This bowl is inspired by bibimbap, the Korean dish of rice topped with pickles, vegetables and egg. Almost everything here can be prepared ahead; just poach the egg and cook the rice when you're ready to serve it. Add seasonings, such as soy sauce and sesame to suit your taste - we love the umami hit of gochujang, the Korean fermented chilli paste. Begin this recipe a day ahead to pickle the mushrooms.
- 400 gm brown rice, rinsed, drained
- 4 eggs
- 50 gm dried sea vegetable or wakame, rehydrated in boiling water for 2 minutes, drained (see note)
- Light soy sauce (usukuchi), to serve
- 1 tsp sesame oil, or to taste
- ½ telegraph cucumber, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin and sprinkled with salt
- 2 sheets toasted nori, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch chives, cut into batons
- 1 tbsp micro-watercress (optional)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika, or to taste
- 65 gm gochujang, thinned with 1 tbsp water
Pickled shiitake mushrooms
- 100 ml rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 100 gm shiitake mushrooms
Toasted puffed amaranth
- 140 gm puffed amaranth (see note) (1 cup)
- 2 tbsp rice bran oil
- 1For pickled shiitake mushrooms, combine vinegar, sugar, tamari, 150ml water and a large pinch of salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Place shiitakes in a bowl, pour vinegar mixture over, set aside to cool, then refrigerate overnight. Drain mushrooms and thinly slice or leave whole.
- 2Cook rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain well and divide among 4 bowls.
- 3For toasted puffed amaranth, stir amaranth in rice bran oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until golden and fragrant (2-3 minutes). Drain on paper towels and leave to cool.
- 4Poach eggs in a saucepan of simmering water until soft-poached (3 minutes). Drain and place one on each bowl of rice.
- 5Season sea vegetable with soy sauce and sesame oil, mix to combine, then arrange on rice bowls along with pickled shiitakes, cucumber, radish, nori and chives, scatter with toasted amaranth, cress and smoked paprika, and serve with gochujang.
Dried sea vegetables and wakame seaweed are available from health-food shops and Japanese grocers. Puffed amaranth is available from health-food shops.