This Korean rice bowl recipe makes a delicious and warming dish after returning home from a training session during the dark autumn and winter evenings.

I always like to create recipes that are entirely customisable and have provided several vegetable and protein combinations. This is also the perfect leftover lunch. A good tip for athletes and anyone with limited time in the evenings, is to cook extra for convenience and tasty lunch boxes.

This recipe should provide dinner and lunch for two, but will depend on your appetite. My favourite combination is with salmon, mushrooms, and lots of gochujang sauce. Once the rice is cooked (or skip that step for a faster meal!) I put the salmon fillets in the oven for 13 minutes and all other components are prepared and cooked in this time.

The preparation is faster with two, so divide the jobs and work quickly. You do not need to have amazing cooking skills or equipment to make this, but try to be creative and make personal changes if there is something you aren’t keen on.

Kimchi is a wonderful addition, it is a gut bacteria boosting fermented food but also very much an acquired taste. Gochujang is a fermented Korean chilli paste that is available from Asian supermarkets or online.

4 portions (or 2 dinner + 2 lunch)
Total cook time: 25 minutes
Hands on time : 13 minutes

BASE – Choose 1
1) 240g Basmati brown rice
2) 240g Basmati white rice
3) 2x 250g precooked pouches of rice

VEGETABLES – Choose 3 or 4
1) 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2) 100g beansprouts
3) 150g spinach
4) 1 large courgette, cut into ‘moon shapes’
5) 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
6) 120g frozen peas
7) Soy sauce or Tamari

PROTEIN – Choose 1
1) 2 salmon fillets – cook on a foil-lined baking tray @ 200ᵒC for 13mins
2) 200g rump steak – very thinly sliced to allow fast cooking time
3) 400g chicken thighs – season and grill on highest temperature for 13mins
4) 1 tin of black beans
5) Extra egg per person

THE ESSENTIAL EGG – 2 large eggs

TOPPINGS – choose as many as you like
1) Sesame seeds
2) Spicy sauce of choice e.g. Gochujang, sriracha, peri peri.
3) Spring onion – sliced
4) Sesame oil
5) Kimchi

Start by cooking the rice. Rinse the rice in a sieve and cook in a large pan of boiling water for 25 mins, or according to package instructions.

If required preheat the oven.

Preheat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat.

Prepare chosen vegetables.

You can either stir-fry each vegetable separately or add them to the pan at intervals. Add 1tsp oil to the pan and add your first vegetable and allow to cook until softened and warm. Lightly season each with a drizzle of soy sauce or tamari. Cook vegetables in this order; Mushrooms, courgette, carrots, bean sprouts, peas, spinach. For courgettes and mushrooms try and get some colour, try not to stir too much.

If cooking vegetables separately – put them in a large bowl like a wheel and put in the oven to keep warm until ready.

If cooking together – add vegetables to the pan according to the order above and cook together, season with soy sauce.

If having beef or beans – On a high heat, add 1tsp oil to the same pan as used for vegetables, add chosen protein. Stirfry until cooked to your liking or warmed though. Season with soy sauce and set aside until ready.

On a high heat, Add another tsp of oil to the pan, swirl around. Crack your eggs into a small ramekin and gently pour into the pan.

Turn down to a medium high heat, put a lid on and allow to cook for 2 minutes or until white is set and yolk runny.

While the eggs are cooking get a bowl and put ¼ of the rice in the bottom. Arrange vegetables and meat sound the bowl as shown in the picture. Once the egg is cooked place on top of the rice bowl.

Add toppings.

The Korean way is to break the yolk and mix everything together. The runny yolk coats the rice grains and vegetables, making a delicious dish that is best enjoyed with a spoon.

About the Author
Katie Kirk is a Northern Irish two time commonwealth games athlete, chef and food science student.