British Bi Bim Bap


East Asian cuisine is something new to me. I tend to stop in South Asia, culinarily speaking, so continuing further East is a real adventure.

I was introduced to Bi Bim Bap by the Perfect Health Diet blog: Bi Bim Bap - the food looked fresh, fun and flavoursome, and something I wanted to do for myself.

Upon reading up I found that Bi Bim Bap, a Korean dish literally meaning a mixed meal, is a leftovers dish served up and cooked in a hot metal bowl, the foundation of which is rice and then all manner of goodies placed around the side and an egg yolk on top.

Immediately put in mind of the Swedish Pyttipanna, or put little bits in a pan, my mind jumped a little closer to home - to the classic British breakfast, and one excellent Paleo+ leftover: Bubble & Squeak!

Bubble & Squeak is served as part of the full English Breakfast, and made from leftover potatoes, mashed, and cabbage, boiled. Brussels sprouts, carrot, peas and so on can also be added, but for purity, keep it to just potato and cabbage.

This is our foundation stone for a British Bi Bim Bap.

To make Bubble & Squeak, simply fry mashed potato and boiled cabbage together in a little fat to colour up. Serve into a stout bowl, placing the mash in the middle.

Prepare all the other ingredients you want in your bowl - look to leftovers first, but try to theme it somehow. Themed on my normal weekend breakfast ingredients, I went for bacon, sausage, mushroom, spinach, pickled gherkin, pickled beetroot, asparagus and blueberries.

You got me - some of that does err much more towards Scandinavian, but much of my culinary focus leans towards Scandinavia and Northern Europe. My home country of Yorkshire, in Northern England, has its fair share of influences from these areas.

Anyway ...

With your ingredients prepared, cooked and ready, fry up an egg and place onto the bed of Bubble & Squeak.

Arrange the ingredients around, season and spice however you like - I ground a little black pepper over, splashed an array of Tabasco sauces over the ingredients: jalapeno over the gherkin, chipotle over the bacon and habanero over the sausage.

Brown Sauce or Tomato Ketchup accompanies this very nicely. One brand that I do like is Wilkins & Sons' Tiptree who make a lovely Brown Sauce, Tomato Ketchup and Barbeque Sauce which uses real ingredients, no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives and only a little sugar.