Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kongnamul Bap - Beansprout Rice

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Woo, just finished an exam! I can finally update! I'm super stoked that people are starting to read my blog. I hope for your sake that it'll get better over time. Let me know in the comments if you want to see something happening in my blog. I can't always guarantee it though...but I'll try not to flake :D

Let me do a health myth buster today....
MYTH: Wearing an underwire bra increases your risk of getting breast cancer

I don't know how many girls have heard this growing up, but I certainly did. I used to be one of those geeky, awkward girls in middle school wearing oversized t-shirts to hide a few lumps (wait... still awakard..no change there). I used to be so embarrassed about boobs and wore bras even in my sleep. Is this TMI?! haha too bad. Anyway, I remember having a sleepover one day and my friend told me I could get breast cancer from doing that. And I totally freaked out and decided to just go braless for the rest of my life... yeah 

But seriously there are claims that the wire compresses the lymphathic system and cause toxins to accumulate and thus cause breast cancer. Bogus. All you ladies out there, feel free to wear a bra however loose or tight fitting it may be.

OKAY. No more boobies. More food. Kongnamul bap is almost like bibimbap except that it's easier to make because unless I'm at home, I have no extra assortment of veggies I can use to mix into my rice. This is a healthy one pot meal that requires almost no work (even less work if someone else does the dishes :D). 

Kongnamul Bap - 콩나물밥
Adapted from Maangchi

1 cup uncooked rice (mix of purple, white or all white)
1 cup water
2 - 3 cups beansprouts
2/3 cup ground beef (a little more than fist sized..a lady's one)
1.5 tbsp soysauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 chili (serrano, jalapeno - optional)

1/4 cup soysauce
1/4 cup Youndoo (sweet soysauce or just use all soysauce)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1-2 stalks Green onion chopped
2 tbsp Korean chili pepper
1 tsp honey (or sugar)
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)

Let me begin by letting you know how I cook my rice on the stovetop. Of course, I'd prefer using a rice cooker but I couldn't haul my singing/ talking rice cooker from LA (so asian, and so sad :\). I like to use a mix of 7 grain rice and white rice in a 1:3 ratio. If you do use a mix, remember to soak your rice at least an hour before making this.

I'll wash my rice and instead of using measuring cups and what nots, I'll just cover the rice with water just enough so that the water level hits my knuckles (picture to left). I swear by this method and it works for any size hand, any pot and even the rice cooker. Fo realz. Then cover it, heat on high. When it starts to boil, turn the hit super low. And your rice should be done in 25-30 mins!

Take your uncooked rice, wash it and soak it for at least 30 mins. This includes all blends of rice or all white. Put that aside. The water level doesn't matter right now.

Marinate your meat (or skip this to make it veg) with a pinch of pepper, sesame oil and soysauce. Set this aside.

Wash your beansprouts and pick out all the nasty looking ones.

Now, let's make the sauce. This is for flavoring your kongnamul bap after it's cooked. Just mix all the ingredients under the sauce label and you're good! As you can see the dish is not very seasoned and you can adjust how much sauce you add in to your finished bap. I usually make a huge tub of this sauce just to keep in the refrigerator! You can dip your mandu (potstickers/ dumplings) in it, stir fry tofu with it etc...

Yay, now the fun stuff. So after the rice has been soaking for 30. You can drain some of the water or add water until the level is below what you normally put in. (say not your knuckles, but the next finger joint distal to that). Or if you're anal, drain your rice until there is no water and add in 3/4 cup water. On top of your rice, pile on the beansprouts and then the meat. I also added in some chilies over the meat.

If you don't like the idea of putting raw meat over your veggies and rice, you can always fry it first and then put it on top later.

Cover that and let it boil for 10 mins over medium-high heat. Then using a huge rice scooper, give it a good whirl, recover it and set the fire to low. Simmer for around 12-15 mins with the lid still over it.

And that's it! SO simple. Serve it in a bowl with a runny egg on top and some lovely greens. Pour in your sauce according to taste (maybe like 1/2 tbsp per serving). I don't like things salty, so its up to your discretion.


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