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Smoked Salmon Bibimbap – Hunje Yeoneo Hoe Deopbap

This light, fresh and flavourful salmon rice bowl is the perfect summery evening meal.


In Korea, raw fish is typically served with a bright vinegared gochujang dipping sauce. It is often eaten wrapped in pliable seasonal leaves to make ssam, so you can appreciate the diverse flavours in one harmonious bite, but it can also be enjoyed over a bowl of rice. A beautifully zingy sauce combined with delicate fish and fragrant soft leaves, this recipe is actually a style of bibimbap but is more commonly known as hoe deopbap. It is a much lighter-tasting bowl, perfect on a hot summer’s evening. I like to keep the toppings simple so there is no distraction from the piquant gochujang dressing on the smoked salmon, but you may like to choose alternative seasonal toppings or fresh sashimi-grade fish. The dressing will benefit from being made in advance so the strong flavours can soften and further develop to yield a rounder finish. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can also add a subtle citrus layer, though it isn’t a must. Stored in an airtight container, it will keep well for about a week in the fridge; leftover dressing makes a great dipping sauce for steamed vegetables.

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¼ red onion, thinly sliced
100g (3 ½ oz) smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces
15 perilla leaves, sliced into thin strips
4 tbsp gim jaban (crumbled toasted seasoned seaweed)
½ punnet of cress
For the dressing:
juice from 2 tsp grated root ginger
1 garlic clove, grated
3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste)
2 tbsp golden granulated sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp toasted white sesame seeds, lightly crushed
To finish:
2 servings of cooked short-grain white rice
toasted black sesame seeds, for garnish


To make the dressing, put all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combine well, cover and refrigerate until needed. I like to make this a day or two in advance to allow the flavours to soften and develop. When ready to serve, soak the onion in cold water for 10 minutes to remove the harsh taste. Drain and set aside.

Divide the rice between two bowls. Arrange the smoked salmon, perilla leaves, gim jaban, cress and red onion in a visually pleasing way on top. Drizzle with some dressing to taste – for me, this is about 2 heaped tablespoons per bowl. Scatter with the black sesame seeds and serve with some extra sauce on the side.

Pocha by Su Scott (Quadrille, £27), Photography by Toby Scott.

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