the time!

To Prepare the Blitzkrieg Bap Bowl:

I sprinkled in a few tbs of rice vinegar after fluffing my rice when it had completed cooking.  Then I took a small bowl, greased it with some sesame oil and packed in the rice.  I put a plate on top of it and then inverted it, plate down, bowl of rice flipped down over the plate.  I slid my inverted rice bowl into the center of a bigger serving bowl and gently lifted the bowl off the rice, revealing a perfect brown rice dome.

Out from the fridge come my 3 veggie salads that had been chillaxin'.  I spooned a few servings of each salad at 3 different points around the brown rice dome.  For the fourth point, I placed a fresh bushel of cilantro.

Then I got the Sambal Oelek out.  Dag I love this stuff...straight up chili paste with garlic.  I put this stuff on pizza!

I put a big heaping couple of spoonfuls of this on top of my brown rice dome and........

Well ain't that a pretty sight!  Rainbow of colors, fresh healthy ingredients, distinct flavors to satisfy your tastebuds....I'm gettin' hungry just lookin' at this.

But wait...Blitzkrieg Bap is not complete without an egg on top!!!

So I went and poached one!  I know a traditional BiBimBap uses a fried, or even a raw egg (if you're lucky to own those special hot stone bowls they serve BiBimBap in).  But I don't own such bowls and besides that, I've been on a poached egg kick lately and that just sounded like a better topping.
Here's a good recipe to use for preparing a poached egg.

BAP-DAT!!  Poached egg golden goodness drippin' down.  Nothin' beats...err 'beets' that!!

I sprinkled some more Gomasio, Toasted Sesame Seeds on top of all the salads, for more texture.

And then the Blitz hit the fan when I mixed up all that goodness in the bowl:

I know it seems like a lot of work to make this, but you'll have leftovers for a few days afterwards of the salads that you can mix with greens or just throw all the salads together into a mega salad!

This is pretty damn good.  I think I really topped myself on this one this time.

Bap-Appetit and stay tuned for more of my diy 'kitch-e-ness'....

Until then, listen to the soothing sounds of 50 Korean kindergartners crooning you with a remake of the classic Ramones song 'Judy is a Punk':