Dem baps, dem baps, dem bibimbaps

Cross posted from Auckland Cheap Eats Reviews – fine lunching for the tight of fist. Get over there for more of this kind of thing.

Korea, what is it good for?  Absolutely everything if the way their economy continues to develop is an indicator.  Hyundai, Samsung, LG, Daewoo, Hankook, 400kph trains etc etc, the new industrial marvel.  I reckon the humble bibimbap is a microcosmic glimpse of the thinking that supports such development.

Elegant, efficient, healthy and cost effective, that’s the bibimbap.  It’s one of Korea’s national dishes, and so varies regionally, but the one pictured here is from New Village Korean Food in the Newmarket Plaza Food Court, Kent St, Newmarket (see previous posts) and it seems to be pretty representative of the offerings to be had around Auckyland.

Bibimbap means mixed rice.  How understated.  This is one of the freshest, healthiest, tastiest bits of nosh around.  Room temperature steamed rice sits in a bowl and is surrounded by neatly prepared raw courgette, carrot, beansprouts, mushrooms and greens.  In the middle of these is a helping of nicely moist but amazingly unfatty minced beef and the whole is topped with a fried heggyweggy.  This lot receives a healthy shaking of black pepper and a drizzle of sesame oil.  One takes gobfuls of this delectable combination with an appropriate quantity of the accompanying gochujang, Korean medium-hot chilli sauce.  My oh my, luvverly.  But let’s not forget the all important differentiator…the relishes, ‘cos these do vary place to place and New Village offers the biggest and best selection  Those little spuds second from left are class-A addictive, but watch the seaweed as it can grab the old uvula and lead to near death moments.

So, that’s the bibimbap.  But it has a mate – the dolsot bibimbap.  Dolsot means (very) hot stone pot, and so the above ingredients are lobbed in to one of these hence creating a volcanic version to warm the cockles of ones’ wintery heart.  Not only does this approach make the dish very different to the room temp version, it has the added bonus of creating a ricey crust at the bottom of the bowl.  Crunch crunch.

$8 – $10 depending on the outlet.  New Village is $9.

Quality: 9/10   Quantity: 8.5/10    Value for money: 9/10

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One Response

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