Bimbimbap, traditionally cooked in a heavy stone pot, works beautifully in a cast iron skillet. A little toasted sesame oil is added to the skillet along with cooked rice and then cooked further until some of the grains become crunchy. It's topped with vegetables (there are some traditionally used but not readily available so I've used some of my favorites). And to finish, there's a spicy sauce that each person adds as they like. For the spicy sauce, you can use a chili sauce such as sriracha or any number of tomato-based hot sauces. Or, if you like, get a Korean chili paste and add rice vinegar, sugar, and a little sesame oil to taste.
If you'd like to jazz it up further, fry some eggs until the whites are crispy and the yolks are still soft and place on top, allowing each diner to break the egg into their own dish.
Bibimbap, a Rice Dish
1 cup long or short grain rice
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
10 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 medium golden or yellow squash (8 ounces total), thinly sliced
1 1/3 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups shredded napa cabbage
1. Cook the rice according to package instructions.
2. While the rice cooks, prepare the vegetables. In a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add the mushrooms and cook, tossing until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the squash, edamame, and ginger and cook until the squash is tender and the edamame are heated through, about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and the sugar. Pour half of the mixture into one bowl, add the cabbage and toss to coat. Add the cooked vegetables to the other bowl and toss to coat.
4. Heat a large cast iron or other heavy 10-inch skillet over medium. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the rice and cook, without stirring until the rice begins to get crisp on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Stir the rice and cook another 4 to 5 minutes for more bits to get crisp. Top with the vegetables and and any liquid from the bowls.
5. Spoon the mixture into shallow bowls and serve top with vegetables. Pass with spicy chili paste, allowing each person to add as much or as little as they like.