Japan is very close to Korea and Korean culture can be found on the TV (love story dramas) and in the food. Basically Japanese food is very bland (a delicate palate) while Korean food is spicy (sweat while you eat). Salty pickles are popular in Japan but in Korea a main staple is Kimchee, vegetables pickled in red pepper.
Tetsu and I have go for any kind of food and Kimchee is a favorite.
(An aside.... I remember my Caucasian father HATED Kimchee and could tell from the other end of the house when my mother even opened the jar that she'd bought.
"Get that stinky stuff out of the house!!"
Kimchee does have a high aroma...)
Anyway, this week I made the Korean dish Bibinba. I have no idea how authentic this is but it is easy to cook (I cheat a lot again) and tasty.
The ingredients from top right are: Kimchee. Namueru vegetables... We can buy these prepared in the supermarket... Let's see, there are spicy daikon, simmered mushrooms, simmered spinach and spicy beansprouts in there. (The vegetables can be made by simmering them in salt and mixing them with sesame seed oil.) There is a jar of Korean Kochijan sauce; a spicy bean-paste sauce, grated garlic, sliced pork, grated sesame seeds (look at the size of that bag! I use them in my granola regularly), and sesame seed oil.
I first mix up 1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil, 1 Tablespoon grated sesame seeds, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons Kochijan (or use regular miso with a bit of sugar), 1 teaspoon grated garlic. I add the pork to this and cook it over high heat.
Japanese meats are sold mostly in paper thin slices and we really don't eat much meat in one meal. I sort of think of meat as "flavoring".
In the same fry pan I put in enough rice for two people. In real Korean restaurants a burning hot stone pot will be used instead of a fry pan.
On top of the rice I add all the vegetables, the Kimchee and the meat. A raw egg is added and then the whole thing is cooked with a lid on top until the rice burns a little in the pan and is crispy on the bottom. This is all mixed up and served as is in the fry pan. (The egg sort of sets as it gets mixed on the hot fry pan.) Tetsu and I spoon out our own servings a little at a time. Makes for pretty easy clean-up too!