I needed some work-stress relief this weekend, so I went to my happy place--Cooking. I made a lot of Asian dishes, most of which I think are worth repeating. Many of the dishes came from Teague Ezard's Lotus: Asian Flavors book, because I'm just obsessed with his recipes. I've blogged some of them before, and I'll add some more this week. They're amazing!
This recipe for the Bibimbap Arancini came from Plate Magazine, a professional chef publication I really enjoy. Be warned--the prep for this is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it's something you can do well ahead of time up to the point of frying so it's good dinner party or catering fare. You've got to be careful to control the size of your filling and keep it small, otherwise you end up with Flintstone's-sized brontosaurus nuts as an appetizer. I think the result is worth the effort--Everyone really enjoyed these, and I think they're gorgeous.
Special thanks to Kairu Yao for the photo!
Recipe from Chef-Owner Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia - Louisville, Ky., USA
Published in Plate Magazine
Yield: 6 servings
Rice - 2 C
Water - 3 C
Beef top round, cut into small dice - 1/4 Lb
Shiitake mushroom caps, finely diced - 2 Oz
Onion, diced - 3 Oz
Small carrot, finely shredded - 1 each
Garlic clove, minced - 1 each
Soy sauce - 2 TBS
Honey - 1 tsp
Pineapple juice - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 1/2 TBS
Freshly ground black pepper - 1 tsp
Spinach, chopped - 1/2 C
Kimchi, chopped - 2 ½ Oz
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Nori sheets, cut into 2 1/2-inch squares as needed
Water, as needed
Egg whites - 3 each
Milk - 2 tsp
Panko bread crumbs - 1 C
Black sesame seeds - 1 TBS
Oil, as needed
Gochujang sauce (Recipe Below), as needed
1. To make rice, combine rice and water and cook in a rice maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an oiled sheet tray and reserve, refrigerated.
2. To make filling, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add beef, mushrooms, onion, carrot, garlic, soy sauce, honey, pineapple juice, sesame oil and pepper. Sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until meat is tender and liquid has mostly evaporated. Turn off heat and add spinach, kimchi and sesame seeds. Transfer to a sheet tray and cool in refrigerator, about 20 minutes.
3. Roll cooled filling into twelve 3/4-inch balls.
4. Lightly moisten nori squares with a little water. Place 1 filling ball in center of each sheet of nori and enclose nori sheet around filling.
5. Wet your hands with cold water. Take a handful of rice and flatten it out between your palms. Lay rice flat on one palm and place nori wrapped balls into center of rice patty. Using both hands, shape rice around filling to create a nice, even ball about 2 inches in diameter. Repeat with other balls and reserve, refrigerated.
6. To make egg wash, whisk together egg whites and milk and reserve.
7. To make breading, combine panko and black sesame seeds.
8. Roll each ball in egg wash, then breading.
9. Fry each ball for about 2 minutes in 370-degree F oil.
10. Remove arancini from oil, drain on paper towels and reserve in a 300-degree F oven for 5 minutes before plating 2 per serving with gochujang sauce.
Yield: 6 Oz
Gochujang (fermented Korean chile paste) - 3 TBS
Sesame oil - 1/4 C
Lemon, juice of 1 each
Sugar - 1 ½ TBS
Water, warm - 2 tsp, plus as needed
1. Whisk all ingredients into a smooth sauce. If lumpy, whisk in water until desired texture is achieved.