Between a Rock and Terrible Pictures
This my friends, is a rather blurry photo of my Korean stone dolsot bowl filled with some bim bim bap. Bim bim bap is the name of the dish and when served in a dolsot it’s called Dolsot bim bim bap. It’s blurry because the bowl had been sitting in a 500° oven for an hour and I had only my cell phone handy and those yellow things you see on top are egg yolks. Everything is cooking fast in the hot bowl… no time to get a better camera.
Cooking with the dolsot is easy. Cook some rice (we always do short-grain brown in our house). Make a variety of small korean/asian type items (whatever is around) to go on top. Think bbq tofu or seitan (the meat eaters would have ground beef or bbq pork but we won’t go there) and slightly pickled or stir-fried vegetables. An egg yolk per a person is traditional and hoisin sauce can be delightful. The only definite requirement is Korean gochujang pepper paste. You cannot substitute for this.
So, you take your dolsot and put it in the oven at 500°. You start a pot of rice. You cook your veggies and/or tofu. You separate your egg yolks. Your rice is probably done about an hour after you started your oven. Take out the dolsot, drizzle in some sesame oil and brush around with a silicon or pastry brush. Transfer the cooked rice into the dolsot. Lay the various toppings in attractive wedges around the dolsot leaving the center clear. Add a big dollop of gochujang, another of hoisin if you want it. Add the egg yolks in the center. Top with seaweed or sesame seeds if you desire. Allow to sit for a few minutes to allow the rice to get crispy on the bottom (one of the main characteristics of the dolsot). Then, break the eggs with your chopsticks and stir everything together allowing the egg yolks to cook in big streaks along the stone bowl edges (the other main characteristic of the dolsot). Everything cooks together and you serve yourself out of the dolsot. Top with kimchi.
Clean the dolsot by scouring it with kosher salt and a kitchen towl when warm to remove food particles and then rub the inside with vegetable oil. If prepping a new dolsot season it with vegetable oil after heating in a hot oven much like seasoning a cast iron skillet.
Last night we stir-fried sesame-garlic kale from the garden (it lives! in January!), did a slight BBQ on some water chesnuts with some date syrup (hey, it was around and I like it) and some gochujang. We had some leftover pickled shredded daikon and carrot from the asian market that I bought for bahn mi sandwiches over a week ago and it had to go, so into the dolsot it went. Stirred together and I think this was one of P.’s more favorite Asian meals. He’s an Italian guy at heart and I’m just a California gal.
For more info and much better pictures see this informative blog post:
You really can’t buy a dolsot online (and shipping on the heavy stone would be HELL). I picked mine up for about $20 at an Asian market. It has a matching lid and is worth the trouble of maintaining it. Which is not much.