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the most tasteless bibimbap I’ve ever had – part1 August 29, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in Everything else.
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Last Friday was the going away party for one of my co-workers at a karaoke place nearby work. But since it didn’t start until 8:00, my boyfriend, my friends/co-workers and I decided to grab something to eat before going to the karaoke place. The karaoke place was in Korean town in NYC, so we just went to one of Korean restaurants by the karaoke place.

Two of my other friends and I ordered bibimbap (rice, vegetable and raw egg on the top, usually comes in a sizzling hot stone bowl), my boyfriend and other friend ordered jap chae (stir fried mix vegetables and rice noodle), my other friend ordered bulgogi. (Korean BBQ)

When the waitress brought my food, it looked so good that I took a picture of it.

Looks can be so deceiving.

I mixed it, and started eating.

I mixed some more  and ate some more.

A couple of minutes after we started eating, my friend who was eating bulgogi asked my friend who was eating bibimbap. “So how’s your bibimbap?” She said “Well, it’s a little…” then she paused. So I finished her sentence with “…bland.” We had a “I’m so glad that I wasn’t only one thinking that!” moment. When I started eating, I couldn’t taste anything, so I mixed more, thinking that there was some flavor hidden inside. I kept on mixing and eating, waiting for the explosion of flavors, but it didn’t happen. It was like a puzzle from Professor Layton that’s worth about 99 picarats. “Where did the flavor go?” There was meat and so many vegetables in it, but you could taste NOTHING!

My friend put a little bit of salt on it, I even tried dumping a bit of the sauce that came with pa jun (Korean pancake) on it. But anything you put in, it was quickly absorbed by the mass of flavorlessness! My boyfriend usually helps me finish my dish when I can’t eat it by myself, but he couldn’t even finish the two spoonfuls of my bibimbap. My other friend who also ordered bibimbap said if I put a lot of hot sauce in it, it’d be fine. But I refused to numb my mouth just to eat the flavorless mushy rice.

It didn’t taste bad, it just had no taste whatsoever. I’ve never had a bibimbap like this one before, and I’m not a picky eater or harsh food critic at all. I wasn’t angry or anything though. Actually, it was so tasteless that it was funny. We spent long time talking about how it was possible for something packed with so much food to taste so bland.

I still didn’t want to waste it, so I took my leftovers and my friend’s leftovers home, and I decided to make rice croquettes with it tonight. I didn’t feel like deep frying, so I used a toaster oven this time. I mixed the bibimbap with a little bit of ketchup and parmesan cheese, made small rice balls using plastic wrap. Then I put mayonnaise on plastic wrap, rolled the rice balls over, and put them in a bowl of panko.(Japanese bread crumbs) I baked them until they were golden brown.

Born-again bibimbap

Yum!
The outside was crispy and inside had much more flavor from ketchup and parmesan cheese. The inside was still a bit mushier than I wanted, but the crispy panko on the outside definitely helped.

I still have more bibimbap leftovers. So I guess I’ll try making something different with bibimbap tomorrow. It’s weird but I must say I’m kind of enjoying this leftover food make-over.😛

Comments»

1. Eat. Travel. Eat! - August 30, 2009

Smart way to reuse bibimbap! Never have thought about making croquettes with it.

I hate it when the food looks beautiful but then tastes so-so. So much disappointment after you have high expectations due to the great looks!

2. Elayn - August 30, 2009

Hahaha!… How resourceful🙂 . I hate wasting things as well, I’m glad you could still put it to good use afterward, so to speak.

3. Lufflee - August 30, 2009

wow. I still cant imagine it being bland after looking at the picture. It looks so tasty lol. But i love your way of flipping a bland leftover into something good. I think id probably be wasteful and throw it out or just eat it for the sake of finishing it.

4. joy - August 30, 2009

Lol okay I think that would be your waiter’s fault. I’m korean and I eat a lot of korean food, and what restaurants are SUPPOSED to do is, is give you some go-jooh-jang (it’s like a red pepper sauce) and you mix it with the bi-bim-bap. Trust me, it tastes MUCH better! Next time you’re eating bi-bim-bap at a korean restaurant ask them for it. (:

5. yakuri - August 31, 2009

It’s so weird because it looks dang good; did you add the gojoojang while mixing like Joy said? that pepper paste is key ingredient for this dish (If you didn’t they should’ve told you too, especially if it looks like a costumer isn’t familiar with Korean dishes.); but I do agree there are bad-tasting bibimbab out there. I remember once I tried one so bad I barely touched it; since that moment I never even thought about that restaurant, you know their cook is bad if he/she messes up a bibimbab.

6. tokoyoko - August 31, 2009

i second joy’s comment. my friend had the same issue with bibimbap because for some reason he never gets served the gochujang sauce (i’m assuming because the waiters think he can’t handle the spiciness because he’s white). while it is true americans often dont dump in the sauce as they are not used to dousing a red sauce on top of their meal… to do with it is like eating a turkey sandwich without mayo – bland and a little dry.

7. tokoyoko - August 31, 2009

*to do WITHOUT it – oops


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