Daily Distraction: Learn to make bibimbap

There is no better food than this Korean menu item

Joel Oliphint
Columbus Alive
Kimchi hot stone bibimbap at Gogi.

For a good part of my childhood, I lived on the campus of a seminary just outside Philadelphia. Not nearby. On the campus, in a gatehouse at one of two entrances. One of my best friends lived in the other gatehouse, and before we could drive, we would load up my guitar and amp in a red wagon and wheel it down to his house for basement jams and four-track covers of U2 anthems. The first song we wrote together was titled "Futuristic Pastimes of the Present." It was deep.

Anyway, the student body of the seminary was unique, in that a good chunk of these seminarians came from Korea to study. This meant that, during semi-regular pot luck dinners, I got to try all sorts of homemade Korean dishes, and it didn't take me long to realize I loved just about all of them.

I've sought out Korean food wherever I've lived since those days. Columbus has quite a few good options, but at my house we've also started making bibimbap on the regular. (And by "we" I mostly mean my mother-in-law.) It can be tough to replicate good Korean cuisine at home, but this is one item that we've had success with. It's spicy, sweet, savory, packed with colorful veggies and quite possibly my favorite dish in the history of food, even without the hot stone pot (dolsot bibimbap).

I'm by no means a knowledgeable chef, but this is the Food Network recipe we use as a starting point. There are lots of bibimbap varieties with various kinds of meat, but beef bulgogi is my jam. Also, buying premade/bottled gochuchang (spicy red pepper paste) can cut down on prep time, but try a few brands until you find a favorite. 

Here's a video if you're a visual learner: