If you like SPICY and SUSHI, I guarantee you will love Hwe dup bap. Sometimes referred to as “Korean Chirashi“, trust me this tastes much different from Japanese Chirashi. I recently went to my favorite sushi restaraunt, Sakura, an unassuming building that looks much like a whole in the wall. You know – the type of place you wouldn’t even notice when driving past it. Despite it’s exterior and somewhat cramped seating, there are long lines during the dinner rush. It’s the type of place that has grown in popularity due to its great tasting sushi and not by overpriced food and pretentious atmosphere. Well, I usually order the soft shell crab roll and Arizona roll but I was in the mood for some spicy hwe dup bap. Unfortunately, it was missing from the menu but the waitress said they do serve it. Long story short, after an eagerly anticipated wait I was brought out a round, black lacquered bento box with an assortment of seafood carefully arranged on top rice and a side of disappointment. Where was my chogochujang (red pepper paste) sauce? Lettuce? After explaining my dilemma, the waitress was kind enough to whip up some spicy sauce in the kitchen, transferred the chirashi to a huge bowl, and mixed it up for me at my table. It wasn’t quite the hwe dup bap I’m used to but was close enough to tame my craving.
After a few days, the hwe dup bap craving crept back. Recalling the days when I went to Korean church (despite only being able to understand every 20 words or so of the sermon because I have the vocabulary of a 5 year old Korean kid) and was served delicious hwe dup bap, I was spurred to make my own at home version.
Here’s the recipe, if you can call it that. This requires no cooking unless you count rinsing rice for the rice cooker 🙂
- Cube small bite size pieces of sashimi. I used sushi grade salmon, tuna, squid, and imitation crab meat, but add or omit to your individual preferences. Keep it in the fridge until just before your ready to serve.
- For garnish: thinly sliced red leaf lettuce, julienne carrots and cucumbers, bean sprouts (rinsed in water and drained) and a toasted nori sheet cut into thin strips. Just enough garnish for each individual’s serving.
- For chogochujang sauce: 6 TB red pepper paste, 1.5 TB sugar, 2.5 TB vinegar, 1 TSP some sesame seeds
- Scoop a cup of rice into a large bowl (per individual serving) and let it cool down.
- Arrange the lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and sprouts over rice.
- Top this with the cubed sashimi.
- Add a TB (or more to taste) of the chogochujang sauce.
- Drizzle a TSP of sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Place a few of the nori sheet strips as garnish.
- Mix it all up really well and dig in.