Bibimbap with Gochujang-Marinated Beef

Bibimbap is a comforting and super-flavorful Korean rice bowl that is packed with individually cooked vegetables and proteins. Bibimbap means ''mixing into rice,'' and that is exactly how one eats this dish; choose which of the toppings offered you want to add to your bowl, then mix it in with a spicy sauce made with gochujang, a spicy fermented sauce. The version I offer here has beef and egg, plus several classic vegetables, all cooked in the same skillet to streamline the dish.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving

4 garlic cloves, finely grated

3/4 pound boneless ribeye, boneless beef short ribs, London broil or flank steak, thinly sliced

8 ounces leaf spinach (not baby spinach), rinsed and drained (see Cook's Note)

Kosher salt

1 medium Kirby cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup vegetable oil

8 ounces soybean sprouts, rinsed and drained

1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks

1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced

4 large eggs, optional

6 cups cooked short-grain white rice for serving

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Whisk the soy sauce, gochujang, honey, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and half of the garlic together in a medium bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons of the soy marinade to a small bowl and set aside for serving.
  2. Add the beef to the remaining marinade and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. (The beef will absorb most of the marinade so there won't be a need to strain at the end.)
  3. Meanwhile, stir the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil, remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and remaining garlic together in a small bowl until combined. Fill a large pot two-thirds full of salted water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cook until just tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, let cool, and squeeze the spinach dry. Coarsely chop the spinach and transfer it to a medium bowl. Toss with half of the sesame sauce and season with salt if desired. Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. Toss the cucumber in a small bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and remaining sesame marinade; season with salt. Set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the sprouts and season with salt. Cook the sprouts, tossing often, until translucent and crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Place in a mound on a serving platter.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the same skillet over high heat. Add the carrot, season with salt and cook, tossing often, until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Place in a mound on the platter.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in same skillet over high heat. Add the bell pepper, season with salt and cook, tossing often, until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Place in a mound on the platter.
  8. If making fried eggs, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in same skillet over high heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet, leaving space around each one, and cook until the whites are set and the edges are crisp, about 3 minutes. Season with salt; transfer to a plate.
  9. Working in 2 batches, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in same skillet over high and cook the marinated beef, turning once, until browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per batch, adding another tablespoon of oil to the skillet between batches. Transfer each batch to the platter. Add the cucumbers to the platter.
  10. Divide the rice among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve the platter of ingredients for everyone to compose their own bowls. Pass the reserved soy marinade.

Cook’s Note

Feel free to use frozen chopped spinach instead of fresh spinach.

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