I’ve always believed that I was born in the wrong culture.
You see, I’m Chinese, but deep down, I know I was meant to be Korean. K-pop is my workout music of choice, and let’s be real, aren’t Korean guys just the cutest?
And Korean food. So good. Omurice is my comfort food, and I love going to Korean BBQ houses and eating bulgogi-filled lettuce wraps until I literally feel filled up to my esophagus.
So the other day, we finally went grocery shopping, with a quick guilty pleasure stop at Trader Joe’s. I loaded up on mochi, Panko crumbs, and all those specialty items that just don’t exist in Boston supermarkets. Best of all, Trader Joe’s has pre-marinated bulgogi beef, and it’s actually freaking delicious.
Flash forward to today: one of my friends was craving bibimbap. We were sad because it seemed like were were missing the key ingredients (kimchi, spicy sauce, yummy pickled spinach), until we thought about what we really loved about bibimbap. Everyone agreed, what really makes bibimbap special is that runny egg on top that blends into the rice.
Our bibimbap had chard sautéed in olive oil, sliced carrots, TJ’s bulgogi, coconut rice, and that magical runny egg, which sounds kind of crazy, but ended up being super delicious.
So whatever, our bibimbap might not be conventional, and I might not actually be Korean, but that doesn’t change anything. I’m still going to wear fake eyelashes like I’m straight outta Gangnam (I wish) and serve up Korean dishes with a college-student twist.
PS. I’m leaving you with this amazing rice recipe. It’s super easy and so worth it.
Coconut Rice (adapted from Staff Meals from Chanterelle) – serves 6-8 (or 4 hungry college kids)
2 cups long-grain rice
1 can (13-14 oz) coconut milk (Thai brand > Trader Joe’s light coconut milk > Goya. Goya sucks.)
3 1/3 cups water
1. Combine the rice, coconut milk, and water in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover tightly, and simmer, without removing the cover, until the liquid is absorbed, 20 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 20 more minutes before fluffing and serving.