Korean Bibimbap

Quick disclaimer here …. this is unapologetically inauthentic!  At Fat Boy Moves in Mexico City we ate Bibimbap a couple of times and this is my version of trying to replicate that in my own kitchen, minus of course the stone bowl to serve it in….


What’s missing you say?  Any authentic Bibimbap will have a soft egg on top!

In terms of recipes, this is more of a guideline.  I’m sure you can find lots of real, true Korean Bibimbap recipes out there, but for my own preferences, in my kitchen, this was pretty delicious.  I think it is key to have either a cast iron frying pan or a stainless steel pan to get the rice nice and crusty.

First, make a sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chile garlic sauce
  • 1 tbsp gojuchang

Taste the sauce, I can’t say that enough, make sure it is delicious …. each of those components will be slightly different by brand so hit a balance you like.

Second, make pickled cucumbers:

  • cut about a 4 inch piece of cucumber in half, lengthwise
  • scoops out seeds and slice very thinly

Put cucumbers in a bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each of salt and sugar.  Sprinkle with 2 tbsp rice vinegar and mix well.  Set aside.

To assemble you will need:

  • cooked rice
  • protein (if you like, easy to just make it vegetarian also)
  • stir fried veg
  • pickled cucumbers
  • sesame seeds
  • cilantro
  • slivered chives

Thinly sliver nori sheet and toast until crispy

If you are using a protein, cover your steak, chicken or prawns with a light bit of gojuchang and allow to marinade for an hour.  Grill, and once rested, slice into bite size pieces.

Prepare the vegetables you are going to use, today I used coloured sweet peppers, onions, snow peas, bok choy and cabbage.

Heat fry pan until very hot, add neutral oil and sauce some ginger and garlic.  Add in vegetables and stir fry just until tender.  Set aside.

Reheat the pan, barely cover the bottom with sesame oil and then cover the bottom with the rice.  Allow to sit undisturbed until the rice is heated through and the bottom develops a nice golden brown crust.

Centre your cooked vegetables on the rice, scatter the protein around the edge and garnish with the pickled cucumber, toasted nori and sesame seeds.  Drizzle over the prepared sauce and enjoy!


Chinese Chow Mein

This is great served as a side dish for Kung Pao chicken or on it’s own as a full meal by adding stir fried chicken, pork, beef or shrimp.

Chow Mein

8 oz steamed chow mein noodles

1 tbsp finely minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup finely sliced celery

1/2 cup snow peas

Steam chow mein noodles until tender, or soak in cool water until tender.  Be careful not to leave them in water too long or they will get soggy.  :o(


1 tsp corn starch

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp water


cooking oil


toasted sesame seeds

In a small mixing bowl mix sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat wok, add cooking oil and lightly saute cabbage and celery – add ginger and garlic.

Remove from wok to a bowl – add sauce to bowl and bring to a boil, allowing it to thicken and become glossy.  Add noodles and stir fry quickly just allowing them to soften and absorb the flavor of the sauce.  Return sauted vegetables to wok and quickly stir through.

Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

If you want to make a meal in one – stir fry any type of protein you choose in the wok and add it to the chow mein – so versatile with any number of vegetables.  Go ahead and experiment – let me know what you try and how you like it!

SUSHI – (deconstructed and in a bowl!)

deconstructed sushi 2

On a hot night like this it is hard to think of cooking, or even standing over a grill ….. in fact standing and rolling cold items like sushi seemed a bit of a stretch …. this was just perfect – so cold and refreshing and really hit the spot.  Give it a try with any of your favorite sushi ingredients.  Great for a family too – serve it the way I did – on a large platter and let each person make their own bowl up as they go.


zest 1 lemon and 1 orange, and reserve

juice of each: 1 lemon, 1 orange

1 tbsp. brown sugar

On medium heat cook on a gentle boil for 2 minutes, stir in:

3 tbsp. soy sauce

3 tbsp. rice vinegar

Heat again on a gentle boil for about 3 minutes until it thickens slightly.

Taste!!!!  I can’t say this enough …. you need to make sure the flavours are balanced, playing with each of the simple ingredients above.  If you think it can stand a bit more citrus, add in the zest.  If you like your sushi spicy, add in either wasabi paste or a minced chili pepper.

Toast nori sheets lightly, just until crispy.  Slice in thin strips, and again dice if you like small pieces or leave it in strips. 

Cook some sushi rice according to directions on rice

Finely slice whatever ingredients you like in your sushi

For us today this included:

imitation crab meat






green onions

toasted sesame seeds

But really – use whatever you like!  Put a little rice in the bottom of your bowl, assemble a few of each of the ingredients and lightly drizzle with the sushi sauce – have fun – you will love it!

Doukhobor Borscht

We spent 2 years living in Castlegar, BC – Doukhobor territory – and I was determined to leave there with the best authentic borsch recipe I could.  Here it is – written out in this format so that you follow each step exactly.   This is a very rich, creamy and delicious version of Borscht – nothing at all like the beet borscht. 

It is a labour of love to make, but you will be so glad you did it.  Perfect for a rainy or cold day when you are going to be inside anyway!

Boil 2 ½ quarts of water in large stock pot.  Add ½ can tomatoes.  When water is boiling, add 1 tbsp salt, drop in 5 or 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half.  Add ½ cup each of grated carrot and beet, and 1 medium onion, finely chopped.

While this is cooking, get yourself another large pot or cast iron pan – melt 3 tbsp butter and add ¾ cup finely chopped onion and let sauté for a few minutes until very soft and translucent – but DO NOT brown.  Add 3 cups of canned tomatoes, and let simmer until it becomes a thick sauce.  (Cooking this well removes the acid from the tomatoes so your cream won’t curdle)

Into yet another frying pan melt 3 tbsp butter and add 2 cups shredded cabbage.  Saute but do not brown.  Allow to cook until cabbage is soft and tender.  Shred another 2 cups of cabbage to add (raw) to the borscht later.

When potatoes are tender, remove them to a large bowl, add 2 tbsp butter and mash well until they are nice and creamy – slowly adding 1 small carton of cream.  Mix well and set aside.

Add 1 1/2 cup diced raw potatoes to stockpot and ½ of the tomato sauce mixture along with 2 tbsp butter.  When diced potatoes are tender add the uncooked shredded cabbage and bring to boiling point, but DO NOT BOIL!!  When cabbage is tender, add the fried cabbage, the rest of the tomato sauce and mashed potatoes.  Add ½ cup chopped fresh green pepper and black pepper to taste.

The finishing touch is stirring in some chopped fresh dill.

Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a dill sprig for garnish.  We like this with piping hot biscuits right out of the oven.

Tangy Coleslaw

Everybody needs an alternative to creamy coleslaw, and I think this is the answer.  We love to use this as a side salad, but equally as delicious when used as a burger topping.


1/4 cup cider vinegar   

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp raw sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


This amount of dressing will easily dress a package of purchased prepared coleslaw mix for those nights when you are just too busy to shred your own or you can prepare:

4 cups finely shredded green cabbaage

1 cup finely shredded red cabbage

1/2 cup finely shredded sweet onion

1/2 cup sliced radishes

1/2 cup grated carrot

2 tbsp minced parsley

Toss to mix the ingredients, and then dress with the salad.  Don’t dress the salad too early – tastes best if all the ingredients are still fresh and crunchy.