Korean Bibimbap | $15 | Earl’s Tin Palace
We were discussing the new addition of bibimbap to the menu. I was explaining the awkwardness of the word, how I can never seem to have it roll of my tongue smoothly, and my genuine unfamiliarity with Korean cuisine.
The earlier menu items of Moroccan inspiration were easy for me to get my taste buds around. The Fattoush salad was aromatic, bright, and fresh, the Moroccan salmon dosed with just the right amount of heat.But the bibimbap? I had no idea what to expect.
Chef Keith Kozlowski, came by the tables and explained the process for making the bibimbap. There were special pots brought in just for the dish. They go right on the fire with some jasmine rice inside. And they sit.
The idea is to get the outside of the rice crispy as it sticks to the side of the iron pot. Once the rice is crispy, a stir fry of vegetables is place on top along with a softly poached egg.
At the table the server pierces the egg, and mixes it all together. The egg emulsifies the dish, the crispy rice bits are scattered and then you get to add your own dose of spicy sauce to kick it up to whichever Sriracha-esque level you prefer.
The dish was served at the end of a hearty meal and I couldn’t finish it all, despite wanting to. And then it hit me. Not only is bibimbap a Korean risotto, it’s also the ultimate hangover breakfast. The creamy egg, the heat, the vegetables. Never mind leftover pizza in the fridge the next morning, reach for the leftover bibimbap and do it up Gangnam Style.
P.S. The new spring menu at Earl’s also features a wicked cocktail called a Paloma. Imagine a grapefruit margarita and you’re part way there. It uses Jarritos, a Mexican grapefruit inspired soda along with silver tequila and while it’s on the ‘spring’ menu, it can’t wait for summer patios.