I laughed at Sam’s command, but secretly chastised myself for being so predictable. Especially since I was actually at Bar Method at the time.
And was planning to eat bibimbapquinoa for dinner.
Bibimbap seems like just the type of thing I’d enjoy bastardizing with quinoa and my other food fetishes (edamame and kale). Yet, the recipe (and idea) actually didn’t originate from my perversely predictable brain – it came from Pam of Rants and Craves, who modified the Korean favorite while she was participating in the “Biggest Loser” contest at her office. Lizzie of Food She Thought jumped on the bibimbapquinoa wagon this past October, and I finally followed suit by making my own version of the recipe this past Saturday.
As usual, I took many many liberties, transforming the veggie-heavy rice dish into something that is barely recognizable as bibimbap aside from my woefully fried egg and carefully compartmentalized units of carrots, bean sprouts, zucchini, braised kale, and edamame. But by making it my own, I also partially captured the spirit of bibimbap as a self-constructed meal that can be tweaked and adjusted, and mixed and mashed together according to personal preference.
The recipe that follows is my personal preference. And I will personally be compulsively making it until I find a new preference to obsess over.
Inspired by Rants and Craves and Food She Thought
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup chicken broth (I use ½ teaspoon Better than Bouillon Chicken Base mixed with ½ cup water)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large kale leaves, chopped (approximately 1 compact cup)
1/2 medium-sized zucchini, sliced into thin half-moons
1 carrot, sliced into thin pieces
½ cup bean sprouts
1/3 cup shelled edamame, cooked
1 fried egg
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Sriracha for serving (traditional bibimbap calls for gochujang, a chili pepper paste)
Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh colander. Bring ½ cup chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa, reduce heat, cover, and let simmer until quinoa pearls have absorbed all the broth and the shells have separated from the kernals (approximately 15-20 minutes). Fluff with a fork.
While quinoa is cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook together until slightly translucent (approximately 5 minutes). Add the kale, a pinch of salt, and then reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
When kale is done, remove the lid, push the kale to the side of the pan, and reduce heat to low, while preparing the other vegetables. Heat another large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, add a spoonful of water and then the carrots, cooking for approximately 2 minutes so they just lose their bite. Remove carrots, and set into the large pan with the kale. Cook the bean sprouts using the same method and then also set into the large pan in their own space. (The cooked edamame can also be added to the pan at this juncture.) Finally, cook the zucchini for approximately 30 seconds in the frying pan. Add that to the pan with the other vegetables, then rinse out the frying pan to prepare the egg.
Fry egg according to preference, taking caution to maintain a runny yolk so that it can be used as a sauce for the dish.
When all components are ready, plate the quinoa. Add the teaspoon of soy sauce to the kale, then spoon each vegetable in its own compartmentalized space around the quinoa. Place the fried egg in the center.