Monday, October 1, 2012

Recipe: Greek Bibimbap

I  received an announcement through Secret Recipe Club that Daniel Saraga, author of the The Haggis and the Herring food blog, died recently at the tender age of 37. He left behind a wife and two children (with one more on the way) as well as siblings and parents. His widow wrote a eulogy for him on the blog.

We shared the same Secret Recipe Club group for a while, before I volunteered to move to a different one as the club started expanding to accept more people who wanted to join in the fun. Dan never had the opportunity to make one of my dishes, as far as I can tell.

I knew immediately which of his recipes I should make. He called it Rice Salad From Leftovers. I already knew what it really was: Greek 비빔밥 bibimbap.

Certain culinary memes cross cultures, even ones that don't share borders or history. A recipe in a dusty cookbook or obscure corner of cyberspace may evoke a subtle memory of a similar dish from half-way around the world.

I took the liberty of changing the name of the recipe for two reasons:
  1. Dan's leftovers in this salad are very Greek. Cucumbers, tomatoes and kalamata olives playing together in a Greek salad dressing bath.
  2. Bibimbap is a perfect word to describe this dish. The word literally means "mixed-up rice," and this dish certainly fits that definition. 
At the time Daniel posted this recipe in August 2011, I told in a comment:
Koreans have a word for this, it's called bibimbap. :) Here's an example:
Daniel replied a few minutes later:
@Tamar: awesome. I like the version posted at the link - the ground meat is an excellent idea. I've got to bookmark that.
I have no idea if Maangchi's bibimbap ever graced Dan's dinner table. Hers is a little more complicated to pull off if your leftovers tend to be Greek or Moroccan, rather than Korean.

I also took the liberty of plating it bibimbap-style: olives, cucumber and tomatoes alternating around the bowl with the rice underneath and Greek salad dressing on top.

Greek Bibimbap


1–2 cups long-grain rice, cooked and cooled
1/2 tomato, diced
1/3 cup cucumber, diced
5–6 diced black olives*
2 tablespoons Greek Island Dressing with Feta Cheese

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss and serve.

* Neither hubby nor I like kalamata olives, so I replaced them with less-tart black olives.

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