Fish roe bibimbap

Al-bap 알밥

Today’s recipe is al-bap, which is a kind of bibimbap known for the addition of fish roe. Al is fish roe in Korean, and bap is rice, so even though there are many ingredients in this dish (including stir-fried kimchi) the fish roe gives it its name.

As you see in this recipe and video, it’s easy to make this at home. You just prepare the ingredients and add them to the bowl. You may notice that Koreans have a lot of hot, sizzling bibimbap dishes served in earthenware bowls right off the burner. Yes, this is one of them!

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You can use a skillet if you don’t have a traditional Korean earthenware bowl, it will work well, too. The flying fish roe are known as tobiko in Japanese. They are fermented in a sweet and salty marinade that also includes MSG. I always wash the roe just before using it because I want to remove any fishy smell. Then I add a few drops of lemon juice to make it refresh.

Now you have another reason to make my kimchi bokkeum (stir-fried kimchi) recipe! Then you can make this dish and your own dosirak (lunchbox)! Enjoy the recipe and happy cooking!

Ingredients

Serves 1 or 2

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Directions

  1. Put the fish roe in a fine strainer and wash in cold running water. Press down afterwards with a wooden spoon to remove any excess water. Put the fish roe in a small bowl, add the lemon juice, and stir. Set aside.
  2. Heat up an earthenware bowl over medium high heat for 1 minute (my bowl in the video is 3½ cups). Add sesame oil and rice and mix with a wooden spoon. Flatten down the top of the rice with the spoon.
  3. Add stir-fried kimchi on top of the rice. Cover and heat for 3 minutes until you hear a crackling sound coming from the bowl. That’s the sound of rice cooking in the earthenware bowl! It will be nice and crunchy.
  4. Uncover and crack an egg into the center. Then add pickled radish, cucumber, and the fish roe along the edges.
  5. Remove from the heat and top with radish sprouts, shredded seaweed paper, and chopped green onion, and chopped yellow pickled radish.
  6. Serve right away. Eat it with a spoon like bibimbap, by mixing it all up first. The raw egg and fish roe will cook a little from the bowl and the other ingredients.

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