Friday, October 30, 2015

Healthy Bibimbap using Quinoa

If I'd have to choose one type of food I really struggled not having whilst on my clean eating diet, it will have to be Korean food.

Being a K-food addict, I crave Korean food every single day! Even though I was in Malaysia, I could easily say no to the local food but if anyone were to offer me K-food, I'd be like "GIMMMMEEEEE!" My Mum thinks I am no longer a Chinese. =| #truestory #notkidding #mymumthinksiamcrazy

After being on the diet for several weeks at the start, I was so sick of eating the same mundane food, so I came up with this recipe for a healthier version of bibimbap (비빔밥) to satisfy my K-cravings and at the same time, meet my dietary requirements with a little bit of flexibility.

This is the real stuff. I had this Jeonju traditional bibimbap in GoGung whilst in Seoul. SO GOOD!
Bibimbap is a popular traditional Korean dish consisting of a large bowl of rice, topped with a variety of individually prepared vegetables (the usual suspects being carrots, cucumber/zucchini, bean shoots, spinach and mushrooms) and meat, then served with an egg (sometimes raw) and spicy chilli paste in a sizzling hot stone bowl known as dolsot.

I believe there are different types of bibimbap as the bibimbap that this lovely ahjumma was serving at the Gwangjang market in Seoul is completely different.

The bibimbap at Gwangjang market uses mostly fresh vegetables instead, and they mix the white short grain rice with barley as well. It was so delicious, and the sauce makes it even more oomph!

Until I can head back to Seoul to enjoy this delicious bowl of freshly made bibimbap, I will have to make do with my own for now.

As you can see, I substituted rice with quinoa, added lean minced beef, and used a variety of vegetables. I also used as minimal oil as possible when pan-frying the vegetables, but this is up to your discretion.

Although it can be rather arduous having to individually prepare the ingredients but it is so worth it. I guess the Koreans would have it much easier considering that they'd usually have the vegetables as side dishes already.

I had so much fun creating this dish and plating it all up. I love how colourful it looks and it made me very happy to be able to break free from the routine for once.

This recipe serves only one person as I was clean eating alone (yeap, alllll byyyyy myselfffff) and my parents weren't keen. My mum did steal a bite and gave me the thumbs up. The next time I made it, she said to me "Can you please make an extra portion for me too?" ;)

Not trying to blow my own trumpet here, but it was pretty good hehe. So yes, feel free to double or triple the recipe as you see fit, depending on the number of people you're serving it to.

Here's the recipe for those of you who loves bibimbap as much as I do, but want to keep the dish as low carb as possible. :)

Quinoa Bibimbap
Recipe by The Bakeanista - serves only one

  • 100g cooked quinoa
  • 150g lean beef mince 
  • 100g bean shoots or soybean sprout
  • 150g baby spinach leaves
  • 3 shittake mushrooms
  • 1 carrot, julienned thinly
  • 1 zucchini or cucumber, julienned thinly
  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onion/scallions, chopped
  • gochujang
  • vegetable oil
  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • roasted sesame seeds
  • one whole garlic, minced

  1. Make bibimbap sauce by mixing together 1/2 tbsp gochujang sauce, 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 tsp minced garlic then set aside.
  2. Prepare 100g of cooked quinoa and place in the center of a big bowl.
  3. Marinade minced beef with1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and 2-3 tsp of minced garlic then set aside for 20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  4. Slice the cucumber thinly, and mix generously with 1/2 tbsp of salt. Set aside for a couple of minutes.
  5. Boil bean shoots for 15-20 minutes in a cup of water, added with 1 tsp of salt. Drain water, then toss with 2 tsp of chopped scallions, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1 tsp of sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp of salt and a light drizzle of sesame oil approximately 1/2 tbsp. Display on one corner of the bowl.
  6. Blanch spinach in another pot of boiling water for 30 seconds or until wilted. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, then squeeze lightly. Toss with 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Display on bowl, next to bean shoots for contrasting colour.
  7. If using dried shittake mushroom, ensure to soak it in hot water, then squeeze out excess water. If you're using fresh ones, you can simply rinse them then proceed to slice the mushroom. Saute in a little vegetable oil with 1/2 tsp salt for 2-3 minutes. Plate it up in the bowl, next to the spinach.
  8. Thinly slice the carrots, then saute in very minimal oil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Plate it up next to mushrooms.
  9. Now it's time to come back to our cucumber. Squeeze out excess water then saute in 1 tsp of sesame oil. Toss with 1/2 tsp minced garlic and 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds then plate up on remaining space on bowl.
  10. The meat would have been well marinated by now. Heat up enough vegetable oil in wok and cook meat in medium to high heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly cooked through. Arrange on the bowl; this should take up the remaining space left on the bowl.
  11. Lastly, prepare your egg. I like my egg done sunny side up with bibimbap as I find the gooey yolk adds an additional dimension to the taste, but you may opt to cook it to your personal preference. Place on top of rice.
  12. Drizzle lightly with sesame oil then serve with bibimbap sauce.
This is the finished look of my homemade healthy bibimbap, complete with a golden sunny side up.

And finally of course, once you're done plating everything up, mix all the ingredients together and dig in! It was so delicious and tasted pretty authentic, if I dare say so myself.

You won't be able to tell that no rice was used in this dish. It tasted quite the same for me hehe. Now to hunt for a dolsot so I can complete the authenticity of this dish!

Happy cooking and I hope you'll enjoy this dish as much as I did! :)


Heather (Delicious Not Gorgeous) said...

i love bibimbap!! it's not quite as healthy, but i think it'd be really fun to try to make a dolsot bibimbap with quinoa.

The Bakeanista said...

I cannot agree more Heather! I am looking around for a dolsot. Fingers crossed I can find one soon. :)

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