Thursday, May 26, 2011

Korean Rice Bowl with Steak, Asparagus and Fried Egg

After a few weeks of working late and not being able to cook, it has been pretty exciting to be able to cook dinner every night since Monday.  I have weeks of recipes that have piled up on me, just waiting for me to have some free time to cook.  This take on bibimbap was one of the ones that I have been dying to make.  Given how excited I was to make this dish, it's not at all surprising that this is my favorite dish we have made this week by far.  To use Alex's favorite phrase when he really likes something we made it was "kind of awesome."  I concur.  It was kind of awesome.  All of the ingredients worked perfectly together - the sesame salt on the asparagus, the marinated flank steak, the fried egg with the runny yolk and the fluffy white rice.  The Korean hot pepper paste added the perfect level of flavor and spice.  There are a few ingredients and a few steps (which requires the use of a few pans/pots), but it all comes together pretty quickly.  And every component to the dish plays off every other component in a way that really satisfies.  The dish is delicious - a real winner.  There is literally nothing I would change about it.  And that almost never happens.

Recipe after the jump!

Korean Rice Bowl with Steak, Asparagus and Fried Egg
Adapted from Bon Appetit
April 2010

1 tbsp sesame seeds
3/4 tsp fleur de sel
1/2 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder (we used dark chile powder)
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp Asian sesame oil, divided
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sake or dry Sherry
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lbs slender asparagus spears, trimmed
2 tsp vegetable oil plus additional for brushing
4 large eggs
4 cups freshly cooked white rice
Korean hot pepper paste (kochujang)

Toast sesame seeds in small skillet over medium heat until golden brown, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer sesame seeds to small bowl to cool. Grind sesame seeds, fleur de sel, and chile powder in mortar with pestle or in spice mill until about half of sesame seeds are finely ground. Return to same small bowl. 

Whisk soy sauce, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, green onions, sugar, sake, and garlic in medium bowl. Toss steak in soy mixture. Let marinate covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.  Thirty minutes before cooking the steak, remove from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature.

Heat large double burner griddle or 2 heavy large skillets over medium-high heat. Brush with vegetable oil.  Toss asparagus with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sauté asparagus on one half of the griddle, or in one of the skillets until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, cook steak on the other half of the griddle or in the other skillet about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Return asparagus to rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle sesame salt over; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Tent with foil to keep warm.  When steak is finished cooking, allow to rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes.  Slice steak thinly against the grain.

Add additional vegetable oil to griddle/skillets if it looks dry.  Crack eggs onto hot griddle. Cook until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide warm rice among bowls. Divide asparagus, then beef among bowls, placing atop rice. Top with fried egg. Serve with Korean hot pepper paste and kimchi.

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