This week’s recipe has a personal twist to it. I recently teamed up with Skype to help create some healthy eating challenges for popular vlogger Claire Marshall as part of their SkypeFit project. I’ve had a few roles in the campaign, to include jumping on Skype’s group chats to answer food-related questions, and taking over the Skype Instagram account for a weekend. My favorite piece has been brainstorming with Claire to help her find healthy food solutions.
In our chats, Claire had mentioned that she loves eating out (don’t we all!), Korean barbecue in particular, which is too often laden with sickeningly-sweet marinades. Additionally, she’s been trying to cut back on red meat. So we settled on a weeknight-friendly version of Bibimbap, made with spicy chicken (Dak Bulgogi, 닭불고기), and I challenged her to try and make it on her own. She made a video of the experience, which you can find after the recipe below.
Legend has it that Bibimbap (비빔밥) originated from the belief that leftover food cannot be brought into the New Year. For that reason, Koreans started the practice of mixing together various ingredients in one bowl, and this dish rose to prominence in the early 20th century. Today, you can find it on nearly every Korean restaurant menu.
Let’s talk about the tweaks I made for today’s recipe; in the end, this dish isn’t unlike the Bibimbap found in my first cookbook, but with a few conscious steps to speed up the cooking process for our busy lives. Bibimbap is typically served with Gochujang (고추장), a spicy red sauce, but the intensely flavorful chicken replaces the Gochujang while eliminating the need to make a separate sauce. I also sweetened the marinade with my favorite one-two punch when making Korean barbecue: honey and applesauce. Finally, instead of asking Claire to make her own kimchi (the recipe is in both of my cookbooks, but takes upwards of 5 days to prepare traditionally), I left it as an optional side assuming that your local market sells some.