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I love Korean food, and I'm fortunate to live in the section of town with the most Korean, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese persons and grocery stores, so I'm able to get a lot of items from the grocery stores around me which might be difficult to find elsewhere. I'll suggest substitutions when I think the item is too difficult to find.

There is, however, no substitute for Kimchi. (drool) This is a great recipe for leftover white rice.

Ingredients for the marinade/sauce:

  • dash dark sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar/molasses/honey/black treacle
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1/2 thinly sliced yellow onion
  • ground red pepper to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Note: I am treating this as a vegetarian recipe, but this marinade is equally good for meat. 1. Add ingredients to sealable plastic bag, and taste. Adjust as you like and seal.

Ingredients for the rice topping:

Note: Any arrangement of these are good on top.

  • dried shitake mushrooms (they're cheap at my local markets) or fresh any mushroom
  • spinach, fresh or thawed and thoroughly drained
  • carrots, thinly sliced
  • bean sprouts/optional
  • zucchini
  • shredded cucumber
  • thinly sliced bell pepper
  • shredded lettuce
  • thinly sliced, cooked sweet potato
  • sesame seeds
  • extra firm tofu, pressed and sliced
  • 1 egg, fried but still gooey in the yolk
  • seasoned rice vinegar


1. If using dried mushrooms, reconstitute with hot water first, otherwise wash mushrooms, cut into rough, large slices and put into marinade with tofu for at least 1 hour before cooking.

2. Thinly slice cucumber and allow to soak in mix of rice vinegar and water, 1:2. Taste mixture to see if you need to add more vinegar to suit your taste. When the marinade is done, so is this.

3. Gently and lightly saute spinach, carrots (these are also tasty raw), bean sprouts, zucchini and bell pepper in a small amount of sesame oil. They should not be cooked until they are limp. Just before pulling the vegetables off the heat, add sesame seeds and lightly toast in pan. Traditional recipes require cooking all these things separately, but I'm a lazy bum. Put aside as topping for rice.

4. Pull mushrooms and tofu from marinade. Using a dry skillet heated to medium high, pan fry mushrooms and tofu until they are mildly blackened on the outside. They'll do this fairly quickly because of the sugars in the marinade, and you want that smokey taste. I use a cast iron pot I found at the Salvation Army for this.

5. Prepare bowl with warm, plain leftover white rice on bottom. Place vegetable mixture on top of rice, add cucumbers, tofu and mushrooms. Fry egg. Place egg on top. Add shredded lettuce.

Eat with Kimchi, Srirracha, or any thick, garlicy pepper sauce. Totally worth it.

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