- 200g (about 1 cup) Spinach, blanched and excess water removed
- 70g (1 cup) Soybean Sprouts, cooked
- 90g (about 1 cup) Bellflower Root, hydrated**
- 100g (about 1 cup) Fernbrake, cooked**
- 80g (about ⅔-cup) Carrot, cut to matchsticks
- 100g (1½ cups, 3½oz) Enoki
- 100g (a little more than 1 cup) King Oyster Mushrooms, sliced
- 6-8 dried Shiitake, hydrated and sliced
- 300g (2 cups, 10½oz) Beef, diced
- 4 large Eggs
- Kosher Salt, to lightly season
- Vegetable Oil, to sauté
- 100g (5T) Red Pepper Paste (Gochujang)
- 30-45g (2-3T) Water
- 480-640g (3-4 cups) White Rice, cooked
- 27-40g (about 2-3T) Sesame Oil
- Sesame Seeds, to finish
Making the components:
- Take the blanched spinach and season with a pinch of salt, and a small amount of sesame oil (about 1t). Follow the same steps for the bean sprouts. Mix each thoroughly and set them aside.
- Sauté each of the vegetables separately on low-medium flame with a drizzle of vegetable oil and a pinch of salt: bellflower root, fernbrake, carrot, and all mushrooms, each cooking for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
- Cook up the diced beef, about 5-8 minutes, and place into a bowl. Set it aside.
- Fry the eggs sunny-side up or over easy.
- Mix together the pepper paste with water to desired thickness. The consistency of the sauce should be loose enough to mix into the rice easily.
Assembling your rice bowl:
- Take four large bowls and scoop about ¾-cup of hot rice into each one. Portion out all of the cooked ingredients equally into the four serving bowls.
- Take as little or as much of the pepper sauce as desired, a generous stream of sesame oil, a dash of sesame seeds, and happily mix your rice bowl. Enjoy it with a side of kimchi!
- A 30- to 45-second blanch is all you need for the spinach. Any longer, and I find the texture ends up being too soft. Rinse in cold water or put the spinach in an ice bath immediately after cooking, then squeeze out the excess water. Carefully loosen the leaves and season.
- Soybean sprouts are a bit delicate, in that it takes just about 3 minutes from boiling/simmering before the sprouts begin to get too soft. My mom told me the best way to cook sprouts is to bring a cold, covered, pot of water with sprouts to a simmer, then set a timer for 3 minutes. Drain and season.
- **Dehydrated bellflower root (도라지 - doraji) is easily found in your Korean grocery store. Hydrating and removing the bitterness from the roots takes a few hours: the initial hydration should only take about 20-30 minutes, but that depends on how dehydrated your roots are to begin with. After initial hydration, I drain the water and massage the roots with some salt. This helps to extract the natural bitterness in the root. After rubbing with salt, I rinse and then fill the bowl with water to soak the roots for another 30 minutes. I continue to change the water every 30 minutes until most of the bitterness is out. Yes, you can do a taste test (without cooking) to see if the roots are still bitter.
- **You can find fernbrake/bracken fern/royal fern at your local Korean grocery store. It is sold in a sealed bag, already cooked and soaked in water. If you're lucky and can source dried fernbrake, boil for 10-15 minutes and then soak 6-8 hours, or overnight.
- Shiitake can be fresh or dried, but I like using the dried ones for their stronger flavor. It only takes a few hours for the mushrooms to hydrate.
- Pile on as much or as little as you want for each vegetable. I go for anywhere between 2-4 tablespoons of each.
- The pepper sauce is something that my husband loves, so I try and make a generous amount. If you find that your sauce is too runny or too thick, adjust with a little more paste or water.