This is my simplified bibimbap recipe but since the seasoning used is slightly different than traditional bibimbap, I am calling this “5 Colors Bento” instead. That’s because the 5 toppings gives it 5 different colors. Although the shiitake mushrooms and beef are both brown, I’ll consider them as two different shades! The name “5 Colors Rice Bento” sounds yummy to me because the lunch box is visually appealing since it’s very colorful. Hopefully this’ll make it more appetizing for who ever is eating this bento.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
- 1 large bunch of spinach
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2 large carrot, julienned
- 6-8 garlic cloves, minced (divided, see seasoning section)
- 350g beef, sliced (buy pre-sliced beef for shabu shabu or bulgogi)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Cooked rice, 3-4 servings
Seasoning for Spinach:
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 garlic gloves, minced
Seasoning for Shiitake Mushrooms:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp honey or brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ground pepper
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Instructions for cooking the bento toppings:
- Marinate the beef using the beef seasoning ingredients. Let marinate for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Marinate the mushroom using the mushroom seasoning ingredients. Let marinate for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Blanch spinach in a pot of boiling water. Immediately add them to an ice bath (or bowl of cold water) to stop the cooking process. If using cold water, you’ll need to change water several times to bring the temperature down. Once cooled, squeeze out as much water as you can from the spinach and add it to a bowl. Add in the spinach seasoning ingredients and mix well.
- In a non stick pan, cook beaten eggs into a large omelet. Let cooled to room temperature then slice into thin strips.
- In the same pan, saute the carrots until soft, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the mushrooms. Set aside.
- In the same pan, cook the beef, in batches if necessary. Set aside.
Assemble the Bento or Bibimbap:
- To assemble the bibimbap, put rice in a bowl and top it with spinach, mushrooms, eggs, carrots and beef. Add some gochujang sauce to taste.