A Salmon Belly Bibimbap
By Niree Noel
In the warmest summer month (aka August), we were going for cool California vibes with a retro twist. We nabbed Susan Kim to chef our Secret Supper, set in the last unfinished warehouse at Brooklyn’s Industry City. Susan paired the familiarity of what she makes at home with a tongue-in-cheek homage to that 70s hippie-dippie culture to create a stellar menu, including this bibimbap with the freshest fish and brightest flavors. Below, Susan shares her thought process and recipe for us all to recreate in the comforts of our own home.
But before we begin, a word from Susan: “These are just suggested measurements and guidelines; I want everyone to feel free to use what they have at their disposal. Bibimbap comes from a place of having banchon (the Korean concept of small plates compiled over a bowl of rice) in one’s home. Eating out of a bowl — everyone can relate to that, especially when you’re home alone. You can make the components all at once, or a few days ahead and keep them in the refrigerator.”
Salmon and Kale Bibimbap
Recipe by Susan Kim
1 cup Dried short-grain rice
Toasted sesame oil
1 pound Lacinato or Tuscan kale
2.5 cups Tamari
2 cups Brown rice vinegar
2 tbsp. Honey
1 cup Shiro shoyu or white miso
12 oz. Sashimi-grade salmon belly
Maldon sea salt
Watercress, pea shoots, or alfalfa
Gochugaru Korean chili flake
Soak rice overnight (or for at least two hours). Cook according to package instructions, with either 1:1 or 1.5:1 water to rice ratio. While still warm, toss with toasted sesame oil.
Set aside. Can be made many days ahead.
For Soy Egg
Dissolve 2 tablespoons honey in 2 cups tamari and 1 cup of brown rice vinegar in an airtight container like a Mason jar.
Bring a pot of water to a slow rolling boil. Submerge eggs for 7 minutes. Remove eggs and place in ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, peel and place in soy mixture.
Strip the leaves from the spine. Boil a few cups of water with salt. Throw kale in for a few minutes. Remove kale from water and place in ice bath. Drain.
Mix 1 cup tamari with 1 cup sesame oil, 2 tablespoon sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of freshly grated garlic. Option to add in ½ cup brown rice vinegar. Massage mixture into kale with hands.
Can be made a few days ahead. Serve at room temperature.
Slice 3 - 4oz. At an angle for each bowl. Sprinkle Maldon salt on top of the raw fish. Do this when you are ready to assemble.
While Susan used fatty salmon belly in this version, for the visual drama and elevated feel, any protein will do here. Ask your local fishmonger what the freshest sashimi grade fish is that day, or go with a solid tin fish like Ortiz’s tuna in olive oil or some sort of mackerel situation. If you’re a vegetarian, stir up some tofu and throw that on top — this bowl is your canvas. Do with it what you will.
Mix 1 cup shiro shoyu or white miso sauce with 2 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar, and 2 tablespoons honey with a spoon. If too thick, add a splash of water.
Scoop sesame oil rice into the base of a bowl. Compartmentalize the rest of the components: place protein on one side, kale on another, fresh watercress or pea shoots on yet another. Cut the egg in half and place in center.
Dust the egg with gochugaru chili flakes or Aleppo pepper.
Spoon sauce on top to taste.