Korean Food for Dummies: How to Make Bibimbap

Bibimbap is one of my favourite Korean dishes because it just can't taste bad, no matter what you put in it. It's super healthy, easy to make, and you can make a giant batch of ingredients and save it for later. I put four different veggie dishes in my bibimbap - radish, bean sprouts, spinach, and carrots. The recipe is REALLY easy and quick. Cuz ain't nobody got time fo that shit.
(My mom will probably cry when she sees my version of Korean food.)

I made two side dishes - bulgogi (soy-sauce marinated beef) to go with a lettuce wrap, and sweet & salty potatoes.

Keep scrollin' to find the recipes!

Bulgogi

Solid
- A bunch of mushrooms
- The other 1/2 of the onion

Liquid
- 1/2 kiwi (natural sugar and the acidity will soften the beef)
- 1/2 onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp honey* (optional if you like it a little sweeter)

1. Mix up the sauce ingredients in a magic bullet or blender.
2. In a bowl, add 4 tbsp of soy sauce and throw in the kiwi-garlic-onion soup.
3. Prepare beef.
4. Add whatever veggies you want to put in your bulgogi (ex. onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc).
5. Mix it up, throw some ground pepper in there, let it marinate while you prepare the other bibimbap stuff.

Cut up your radish like so... 

Wash the spinach & sprouts, peel the potatoes, cut the carrots (same way as the radish).

Prepare veggie dishes for your bibimbap. Don't be lazy and prepare them separately!

Spinach
1. Boil water
2. Blanch for 30 seconds.
3. Drain water - squeeze the water out of the spinach leaves as much as you can.
4. Transfer the spinach into a bowl, add 1 tsp of soy sauce, splash of sesame seed oil, 1 clove of garlic (minced), salt & pepper.
5. Mix it up.

Radish & Carrots
1. Heat up sesame oil.
2. Throw in radish/carrots. For the radish, cook them until they turn slightly clear.
3. Add salt and pepper.

Bean Sprouts
1. Boil water.
2. Blanch for 30 seconds.
3. Drain water.
4. Transfer bean sprouts in a bowl, add some sesame seed oil, salt & pepper.
5. Mix it up.

Sweet & Salty Potatoes

1. Cut potatoes into cubes and run it under water to wash away some of the starch.
2. Boil potatoes until cooked half way. 
3. Drain water.
4. Transfer potatoes in a pan to simmer in sweet & salty sauce (2 parts soy sauce to 1 part honey) until the liquid evaporates & absorbs into potatoes.
5. Add salt & pepper

Cook that bulgogi like a boss and try not to drool in it.

Because by now, you're probably starving.

In a big bowl, place the rice at the bottom, and add your veggie toppings. Fry an egg then BAM! Mix that baby up with some bibimbap sauce.

Sauce for bibimbap
- 2 tbsp hot pepper paste (can be purchased at your local Korean grocery store - like this one)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp sesame seeds

How I like to eat my bibimbap is in the form of lettuce wraps. You take one peace of lettuce, add a spoonful of bibimbap, add a piece of bulgogi, and shove that big bundle of deliciousness in your mouth. Definitely not a date night kind of food. Things can get a little messy.

Sorry if my instructions make no sense to you. Feel free to send me a message about it! :)

Enjoy!

Love Me Some Linh

Linh Café (instagram: @linhcafe_yvr) is the new kid on the block of 4th and Macdonald St. Tai Nguyen, the chef/owner behind the scenes, has been working hard to give a strong introduction to Vancouver's food industry with his own unique blend of traditional Vietnamese and French dishes. I had the pleasure of getting to know Chef Tai and his wife, Linh, and hearing about their journey through the opening of their very own restaurant. Their space is cozy in a way, but still has that bold, modern feel of a contemporary fusion restaurant. 

I was very lucky to feast on some of the dishes from their menu (I wish I had a big enough stomach to eat everything!!). Keep scrolling down to take a look at what they have to offer and to learn their story. Also, the Linh Café is offering a special promotion for Baik to Basics readers (info at the bottom)!

Warning: #foodporn - viewer discretion is advised.

Croissant

Croissant

Jambon & Cheese

Jambon & Cheese

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

Sable Breton

Sable Breton

Palmier

Palmier

Apple Chausson

Apple Chausson

What makes the Linh Café unique?

"The Linh Café is a combination of Vietnamese cuisine with French cooking technique. We try to keep things simple and classic when it comes to our dishes. The inspiration of this fusion comes from our proud Vietnamese root and the love of cooking French cuisine. We would like to slowly introduce more Vietnamese dishes (Northern, to be specific) to people. A few dishes from our menu, Pho Bo, Spicy Baguette Stick, and Spicy Omelette Sandwhich, are examples of Northern Vietnamese dishes."

What has been your greatest accomplishments in the food industry? What about your biggest struggle?

"I think my greatest accomplishment is being able to present my love for cooking and brining pleasures to customers through simple, yet delicious food. My biggest struggle at the moment is balancing between work and family - I'm still working on it."

(Tai and Linh are currently raising their baby, Max ).

Pho Bo - Hanoi breakfast with pickled chillies

Pho Bo - Hanoi breakfast with pickled chillies

What's your favourite dish on the menu?

"My favourite dish is the Pho Bo, which is a Northern-style noodle dish, usually eaten with pickled hot chillies. Back home in Vietnam, you can eat Pho for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can eat it every day and not get sick of it, really. This dish reminds me of my Vietnam."

Spicy Baguette Stick

Spicy Baguette Stick

Brittany Breakfast

Brittany Breakfast

Lyonnaise Salad

Lyonnaise Salad

Vegetable Quiche

Vegetable Quiche

Every single dish I got to try was freaking delicious. I would have to agree with Tai though - Pho Bo is awesome. It's such a perfect fit for the rainy days of Vancouver as fall rolls in ...which brings me to share the exciting offer that the Linh Café is offering to my readers! 


For dine-in customers, the Linh Café is offering free coffee/pastries from October 1st, 2014 - October 22nd, 2014. All you have to do is mention that you saw their feature post from Baik to Basics - HOW SIMPLE!!


Make sure to go try out the Linh Café and leave them a message on their Facebook Page! And while you're on Facebook, head to Baik to Basics and click the LIKE button! :)

Three little pigs

My family eats... A LOT. That table full of food was for three people - mama, papa, and me. We generally like to eat a lot of Korean dishes made with vegetables because they're on the lighter side. BUT we do eat a lot of food. Keep scrolling down to see recipes for some of the dishes!

My apologies for such vague instructions. Koreans cook with a dash of this and a sprinkle of that.

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Super Ssimple Sssoy Ssssaucy Zucchini

Cut zucchini into ~1cm thick slice. Lightly pan fry them with a bit of coconut oil. Top off with soy sauce - red pepper flakes, green onions, sesame seed oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds.

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Korean Popeye's Spinach

Lightly cook (~30 seconds) spinach in boiling water ...I believe it's called scalding? Cool it down in cold running water and squeeze the water out of the spinach with your hands. Toss it around in the red saucy stuff (tangy and spicy) - 2 tbsp of red pepper paste (an substitute with soy sauce if you're not into spicy stuff), 1 tsp of honey/sugar, 1 tsp of vinegar, sesame seeds, splash of sesame seed oil.

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Moooo = radish (무)

Get a cheese grater and grate some radish (Asian radish!!! The gigantic white/greeny ones). Cook the radish in a pot (no need to put in water) at medium-high heat with the lid on until the radish becomes a bit clear (about 5 minutes). Add a bit of salt, pepper, green onions, and sesame seeds. BAM!

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What's a body without Seoul

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It's hard to believe that 23 pictures can sum up my visit to Korea last summer. I definitely only got a glimpse of what Korea has to offer, but I feel like I got a snippet of all the good stuff. I first started my trip -- pretty much in the middle of nowhere -- in Gunwi (군위). It's a small town just on the outskirts of a bigger city called Daegu (대구). There were a lot of organic farms and mountains full of fresh herbs in the region, so all the dishes I got to taste were full of refreshing treats. Just look at the colours! I also got to go on a detoxifying retreat to an orchard in the mountains, which ended up being a smorgasbord for mosquitos ...with me as the main dish. I slowly made my way into the capital city of South Korea, Seoul, where good food was just around every single corner. Along with tastefully decorated artistic cafés. The last picture is a shot of their cute little napkin that says "muahahaha".

If you have any questions about my trip, feel free to drop me a line via email.