Albap. A special type of bibimbap - using fresh fish roe! It's one of my favorite dishes to order at Japanese restaurants in Seoul. I always thought it was a Japanese dish. But after some research, I learned that Albap originated from Korea.
The star of this dish is the flying fish roe. You've probably had it before at a sushi bar. It's commonly used as a topping on sushi rolls (e.g. this or that). Flying fish roe is much smaller than caviar - which comes from the sturgeon fish.
What does flying fish roe actually taste like? Well, nothing in particular. In fact, it has a very neutral taste. But, what you will taste is the popping of the roe. They pop as you crunch on them. I think that is why people enjoy this dish.
When making at home, feel free to substitute any of the listed ingredients: Use real crab. Or replace the Danmuji with cucumbers. But I would suggest to include the pan-fried Kimchi. It drives the overall flavor of the dish.
If you have any roe leftover, try it in pasta. Drop a few tablespoons into any white sauce (carbonara) and it will taste amazing 🙂
Albap - Bibimbap with Fresh Roe
- Cooked rice - 1 cup
- Flying fish roe tobiko - 3 tablespoons
- Crab meat - few pieces forearm's length
- Korean yellow pickled radish Danmuji - 6 small pieces
- Kimchi - ⅓ cup
- Onion - ½ a whole
- Gim - 1 package
- Radish sprouts - a handful
- Mirin - few splashes
- Water - ⅓ cup
- Sesame oil - 2 teaspoons for Kimchi frying
- Sesame oil - 1 Tablespoon for coating dolsot bowl
- Take out a small bowl. Pour ⅓ cup of water in. Mix-in a few splashes of mirin. Then add the flying fish roe in. Let it soak for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, drain it and let it drip off excess water.
- Dice onion into small pieces. Dice crab meat into small cubes as well. Next, cut the danmuji into small cubes. Cut Kimchi into small bite-sized pieces with scissors.
- Then put gim sheets into a plastic bag. Crumble it and pour out the flakes onto a small plate.
- Take out a frying pan. Put it on a medium-heat. Put 2 teaspoons of sesame oil into the frying pan. Once hot, place kimchi in. Stir-fry the kimchi for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. No need to char them (reference video). Then place onto a plate. Clean out the frying pan for next step.
- Put some vegetable oil into the frying pan. Add in onion pieces. Stir-fry until the pieces turn translucent and on the verge of turning brown. The onion pieces should taste soft. Set aside.
- Put the dolsot bowl on a low heat. Use a brush and spread sesame oil to the inside of the bowl.
- Then scoop in the cooked rice into the bottom of the dolsot bowl.
- Then add each ingredient to the bowl.
- Top off with the fish roe. And garnish with radish sprouts.
- Increase the heat to a medium. Let the dolsot bowl cook for 2 minutes. You will hear crackling and popping from the pot. This is good! This means the outer layer of the rice is getting crispy.
- After 2 minutes, the bowl should be ready. Be very careful and move it to your dining table. Mix thoroughly with your spoon and enjoy!
- See video below for more details