I am the type of person who will purchase an entire outfit to match a particularly perfect pair of shoes.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I created an entire meal to consume a sublimely spectacular condiment.
Kimchi is a spicy, salty, briny pickled Korean cabbage “relish” if you will. It is to be eaten with and alongside other dishes. I happen to love kimchi, and one of my best friends MAILED homemade kimchi ACROSS THE COUNTRY to me for my enjoyment.
The immediate concoction of a vehicle for said kimchi was necessary.
Enter Bi Bim Bap.
Bi Bim Bap is a Korean dish where a bowl of rice is topped with a variety of veggies, bean sprouts, some protein, and a sunny side up fried egg. You break the egg, stir up the veggies, coat everything in yolk, and go to town.
Oh, and eat kimchi with it.
To get inspired, I found this article, detailing non-traditional approaches to this very traditional dish. My main stumbling block? I had NO RICE. See, we only buy rice in those boxes with mixed in spices. We single handedly support Rice-a-Roni and Near East around these parts.
Personally, my favorite rice substitute is the soba noodle. These Japanese buckwheat noodles are healthy, slightly nutty, and have a toothsome texture that makes them stand up to all different meats and stir fries. And, they are super fast. Like four minutes in boiling water fast.
I like that in a noodle.
My other secret ingredient-which you can leave out, if you want-is Noritamago Furikake Rice Seasoning. I had an old roommate that introduced me to a sprinkle of this weird mixture of sesame seeds, seaweed, bonito, and dried egg yolk powder (weird, I know). It gives everything that special little UMPH! of authenticity when I make Asian noodle dishes.
Oh, and sriracha sauce. Of course.
Once I had the noodles in hand, everything else was simply a matter of sauté, chop, season, and dump.
This is my final product.
It was seriously, seriously good.
Bi Bim Bap Inspired Noodles
Serves One. Multiply for more people!
Half a bundle of soba noodles (they come in these haystack-esque bundles)
Half a Zucchini (or summer squash)
Four baby carrots
Sirloin Steak (I cooked up a six ounce steak rare for myself to use for multiple meals, and used 1/4 of it on this) or a protein of your choice. Beef is traditional, but I mean, I replaced the rice in this dish, so I won’t get all high and mighty on you.
Rice Wine vinegar
Vegetable oil, for sautéing
Sriracha or other hot sauce
Homemade kimchi one of your best and brightest mailed 3,000 miles to you. Or you could buy some at the store.
Boil a small pot of water for the noodles. When it comes to a rolling boil, throw the noodles in, and cook for four minutes. Take out, drain immediately, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and stop them from sticking. Set aside.
Lightly oil a skillet, preheat until hot, and sear your steak until it is dark brown on both sides. Then, either cover it and turn down the heat and cook it on the stovetop, or throw it in a 350 degree oven until it is done the way you like it. Let it cook while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the zucchini into matchsticks and throw them into the already hot-from-your-steak skillet. Stir fry until hot, but still crunchy, about three minutes.
Chop your carrots into matchsticks. Leave them raw. Drizzle them with a little rice wine vinegar.
Get a bowl. Put the noodles in the bottom. Drizzle with a little soy sauce and some rice seasoning, and stir. Arrange the vegetables scenically on top in little sections. Cut your steak, and do the same.
Now, fry your sunny side up egg. I recommend covering it with a lid so the yolk is nice and warm but still runny. I have read that in Thailand, they teach elementary school children how to fry a perfect egg. I think we could use that included in the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
As soon as the egg is done, put it in the center of your bowl. Like the sun! Garnish liberally with kimchi and dot with sriracha.
Pop that yolk, mix it up, and enjoy!