Leftovers don't Completely Suck / by Megan Tomino

bi bim bap from Mililani Town Center

bi bim bap from Mililani Town Center

I hate leftovers (unless they're from Pig and the Lady). I'm notorious for taking left overs home and leaving them in the fridge until they spoil. It's a habit I'm sort of trying to break.

We eat Korean food all the time and I always have leftovers when I order bi bim bap. Now, instead of wasting the delicious rice and all those toppings, I make the rice into yaki-onigiri, or grilled rice balls. 

looks gooood right?

looks gooood right?

The best part of bi bim bap is the crispy bits of rice that get nice and toasted from the hot stone pot it's served in. This leftover face-lift gives you FIVE sides of crispy rice. It's pretty amazing. 

Here's how I make it:
1 box leftover bi bim bap from your favorite Korean restaurant
1 cup or so cooked white rice
gochujang to taste

The next day, open the take-out container and asses the situation. Pick out the large pieces of meat, tofu, greens, bean sprouts, etc. and cut them in to very small pieces. Not a fun step, but it is necessary to do so the onigiri does not fall apart when you cook it. Next, mix the remaining rice and the toppings together and pop it in the microwave for about a minute. If it looks like the topping to rice ratio is off, add more rice and gochujang. You want there to be enough rice to surround the toppings.

To shape the onigiri, take a handful of rice in your palm. Cup your hands together and press once firmly without allowing rice to squeeze through your fingers. Then, turn the rice ball once and press again. Repeat this pressing firmly each time until you get a nice triangle. It helps to dip your hands in some water to prevent the rice from sticking.

Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add a few drops of sesame oil and start to toast the rice. Allow the rice to get nice and crispy on each side, about 3-5 minutes. Serve with pickled vegetables and maybe even some dried seaweed.