If you’re at all familiar with Korean food there’s a good chance you’ve been introduced to bibimbap. It’s essentially a rice bowl with a bunch of toppings, often topped with an egg, and always served with a funky-spicy-sweet sauce called gochujang. I liken it to a spicy version of miso–it’s a total flavor bomb, lasts forever in the refrigerator and, is irreplaceable in this dish. Lots of restaurants serve bibimbap in a hot stone bowl so the edges of the rice gets crisp–which is amazing but also kind of scary for the home cook. According to my mom, it’s often just served in a regular bowl (especially at home), which makes thing much less intimidating with the juggling of burning hot stone bowls out of the mix. I often make bibimbap for dinner with just whatever vegetables I have around and a runny egg on top, but this version includes fresh pink salmon and a bunch of thinly sliced cucumber, plus the obligatory gochujang sauce. It’s easy and fast, plus you get some omega-3’s and all that goodness.
Let me note that my mother does not condone calling this dish a bibimbap. I mean, technically, bibimbap just means “mixed rice” and we’re mixing rice with stuff here, so it is a bibimbap. But, my mom does not approve because there’s not enough other stuff going on (and there isn’t an egg, gasp!), but sometimes I have to keep it simple and that’s just my life (sorry mom!).
The pink salmon I used in this dish was given to me by one of my favorite, local grocers, New Seasons Market. You can learn more about the 5 varieties of salmon they carry and their seafood department here. I was not compensated for this post. As always, all opinions and writing are my own.
- for the salmon:
- 1 salmon filet
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- salt and pepper
- for the gochujang sauce:
- ¼ cup gochujang (fermented Korean chile paste)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 scallion, sliced
- ½ of a cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 cup cooked rice for serving
- sesame seeds for garnish
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Cook on each side about 3 minutes until the salmon is just cooked through (I like it a little pink in the center, but cook it to your liking).
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the gochujang sauce ingredients.
- Place the rice in a bowl with the salmon on top. Add the cucumber, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and sauce. Mix up all of the ingredients and enjoy!