Friday, May 21, 2010

Salmon 'Bibimbap': An Innovative Dinner Made from Leftovers

Yesterday, we had a leftover hunk of salmon steak, broiled the night before with nothing more than salt and pepper.

Three of us are living together now: me, Boyfriend, and the sister whom I call The Eyes. The Eyes and I had a hankering for Korean-inspired food, so we cobbled together this little delicacy based on the concept of bibimbap. What we devised allowed us to stretch that one piece of salmon across three people for a comforting and delicious dinner.

The concept was bulgogi, a rice crisped in a hot stone bowl with pepper paste, sesame oil, and a smattering of julienned vegetables on top. We swapped out the beef with the leftover salmon, shredded and warmed through, and we scavenged in the fridge for whatever vegetables were tucked away in the crisper.

But there was a problem. We only had short-grain sushi rice. After a quick trip down the block to the Chinese take-out restaurant, we had a quart of white rice, hot and cooked and ready to eat.

We used a splash of sesame oil to coat the bottom of a skillet, then added the rice and let it crisp up over medium-high flame. Meanwhile, The Eyes cut cucumber slices and found the red pepper paste in the fridge. I set a few eggs to boil (there's nothing so good as a hot egg with rice), pulled some sesame seeds from the cupboard, and told Boyfriend to set the table.

The rice went into the bottom of each bowl. A scoop of sweet-hot red pepper paste was stirred into each one, the right amount for each person's tolerance for spiciness. On top we scattered the flaked salmon, sesame seeds, cucumbers, and an egg cut in half.

Then, the most fun part, the whole thing can be swirled together and eaten with whatever utensil you like: spoon, fork, chopsticks.

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