Bibimbap Bake-up

The versatile casserole is akin to the minivan of dinner options. Practical? You bet. But when it comes to style points, it usually doesn’t float to the top. Here’s a casserole recipe that alters an ancient Korean dish, Bibimbap, with punchy flavors, global inspiration, and plucked-from-the-garden goodness into 13×9 new territory. This one pan Asian dish of rice and vegetables gets a family-style riff.

Here you stretch a relatively small amount of protein per person with on-hand staples. Garlic and ginger give tofu, beef and eggs, big, bold flavor, especially with a Sriracha or kimchi topping. You can change things up to utilize any veggies in your fridge; for instance, instead of broccoli, use spinach, kale or Swiss chard.

Based on our first experience with this recipe, there are a few changes we will make next time around. First is, we would cut the tofu cubes in half to about 3/8″ instead of 3/4,” (we used the entire package.) And traditionally, the egg yolks should be slightly soft, not completely set like ours ended up being. So if you prefer them a bit gooey, you may want to add them to the casserole half way through the cooking process, at about 10 minutes into it.

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For toppings we did add the sliced scallions and put out both the kimchi and Sriracha which added a nice kick to the meal.

The history of Bibimbap: The name bibimbap was adopted in the early 20th century. From the Joseon Period (1392–16th century) until the 20th century, Bibimbap was called goldongban, which means rice made by mixing various types of food. This dish was traditionally eaten on the eve of the lunar new year as the people at that time felt that they had to get rid of all of the leftover side dishes before the new year. The solution to this problem was to put all of the leftovers in a bowl of rice and to mix them together. Bibimbap is also thought to have been eaten by farmers during farming season as it was the easiest way to make food for a large amount of people. Bibimbap was served to the king usually as a lunch or a between-meal snack.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 8 oz. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 14.5 oz. can beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 14-0z. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes (we used the entire package)
  • 8 eggs
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kimchi and/or Sriracha sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Steam broccoli in a steamer basket 2 minutes. Remove, rinse with cold water; set aside.
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  3. In a 14″ skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms start to brown.
  4. Add beef. Cook until browned, stirring to break up meat.
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  5. Add broth, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir in rice. Gently fold in tofu.
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  6. Transfer mixture to a 13×9″ baking dish. Top with broccoli.
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  7. Make 8 small indentations in mixture, crack and egg into each. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper.
  8. Cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through and eggs are just set. Remove from oven.
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  9. Loosen foil; let stand about 20 minutes before serving. Top with green onion slices. Serve with kimchi and/or Sriracha.
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Recipe found in Better Homes & Gardens by Lucinda Scala Quinn

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