A healthy Buddha looks fat. Not the bowl, the statue. Not the Indian one, but the Chinese Buddha. Fat belly, fat ears, fat smile. I have no clue why we, in the Western part of the world, call such a healthy and fancy dish a Buddha Bowl! Is it because we end up with a round and full belly after eating this filling (yet still very healthy) dish? How about the Bibimbap, this Korean bowl, which name simply means “mixed rice” although it is made of plenty of other ingredients?! Today, I’ve composed a mix of both, the Bibimbap and the Buddha bowl, and have come up with a mid-way combination that worked out pretty well. And I just love the colours combination above all.
What is a Bibimbap, and what is a Buddha Bowl exactly?
A Bibimbap is warm white rice in a stone bowl over which you can display sauteed veggies and stir-fried meat or poultry bite pieces. As always in far-east Asian dishes (Japan aside), the veggies are cooked. Always cooked. Not overcooked, but for sure never raw, for sanitary reasons or so have I always heard. The meat is marinated before it’s cooked in a wok, and veggies are sauteed in a mix of vegetal oil and sesame oil. Then the Bibimbap is topped with a runny egg and a dollop of hot sauce.
A Buddha Bowl is one of the latest food trends in 2016 on almost every continent. If you are on Pinterest, you may have already seen it just about everywhere. Originally, it is supposed to comply with vegan requirements. A Buddha Bowl contains no meat, no egg, nothing animal. For a perfect diet, proteins are therefore to be found in beans, grains, and all sorts of nuts. A Buddha Bowl is composed of various veggies, offering different textures and colours. Most times, veggies are raw (uncooked) and fresh like in a salad, but depending of your veggies choice you may sometimes have to cook some of them even briefly, which is very fine of course, and brings more variation of textures within the same dish. Same as in the Bibimbap, each ingredient finds its own place in the bowl, and one must try to create beauty and display them in harmony.
My bowl here is a super combo of the best from both dishes. I love meat, but you could totally go vegan with this bowl as proteins are supplied by the nuts. So, meat lovers and vegetarian friends, please enjoy this dish equally! Be creative, this recipe of mine is only a suggestion, but the sky is the limit! This definitely is a great and healthy new food habit that I am going to make part of my weekly routine.
- 2 tbsp of soya sauce
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 2 portions of Asian cooked white rice
- 2 nice chicken breasts
- 2 handful of chopped purple cabbage
- 2 handful of sliced bell peppers (3 colours)
- 1 small can of Abalone mushrooms or another type of soft wild mushrooms
- 1 large handful of roughly chopped mixed nuts (I chose Brazilian nuts, almonds and chestnuts)
- 2 tbsp of vegetal oil + 1 tbsp of sesame oil combined in a cup, for cooking
- 1 tbsp of vinegar, for cooking the cabbage only
- sesame seeds
- Prepare the marinade.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts (slice it open thickness-wise) and slice them into thin bite pieces.
- Combine the chicken with the marinade in a bowl, and reserve in the fridge until it’s time to cook it.
- Cook the rice. When it is ready, serve it in individual bowls.
- In the meantime, slice and chop all the remaining ingredients in separate plates. Once the wok is over the gaz stove, everything will have to be thrown into it in a row, and the only way to manage this is to get it all ready prior to turning the heat on.
- In a small cup, pour the vegetal oil and the sesame oil, and combine. Gently throw a tablespoon of the oils in the preheated wok.
- After a few seconds, throw the purple cabbage in the wok and start stir-frying. After a minute, pour the tablespoon of vinegar and keep stir-frying for another minute. Display the cabbage in both individual bowls over the rice.
- Heat another tbsp of oils in the wok. Stir-fry the bell pepper slices for 2 minutes and display in the bowls next to the cabbage.
- Repeat the operation with the chopped nuts.
- Pour the rest of the oils in the wok and start sauté the mushrooms. They will need a total of 3 to 4 minutes to be cooked to perfection, that is a little bit more than for the other veggies. Display in bowls when ready.
- Finally, cook the chicken bites with the marinade in the wok. Sauté in the end for 30 seconds just before serving, so that all the sauce from the wok comes and sticks to the chicken. Display in the bowls.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds all over the dish for the final touch. Bon appétit les amis!
This post was part of Our Growing Edge, an event that aims at pushing bloggers to create new things and link them up together around a common theme. The theme here is “Healthy Starts” and is hosted this month by Terri over at Food Meanderings.
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2016 All Rights Reserved.