kruizing with kikukat

Monday, December 7, 2015

Family Style Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice)

What an exhausting week!
  • 9th grade registration
  • Testing
  • Summer PE registration
  • Cyber Monday
  • Late night laundry
  • Early morning bento run
  • Photo shoot
  • Birthday party
And I'm staring down the barrel at another doozie of a week!  Hopefully my emotional roller coaster which began last Sunday will come to a halt soon.

Having to euthanize a pet is no picnic.  Now I realize what my parents went through when I was away at school.  Sammy was suffering; she had stopped eating and was unable to even drink water.   Even hot dogs didn't interest hold any interest.  Her passing set my week off on a very somber note.  How could it not, especially when going back to work after an extended weekend is daunting on its own.

Sammy's passing made me realize what good friends I have.  SigMAX and I conversed continually about what was happening, and he helped me explore options.  The Help lent a hand and let me use is truck (and his time) to take Sammy to the vet.  He also drove me home since my vision was compromised by my tears.  I was also deeply touched by the outpouring of sympathy from my friends and family.  They knew how much Sammy meant to us.  I think many of my friends and family truly understood what it was like to say goodbye to a sick pet.  Pet people tend to support each other.

Its been a week since losing Sammy, and we are slowly adjusting.  Rain seemed lost.  Although she was always the bigger of the two, Sammy would always be the first to eat.  It was heartbreaking to see Rain wandering around in the yard, as if she was waiting for Sammy to return.  On Thursday, Rain even took to barking in the middle of the night at some creature which dared approach the fence line, an irritating habit which was normally reserved for Sammy.  Rain will need to get used to being THE family dog.  The Help has banned us from getting any more dogs.

SigMAX asked me if I planned to get a new dog to take Sammy's place.  I think not.  I am grateful that I still have a dog (Sammy's sister, Rain), but life with big dogs has taught me that I really am a cat person.  SigMAX suggested I look into getting a designer kitty.  Hmmmm.  I will need to think about that.  The cost of a bengal cat is rather prohibitive, and that's without even trying to get one to Hawaii!  SigMAX knows a bengal cat breeder in Utah so now I'm wondering if he can get me a good deal.  The Help did say, "no dogs", but he did not say, "no cats".

While I was mourning over Sammy, November became December.  I guess we have officially entered the holiday party season.  This means parties with lotsa food (and drink).  I'm looking forward to an after-work party with select colleagues.  I'm planning to bring spicy soybeans.  It will go well with drinks.  Why am I so fixated on "drink"?

The holiday party season would not be complete without family parties.  One of my aunties already called with an invitation.  I will need to drink before that party.  There's that word again.

I didn't bother asking what I should bring.  It's too early for that, but I am usually asked to make desserts.  While I love eating desserts and don't mind making them, choosing which desserts to make is always confounding.  I have relatives (no names) who can't cook at all.  I would rather slave myself than ask them to bring a dessert.  I have other relatives who are good cooks but make the same things all the time.  I know that people like certain things, but tell me lemon bars do not get tiresome after a while.  I don't want to be known as a one trick pony.

I think I might suggest to my aunty that I will bring a starch and a few desserts instead of just desserts.  D1 has been eating a lot of Korean food (it's easy to cook rice and eat banchan) while at school.  She said her roommate's mom makes a killer taegu.  That took me by surprise.  I don't think she ate taegu when she was at home.  I would know because it's something we always have on hand, whether made by KikukatMom or purchased from Costco.  I think she would appreciate bibimbap on the buffet line.

Although bibimbap is something most people just eat at Korean restaurants, it isn't difficult to make a family-style version.  The family-style version makes an excellent potluck dish.  It's a good way to use up small amounts of kim chee, and much of the prep can be done beforehand.

click on recipe title for printable recipe

Vegetables:  1 bunch watercress
                    1 bag (about 10 oz) mung bean sprouts
                    2 tbsp shoyu
                    1 tsp sugar
                    1 tsp oil
Use rubberband to hold watercress stems together.  Blanch in boiling water, rinse in cold water and squeeze out excess water.  Cut in 1 1/2" lengths.  Blanch bean sprouts in boiling water.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Drain.  Place shoyu, sugar, and oil in a skillet.  Add drained vegetables.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  When cool, drain liquid well.

Egg:  Scramble one egg and fry in a thin layer in a saucepan.  Cool and cut chiffonade. 

Chicken:  Cut cooked teriyaki chicken into slivers.  One pound of chicken is ample.

Rice:  Cook 4 cups (rice cooker measure) of rice.

Seasoning:  3 tbsp shoyu
                   1 tbsp sesame oil
                   chopped taegu (seasoned codfish), optional
                   chopped kim chee (spicy picked vegetables), optional

To assemble,  toss drained vegetables, chicken, rice and seasonings together in a large bowl.  If serving family style, top with shredded egg.  If making individual bowls, top each bowl with a fried egg.  For additional spiciness, add ko cho jun or bibimbap sauce.

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