This recipe is simply a healthy twist on my Korean favorite dish, dolsot bimbimbap. Dolsot bimbimbap comes in a hot pot still sizzling away. At the table, a raw egg is cracked into the sizzling rice dish which you quickly stir to cook the egg. I haven't had it in years, last time was in a strip mall in K-town where our server spoke no English (to me anyway, I was with a Korean friend). I am craving that dish right now and about to start brushing up on my Korean. The bimbimbap we are riffing on here is regular bimbimbap, a mixture of hot and cold ingredients. Maybe dolsot will be my next stop.
A few people were coming over, so I popped open a bottle. (I do this when cooking alone too, just saying.) Sparkling red from Silverlake wine. This was nice with the spiciness and salt of the dish.
I had all the ingredients I needed already in the cupboard. From left, low sodium soy sauce, sriracha (instead of gochujang, but next time I am hunting down some gochujang), ponzu (which I used in the dish instead of soy sauce), sesame oil peeking around from behind, sea salt, white balsamic for the poached eggs.
Start with your quinoa. I often make quinoa risotto. The recipe I use for this slow cooking dish comes from the lovely Diana at Diana Takes a Bite. She cooks beautiful gourmet health food. Check her out. This is more simple. Cook quinoa in water at a 2:1 water:quinoa ratio. I put the lid on when it reached a boil and waited. The quinoa fluffed up beautifully. After the grain has absorbed all the water, is nice and fluffy and you can see the line of the grain along the side, put lid on and set aside.
I wanted a lot of protein in my dish. The recipe Pam references for cooking the veg suggests using ground beef, but that is a more traditional recipe to begin with. We're shaking it up over here at Casa FST. I cooked the ground turkey with a little olive oil, garlic, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper.
Most of the veg are prepared similarly except bean sprouts. Upper and lower left. Boil bean sprouts then toss in sesame oil, garlic and salt. Upper and lower right, saute very thinly sliced carrots in sesame oil & soy sauce until al dente.
Zucchini gets the same treatment as the carrots.
Platter o' veg. I also used some shiitake mushrooms. They were a little on the dry side, so I added a little water to the saute to plump them up a little. They were still chewy. In retrospect, the veg recipe referenced above orders you to cook the veg all separately. Next time I am going to stir fry them altogether to make the dish a little faster, more user friendly. It's not authentic anyway. I just want the flavors of the shoyu and sesame oil and garlic...
With all ingredients organized (bowl of simply steamed spinach to boot), your guests can create their own bowl any way they want.
Vegan: quinoa, all the veg, toss with some sesame oil & sriracha.
Vegetarian: quinoa, all the veg, toss with some sesame oil & sriracha, add an egg.
Omnivorosity: quinoa, layer some spiced ground turkey, all the veg, toss with some sesame oil & sriracha, add your poached egg.
To me, cooking healthy is all about intelligent substitution. As Rants & Craves notes, the exchange of quinoa for rice isn't about calories, it's about getting more for your calories. The exchange of ground turkey with a little olive oil for beef is about exchanging a high fat protein for a low fat one. When you add the olive oil, you are adding some needed fat but a fat that is good for your heart, your intestinal tract and supposedly for helping to prevent colon cancer. Who wants to talk about a colon on a food blog? Not me.
I poached my egg nice and soft so the yolk could ooze all over the quinoa and veg. Nom!
I fed four people Saturday night with this dish and took the leftovers on my Sunday road trip to share with Mom before we went wine tasting. It is damn good. Definitely going into heavy rotation over here.