Only two members of the crew recognized the dish I was serving to them. But when the plates were cleaned off the table, nothing was left. It was my most successful meal yet: Bibimbap.
My version was decidedly more off-the-cuff than the one you’ll get at Korean restaurants. Lacking individual stone pots, I put the rice in the oven prior to serving in order to crisp it up. I served fried eggs on top the rice, one per person. The night before, I defrosted another big chuck of flank steak from the freezer, and marinated it in soy sauce and brown sugar. I cooked spaghetti squash in a light vinegar and sugar sauce to pickle it slightly; sautéed collard greens in garlic, salt and bacon grease; seared some Brussels sprouts in bacon grease, then poured the flank steak cooking liquid over them for extra flavor (shh – don’t tell the vegetarians); and then I cooked some turnips in the remaining liquid from a bread and butter pickle jar.
I topped off this Korean smorgasbord with a riff on gochujang made with sriracha, a ton of sugar and white wine vinegar.
Also served that day, for lunch:
Carrot soup and buttermilk buns
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies at the captain’s request