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Monday, January 7, 2008

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo

Welcome to the New Blog! As a way of beginning the New Year, I am starting the first post with a new recipe. I've been on a bibimbop kick of sorts - Liz has been calling it my bibbidi-bobbidi-boo food. The food craze began with a visit to Giwa Korean Restaurant on Samson Street, between 16th & 17th Streets. I love their food but can't always get away from the office to go there for lunch, nor do I want to spend my money and calories there on a weekly basis. Naturally, I realized not only could I make a version of this wonderful dish myself, I could lighten the calories, the cost and up the power-food potential. Hence, my creation of bibbidi-bobbidi bibimbop. The photo of my New Year's creation is a bit misleading inasmuch as I am borrowing liberally from several Asian cuisine styles. I've used Somen noodles instead of sticky brown rice, because that's what I had on hand. Whatever vegetables I had in the fridge went into the stir fry. One day it was zucchini, another version had celery and string beans. Since I always try to keep a variety of Asian sauces in the pantry, I mixed together a soy mixture I consider one of my essential sauces to keep on hand. The sauce is a myriad of flavors, predominately Asian, not especially Korean - more like a Thai Sauce influence sans the lemongrass.

You do not need to have a wok to cook good simple Asian-Style food, though it does make a difference. Wok cookery gives the most intense high heat with a shallow small bottom and slopped sides to push food against. Lately I've been using a Calphalon One cross-bred saute/braising pan. I get the searing I need with sides high enough to keep in the liquids. I am in the market for a new and better wok, the one I have is 20 years old and not at all up to my culinary expectations! Even though I work part-time at Williams-Sonoma, the mecca of all things culinary, I just haven't brought myself to spend the tuppence on a wok that costs over $50! However, I see a wok in my future. My friend Rachel justified the expense to me by stating "...for the kind of cooking I do, it's worth the investment." Sound advice there Ms. Rachel! Thanks for the permission to spend $80 or more with even with my discount! But I digress. You have come to read a recipe and hopefully head off to your own kitchen to concoct your own bibbidi bobbidi boo food.

Notes: The sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead of time. Prepping the vegetables is the hardest most labor intensive step, but it's not all that hard. Baking the tofu yields the best texture. Tofu can be stir fried, but it's easier to handle if you bake it. It's a more authentic Koren dish if you add a lightly fried egg to the final dish. Keep the egg yolk on the soft side. As you mix in the egg with the veggies and noodles, it will create another layer of sauce that is divine!

Essential Soy Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/3 Cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce (use a good quality, preferably organic soy sauce)
  • 1/4 Rice Wine Vinegar or Mirin
  • 3-4 Dashes Thai Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam)
  • 2 Tablespoons Thai Sweet Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chili Sauce/Paste - OR more or less to taste (it's HOT)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Freshly Minced Ginger
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - finely minced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice Powder (optional)
  • Pinch Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Sesame Oil

Directions - Mix all of the ingredients, except the sesame oil, together in a glass jar or measuring cup. Whisk to combine; slowly whisk in the sesame oil. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding more chili sauce/paste, pepper or soy sauce. Sauce can be kept refrigerated, in a tightly covered/sealed glass jar for up to 2 weeks. Use over rice, noodles, or as a marinade for chicken, pork, salmon, shrimp, tilapia, tofu, or tuna. It's good over almost anything!

Bibimbop Stir Fry Vegetables and Noodles

  • 2 Medium Carrots - julienne or shredded
  • 2 Medium Zucchini - julienne or small dice
  • 1 Medium Onion - julienne
  • 1 Medium Red Bell Pepper - julienne
  • 2 Large Celery Stalks - julienne on a bias cut
  • 3 Garlic Cloves - minced or sliced
  • Sesame Oil - use as needed
  • 1 pound Tofu - cut into 1 inch cubes and baked
  • 1 Egg per serving - lightly fried, coddled or poached; with the yolk on the dippy or soft side
  • 1 Package Somen or Soba Noodles - 3 bundles, cooked according to package directions, drained and kept warm
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds - lightly toasted for garnish

Directions:

  1. Wash, peel and cut vegetables. This is the most important and labor-intensive step. Pre-cut and packaged fresh vegetables are fine in a pinch, but cost more in the long run!
  2. Preheat pan or wok over high heat. Work in batches with your vegetables, one vegetable group at a time. As you stir fry each kind of vegetable, once it is fully cooked, remove it from the pan/wok and set it aside on a platter. Later, when you add your cooked vegetables to the noodles, arrange each vegetable group in small rows or clusters.
  3. Drizzle in 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil for each stir fry batch. Stir fry the onions until they begin to caramelize and turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove onions from pan/wok and set aside on a platter.
  4. Continue stir frying all of your veggies until they are cooked through but are on the slightly crunchy/crispy side.
  5. Add a bit of water to the pan and steam and stir fry the carrots until they are fork tender but still retaining a bit of crunch, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. The celery should turn translucent - about 2 minutes.
  7. Garlic cooks the fastest. Add it to the pan 30 seconds before adding the zucchini to the pan. The zucchini should be firm and tender - not over-cooked and falling apart. Stir fry about 2-3 minutes.
  8. The bell pepper may take the longest to stir fry - up to 8 minutes. Be careful not to char the pepper.
  9. Cut the tofu into cubes - about 1 inch by 1 inch. Add several tablespoons of the Essential Sauce Soy Mixture to the tofu and bake at 350 degrees in a oven-safe pan 30-45 minutes, or until firm and slightly crispy around the edges. Baking the tofu retains the texture and keeps it from falling apart. You can stir fry the tofu if you want, but I have found that baking it is the simplest way to handle it.
  10. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain, but do not rinse. Add a few tablespoons of the Essential Soy Sauce mixture to the noodles and toss to combine.
  11. Arrange the vegetables on the noodles in small rows or bunches. Top the veggies with a lightly fried egg, garnish with toasted sesame seeds and pour a few tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture over the entire dish.
  12. Serves 2 to 4, depending on how hungry you are!

1 comment:

  1. I'm gonna try this when I have some time! I like the idea of doing each vegetable separately, so you can appreciate each one's qualities more. It looks fun to eat, too - you get to decide what each bite will taste like!

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