Nov 3
2010

Mark Bittman’s Kimchi Rice with Beef + A giveaway!

in Book Reviews, Fruits & Vegetables, Giveaway, Korean, Main Course, Meat, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Rice & Noodles

Pillsbury Crescent Finalist smallHave you voted yet today? You can vote once every day between now and December 31st! Help me win the title of favorite Crescent Cook and be entered for the chance to win $5,000! (See more voting details at the end of this post.)*

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With the current state of our food system and our environment, as well as our overall health as a nation, it’s obvious that changes need to be made.  But if you were to draw up a checklist of all the things that need to be done, hand it to someone and tell them to get to work, my guess is that they might laugh at you, feel completely overwhelmed and do nothing, or start on it with good intentions and then give up after a few weeks as happens with so many people and their well-intentioned list of New Year’s Resolutions.  So what do we do?  I briefly talked about Mark Bittman’s new book, The Food Matters Cookbook, in my post about the Food Ninja Arsenal.

The Food Matters Cook Book by Mark Bittman

Last week I drove into L.A. to hear Bittman speak about his book at the Skirball Cultural Center.  Although I had already spent time reading through his book and salivating over many of the recipes, I came away from listening to him speak with a new appreciation for both the book and for Bittman himself.  The event in L.A. was presented as a conversation between Bittman and Evan Kleinman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food” and chef/owner of Angeli Caffe.

Photo Credit: Evan SungMark Bittman, Photo Credit: Evan Sung

The conversation was focused around the concept behind Bittman’s new book and his belief that you can work within your own food beliefs and habits to make healthy and sustainable changes, and that one of the primary changes that needs to be made is in the level of our meat consumption.  The book is not about vegetarianism, though there are vegetarian recipes in the book.  As Bittman explained, “For me, it’s just emphasis.  Less meat in the dishes that have meat, and more dishes that don’t have meat.”  He listed 4 ways of reducing meat consumption:

  1. Become vegan.
  2. Be a part-time vegan.
  3. Eat really weird.
  4. Start changing your proportions of meat, vegetables, fruits, and grains.

For him, the 4th option is the one that makes sense.  He explained, “We all make compromises and deals with ourselves . . . We may take two steps forward and one step back . . . .”  He said that his personal food policy is to ask the question, “Is the movement generally going in the direction you want it too?”   If you “are moving in the right direction,” then progress is being made.  He said that “the key is not beating yourself up for not meeting your goals.”  Kleinman coined this the “Less Meatarianism Movement” and then asked Bittman if he ate burgers.  His response drew a lot of laughter from the crowd, but was quite revealing.  He said, “I had a burger for lunch actually!  I may be a hypocrite, but I don’t lie!”  This frank answer says a lot about Bittman’s approach to food.  Bittman isn’t asking anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.  He loves meat, and despite his belief that we need to eat less of it, he is still going to indulge in an occasional hamburger.  What he is advocating, is a slow and steady shift.  He is challenging us to make small changes in the way we stock our cupboards, use ingredients, and view our food.

Jen (devourtheworld.blogspot.com), Mark Bittman, & RachaelJen (devourtheworld.blogspot.com), Mark Bittman, & Rachael

Then Bittman talked about how people think that it’s hard to cook.  “I can’t cook, I’m not a chef.”  Bittman’s response? “Go cook and then you’re a cook.  You may be a lousy cook, but you’re a cook.  Do the best that you can . . . Today’s biggest irony is watching people cook on TV and then saying you don’t have time to cook.”  Bittman added, “What gets lost is how much I believe in cooking . . . If [someone is] in the kitchen and they’re cooking, I’m happy about it.  That’s the starting place.  Get into the kitchen and cook what you like.”

After the event there was a tasting where we got to have samples of several different dishes that are in the book.  I especially loved the Creamy Carrot and Chickpea Soup and will definitely be making it as soon as our weather cools off a bit.

A few tastes from Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cook Book

Bittman’s book provides a resource for how to make that shift to more responsible eating.  The book is jam-packed with approachable recipes that will fit into any budget, lifetstyle, and level of cooking skill.  One of the recipes I’ve tried was a huge hit with my family and will definitely be something I make again—a recipe for Kimchi Rice with Beef.

Kimch Rice with Beef

Not only was the finished dish delicious, but it was quick and easy to make.  The kimchi is homemade, and does require some advanced preparation, but could easily be done ahead of time.

Kimchi

Actually assembling the dish once the kimchi is made takes less than 15 minutes.  This dish makes great use of leftover steamed rice,

Stir fry the rice

and uses thinly sliced beef flank or skirt steak, which cooks up quickly and is nice and tender.

Skirt Steak

The dish is filling, full of great flavor, but only uses 2 ounces of meat per serving.  When I was eating I realized that I had more than enough meat and finished the meal feeling full, but not sick from having eaten too much.  I took Bittman’s advice and made extra kimchi which I served on the side, because it is unbelievably yummy, especially considering how easy it is to make!  The publisher of the book, Simon & Schuster, was kind enough to offer a copy of the book for me to give away.  Giveaway details are after the recipe!

Kimchi Rice with Beef and extra kimchi

Print This Recipe

Kimchi Rice with Beef

From The Food Matters Cookbook, by Mark Bittman

Makes 4 servings

For the kimchi:
1 small head (about 12 ounces) green, Savoy, or Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
2 tablespoons salt
6 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic, or to taste
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the final dish:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces beef flank or skirt steak, very thinly sliced
2 cups cooked short- or long-grain brown rice

1. Make the kimchi: Put the shredded cabbage in a colander and toss it well with the salt.  Let it sit over a bowl until it wilts, at least 2 hours.  Rinse the cabbage and pat it dry.

2. Combine the scallions, garlic, ginger, red chile flakes, sugar, and soy sauce in a bowl or large jar.  Toss the mixture with the cabbage.  Let the kimchi marinate for a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge.*

3. Make the kimchi rice with beef: When the kimchi is ready, put a large, deep skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke, 3 to 4 minutes.  Swirl in 2 tablespoons of the oil, add the beef, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is seared on the outside, but still pink inside, 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove the beef from the skillet.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet, swirl it around, adn begin to add the rice, a bit at a time, breaking up any clumps with your fingers as you add it, and stirring it into the oil.  When all the rice is added, cook, stirring frequently, until the rice becomes nice and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Return the beef to the pan and stir in the kimchi.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

* The kimchi can be made up to a week in advance.  But be aware that it becomes more potent with age.

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To enter the giveaway for The Food Matters Cook Book: Leave a comment telling me your favorite vegetable dish or favorite way to uses vegetables.  I will keep the comments open until Sunday, November 7th, 10 PM PST, and announce the winner (using a random number generator) on Monday, November 8th.

Bonus Entries: (*Each bonus entry requires a separate comment to be counted!*)

2. Follow @fujimama on Twitter. RT this post and then come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so. NOTE: You must be following @fujimama for this entry to count.  You can even just copy and paste this tweet to make it easy: Giveaway: The Food Matters Cook Book @fujimama http://su.pr/2T09aB

3. Become a fan on Facebook. Come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so (or if you already “like” me on Facebook).

4. Sign up for our RSS Feed or Email Subscription.  Come back and leave a separate comment telling me you’ve done so (or if you’re already a subscriber).

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* Pillsbury Crescent Cook Contest Voting:

To vote for me in the Pillsbury Crescent Cook Contest, you have to fill out the entire form below the pictures and set up an account for your vote to count. After registering the first time, you then have to log in for each subsequent vote (log in area is at the top of the page), hit the vote button, then scroll down and hit the “Enter Now” button. You’ll know that your vote has been counted if you then get a screen that starts with, “Thank you for entering the My Crescent Wow Sweepstakes!” Thank you so much for your support!!

{ 130 comments… read them below or add one }

suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] November 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I love most veggies, so I can’t pick a favorite. Something I’ve started doing recently though is roasting red bell peppers! So delicious. :0

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Sandy November 3, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Love Veggies in my rice, in my pasta, in anything! I just love veggies! LOL!

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Sandy November 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I also follow you on my RSS feed reader! Thanks!!

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Kirk November 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Just discovering how easy it is to roast kabocha squash (once it is cut, that is). Your roasted kabocha and mushrooms recipe was a great reference point for me.

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Goldie November 3, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I LOVE Mark Bittman and am jealous you got to meet him! How fun. I’ve been cooking more vegetarian and less meat since I got married to my husband four years ago. It’s been a good change in our lives. It certainly made me think more creatively about how to cook without meat, but it’s been a fun challenge. I love making vegetable lasagna and enchiladas filled with fresh vegetables. It’s so tasty and filling.

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Goldie November 3, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I’m a fan on facebook!

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Goldie November 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Sick of me yet? I subscribed to La Fuji Mama.

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kaname650 November 3, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Lately I’ve been grilling a lot of artichokes and asparagus

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Alessa November 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

My latest veggie obsession is blistered peppers. (The non-spicy chili peppers). YUM! Shishito peppers are the best.

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kaname650 November 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I follow @fujimama on twitter

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kaname650 November 3, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I am also a fujimama fan on Facebook

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kaname650 November 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm

The Fujimama RSS feed is on my Google homepage

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Nancy@acommunaltable November 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm

The kimchi dish sounds delicious and a great “one dish dinner”. At this point in my life, I don’t require as much protein and dishes such as this work perfectly for me My teenage athletes though, are a whole different story!! At their stage, they really do need meat every day to keep up with their calorie requirements so I think Bittman makes a good point that each person needs to do what works best for them!!!

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Janice November 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I love making homemade soup with all different kinds of veggies. And then to top it off, I like to poach an egg in the soup. So nourishing and delicious.

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Janice November 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I already like you on FB!

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Aimee November 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

My husband and I both love to make Garden Vegetable Soup when the weather gets cool.

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Aimee November 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I subscribe to your RSS feed.

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Aimee November 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I’m following you on Facebook.

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Heidi November 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm

My favorite way to use up veggies right now is roasting them. Yum! A little bit of salt and pepper and some herbs and spices and whatever veggies are in the fridge :)

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Heidi November 3, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I subscribe to your feed already! :D

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Leisa November 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm

My current favourite way to get in my veggies is to sautee some minced garlic in olive oil, wilt in a good handful of spinach, and season with a few drops of lemon juice.
Delish!

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Ilana November 3, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I fill a baking sheet with chopped carrots and onions, toss them in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them in a hot oven. Yum!

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Caroline November 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I love using various veggies to make veggie burgers. Delicious, satisfying, and no meat at all!

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Caroline November 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I follow the RSS feed as well!

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Julia November 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I love a good pan full of roasted veggies – potatoes, yams, carrots, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, all chopped and tossed in oil and herbs and caramelized, yum.

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Paula - bell'alimento November 3, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I love baking my veggies. Especially eggplant… swoon…

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Paula - bell'alimento November 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Of course I’m part of the FujiMama posse on Twitter ; ) & I RT’d ! xoxo

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Paula - bell'alimento November 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I am a stalker ehem fan on Facebook tee hee

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Paula - bell'alimento November 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I get your feed… doesn’t everyone ;o

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Alessio November 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

So this is the book you have been tweeting about! I got quite curious and would love to read it, it would surely benefit my health too ;)

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Alessio November 3, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Oh right, the FB crowd :) How could I have missed u?? By the way are you among my contacts? Now I’m a fan of yours!

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Alessio November 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm

And now you will have to feed me even by email! ;-) Sneak some of this Kimchi rice in plz :D

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Sparrow November 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I love stir-fry bok choi. Mmmmm!

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Sparrow November 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I follow on Twitter!

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Sparrow November 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I like you on Facebook!

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Sparrow November 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I read your RSS!

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Maureen November 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I love a spinach and artichoke dip. I grew up loving spinach ( which is a bit unusual) but I would use this veggie in a meal when it was with something I didn’t really care for.

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Vicki November 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I love to put veggies in frittatas and fried rice. And I absolutely love roasting asparagus and cauliflower, and topping with parmesan.

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Vicki November 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I follow you on Twitter :)

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Vicki November 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

And I subscribe to your feed :)

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grace November 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Already a subscriber via email :)

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grace November 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm

“Like You” on facebook! :-)

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grace November 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Not sure how to do this but now a follower on Twitter.
http://twitter.com/plz16

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bunkycooks November 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I really like a version of lasagna that I make with eggplant that is vegetarian.

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bunkycooks November 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I follow you on Twitter. :)

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bunkycooks November 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I like you on FB.

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Kristen November 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

butternut squash gratin- just roasted butternut squash with carmelized onions and blue cheese….sooo tasty!!

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Katherine November 3, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I found a recipe for yellow pepper gratin in Cooking Light magazine, which I love.

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Jayne November 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

As a Chinese, stir-fries are the best and quickest way to incorporate any form of vegs into meals. It helps also that stirfries are done quickly so much of the nutrients in the vegs are still intact.

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Katherine November 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I’m already a fan on FB!

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