|Photo credit: Vegan Latina|
If you're going to make international food, you're going to need international ingredients. Living in a bustling metro, that's not too hard for me (though I did need to go to two separate Asian supermarkets to get all the ingredients for this recipe.) If you like to shop and explore new venues, these recipes give you an excuse to try new things, but don't expect to find everything you need at your local grocery despite Romero's valiant effort to make the recipes accessible.
|Some of the ingredients purchased for the Korean feast|
Bibimbap is a one-dish wonder and I love it, but never realized all the work that went into the individual elements (seasoned spinach, sesame bean sprouts, sesame scallions, bulgogi marinaded mushrooms and seitan, sushi rice and heavenly kimchi.) It was a lot of fun to break the individual elements down and make them myself. While it's not realistic to whip up this epic feast often, some of the individual elements would be quick and delicious. I sense I will be eating a lot more napa cabbage (kimchi) and spinach in my future.
|Homemade kimchi (pg. 56) - much easier than you'd expect!|
|Homemade Chinese 5-Spice (pg. 41) ingredients (left to right: cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds and sichuan peppers)|
Working pretty steadily, I prepped for 3 1/2 hours the night before the feast. Toasting the 5-spice ingredients before grinding them to mix into the 5-spice seitan (pg. 51) and steamed 4 mini seitan loaves which I sliced to add to king trumpet mushrooms and garlic in the bulgogi (sweet soy bbq marinade) that involved grating ginger and an apple before adding it to a half dozen other ingredients. Prepping the kimchi, spinach and bean sprouts involved salting the napa cabbage and blanching the sprouts and spinach before mixing them with their unique flavorful dressings.
|Night before prepped dishes (from top left to bottom right): mushroom and 5-spice seitan (pg. 51) in marinade (pg. 249), gochuchang sauce (pg. 308), seasoned spinach (pg. 309), fast lane kimchi (pg. 56) and sesame bean sprouts (pg. 89)|
You can read part two of this Epic Korean feast here.