Bee – bim-Bop!

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Clarissa has been very literal with her books lately. If it’s in a book, we have to do it. One such book is Bee – bim- Bop! by Linda Sue Park.

We got this book from the library before our Hong Kong trip to learn a little bit about Korean culture. My favorite Korean dish is probably bibimbap so I thought it would be fun to read about it. In the book a little girl and her mom go to the grocery store to buy ingredients and then come home and make bibimbap together for the family dinner that evening. At the end of the book, the author lists her family’s recipe for bibimbap, with specific instructions for children and adults.

Clarissa asked if we could make it for dinner. I assured her that we would after we returned from vacation. She would not let me forget! The day after our return she demanded to go to the commissary to buy the ingredients. She fought with Daddy one night about dinner because Tim wanted pizza and Clarissa wanted to make bibimbap.

When it was time to make the bibimbap, Clarissa was excited to help. She helped measure the rice and the water. She measured the ingredients for the marinade and mixed it up. She even helped with the eggs.

At which point, we had been working for at least 20 minutes and she was tired of helping. She went to the couch to read some books while I sautéed the meat and vegetables.

I think they should charge more for bibimbap in restaurants! It is always less than $10 and it takes a while to make. We all enjoyed our meal and plan to put it in our meal rotation. Clarissa even ate eggs and carrots with her rice. I am hopeful that she will continue to try new things and enjoy the other vegetables as well.

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Ingredients:

1 cup white rice
1 pound sirloin or other beef steak
2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup mung bean sprouts (optional)
4 eggs
PAM cooking spray

Marinade:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 tablespoons gluten free tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
1. Pour one cup of rice and two cups of water into a saucepot. Cook on high until the water boils. Then switch to low heat until the water is absorbed into the rice.
2. Mix all marinade ingredients into a large bowl.
3. Slice beef into thin slices. Place sliced beef into marinade and mix thoroughly.
4. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Spray small frying pan. Pour egg in sections into . Cook like a pancake. Slice eggs into strips. Put into small bowl for serving.
5. Spray frying pan. Saute carrots until tender. Put into small bowl for serving.
6. Spray frying pan. Saute spinach until tender. Put into small bowl for serving.
7. Spray frying pan. Saute mung bean sprouts until tender. Put into small bowl for serving.
8. Spray frying pan. Saute beef and marinade until beef is cooked through. Put into small bowl for serving. Pour marinade into small container for serving as well.
9. Serve with rice in bowls. Each person adds the ingredients that they want to their bowl and mix it all up.

Ah Bibimbap

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On our road trip to Seoul, we tried to go to Andong to see the folk village there but it started to sleet, so we left. Tim did some research and thought that we might like the village at Jeonju better. Plus, it is the birthplace of Jeonju Bibimbap, so that would be an added bonus.

We bought our GPS from the PX on Saturday and decided to test it out on our trip on Sunday. The GPS took twenty minutes to get a signal. But Tim thought he knew where to go in the beginning…By the time the GPS figured out where we were and rerouted us a few times, the two hour trip became four hours long!

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There was a parking lot at Jeonju folk village. But it was packed and the spaces were tight. We ended up parking on the edge of the parking lot in an unofficial spot like other people with big cars.

Our first priority was to find food since we had planned to eat two hours prior. There were several restaurants, but we specifically wanted bibimbap. We found a menu that was only Korean, but had pictures (and I know how to read the word bibimbap in Korean). They only have three choices. We decided to eat there. My recceipt says that the name of the restaurant was Sinyongkidujeonpyo- Gogaekyong.

We ordered the set for two people. The appetizers were great.

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I ate everything but the kimchi (it’s always too spicy for me, but Tim likes it). Since we ate it all, they brought refills of each dish. We also asked for a bowl of rice (bap) for Clarissa.

They then brought us our bibimbap as well as two meat patties. Tim said that the meat reminded him of salisbury steak. The meal was great. I would definitely eat there again. The price wasn’t bad either, all of that food for 27,000 won ($22.36).

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After lunch we walked through the village. It was disappointing to me because it was very commercial. I was expecting traditional houses with people living in them. There were plenty of traditional looking houses, but they weren’t houses. They were all restaurants and gift shops. There weren’t many signs in English. There apparently is an English tour at 11 and 2. So that may have made the village more enjoyable.

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We walked by a few desserts that we had to try. There were Korean chocolate moon pies. I tried the white chocolate and Tim got the traditional Korean one (ginko and chocolate). Clarissa enjoyed them both!

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The funny part about that place was the grandparents we met there. They thought that Clarissa was so cute. Not only did they ask to take her picture, they got all of their grandchildren to be in the picture too! Other parents wanted to do it too, but their children would not cooperate!

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The trip wasn’t a waste though. We found a Totoro purse for Clarissa. Tim and I also both chose a screen for the house.

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On the way out, we had to try the fish ice cream. It’s not what you think. They put mango chunks, ice cream, and cookies inside a fish shaped pastry that reminds me of pancakes. It was delicious.

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Leaving the parking lot was probably the coolest part for me. When you come in to the parking lot, they scan your license plate. When you leave, it scans your license plate again and the screen tells you how long you have been there and how much you owe for parking. I thought it was so neat that you don’t need to show a ticket (Admission into the folk village itself is free though).

The trip home was mostly uneventful, except for the fact that the GPS couldn’t find a signal. So we just switched to waze (moral of the story, we will be returning our GPS to the px). We used more gas than we thought because of the extra two hours in the morning. We watned to get gas on the way home, but the gas station didn’t have an attendant at the rest stop and Tim hasn’t done a Korean gas pump yet. But we did make it home (and apparently the gas station on base closes way early?). We also wanted to recharge hi-pass, but our reststop didn’t have that either. I guess I wrongly assumed that they all do.

I think we will have to go back to Andong sometime in the spring.