4. Fried Rice with Korean Burdock Roots (Ueong Boggeumbap, 우엉볶음밥)
Fried rice is probably one of the most common and popular rice dishes you can find all around the world. It’s a known fact that long grain rice is best for making fried rice due to its tendency to remain separate compared to short grain rice that is too sticky and clingy. However, since cooked short grain rice is a staple food in Korea, Koreans make fried rice using leftover short grain rice cooled overnight in the fridge to get the same effect as using long grain rice. Actually, fried rice is so ordinary that most of the Korean moms make it with leftover cold rice and whatever ingredients they have handy whenever they cannot think of any dish for lunch, lunch box, or dinner, even without realizing it’s best for fried rice. Unlike Gimbap, this dish is quick, simple, easy, and cheap to make yet very healthy and nutritious as it uses a variety of vegetables.
Two of the most popular fried rice dishes in Korean cuisine are Gimchi Boggeumbap (김치볶음밥, “Fried Rice with Kimchi”) and Chaeso Boggeumbap (채소볶음밥, “Fried Rice with a Rainbow of Vegetables”). Today, I’ll introduce you to Ueong Boggeumbap (우엉볶음밥, “Fried Rice with Korean Burdock Roots and Other Vegetables”). In this recipe, you’ll use burdock roots, carrots, onion, celery sticks, and fresh bacon (삼겹살, Samgyeopsal).1 If you prefer, you may substitute chicken breasts or beef sirloin for fresh bacon; or in vegetarian cooking, you may substitute Dubu (aka, Tofu) and/or Pyogo (aka, Shiitake) mushrooms for meat.
1. Koreans love the taste and flavor of Samgyepsal so much that they eat it on a regular basis. (Click for the picture.) The food is especially favored in the spring season though when not so pleasant yellow dust storms occur in the Gobi Desert in northern China and southern Mongolia to affect the Korean peninsula. Due to the industrial pollution in China, these annual yellow dust storms now consist of dangerous heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, copper and aluminum so Koreans consume even more pork, especially Samgyeopsal, during that time. For according to the traditional Korean herbal medicine, a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and some other elements in pork absorb the heavy metals and neutralize carbon dioxide caught in the respiratory organs and remove them from their body. This is why the food is also consumed regularly by Korean coal miners and metal foundry workers.
|Two bowls of Ueong Boggeumbap ("Fried Rice with Korean Burdock Roots")|
made for a quick yet nutritious lunch
INGREDIENTS: ● 1½ or 2 cups cooked rice, cold*
(2~3 servings) ● ½ small size onion, diced
● ½ carrot, diced
● 2 celery sticks, diced
● ¼ LB Ueong Jorim (Braised Korean burdock roots)
(Click for the recipe.)
● 2 strips fresh bacon, diced**
● sesame seed oil
● salt to taste
● soy sauce to taste
● 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
* You can substitute brown rice if you're a health-conscious cook
or long grain rice for better results.
** You can find Samgyeopsal or fresh bacon in your local Korean markets
or some of your local grocery markets. You can substitute Dubu
(aka, Tofu) and/or Pyogo (aka, Shiitake) mushrooms.
1. In a large skillet, sauté the diced fresh bacon over medium until golden brown.
2. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery sticks until tender but still crunchy and crispy.
3. Add a little oil to the skillet, and then the rice and diced Ueong Jorim (Braised Korean burdock roots). Mix with a wooden spoon to combine, gently so that the individual rice grain does not get smooshed.
4. Turn the heat to low and add salt and/or soy sauce to taste. You might add a little more sesame oil if you prefer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve while hot.