Japgok bap is a multigrain+rice dish that is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are realizing the health benefits of whole grains and legumes. It is an ideal way to mix powerhouse carbohydrates and fiber into your daily diet. Japgok bap can use a wide variety of ingredients and you can find packets of mixed grains at most Korean and Asian grocery stores. If you want to go the easiest route then one of these mixes might be the way to go. I wanted to use some of the beautiful rice I had in the pantry so chose not to use a complete mix.
Usually Japgok bap is made with dried beans as well as the split peas and lentils I used, but I didn’t want the fuss of soaking dried beans. If you like red or black beans you can easily use canned beans to avoid the soaking process. I did cheat a little by using a ‘quick cook grains mix’ which contained barley, lentils and split peas.
The thing that takes the longest about making Japgok bap is making sure that the pre-preparation is done and that means the soaking of each ingredient. Whilst I skipped on the beans, needing an overnight soaking, I did want to use some of my highly nutritional black rice so I put 1/4 cup of mostly black rice, with a little red and purple in there too, in a bowl to rinse, drain and then I added fresh water to let it soak for 5 hours. If I use brown rice I soak that for about an hour. After 5 hours or so, I drained the water off the black rice and put it to one side. If you want darker rice you can use some of this water to cook the rice, or you can use fresh.
I used 1 cup rinsed and drained white rice, to 1/4 cup (as measured before soaking) black rice, and 1/2 cup of the quick cook barley, lentil, split pea mix. You can play with these proportions, but you always need some white rice to help make it easier for your body to digest the other grains. Mix it altogether and place in the rice cooker along with 3 cups water and let the cooker do its thing.
If you noticed I didn’t add any salt or spices which means you can use this multi-grain dish as a side dish, or you can add vegetables and maybe meat to use it for stir fried rice, or you can add honey, cinnamon and dried fruit to make an amazing breakfast or dessert. It is basically a healthy dish which forms the base for multiple add ins or add ons which taste so good you forget that you are eating healthy at all.
To make sure I have some handy for other meals I usually freeze some in small portions. While the Japgok bap is still warm from the rice cooker place a portion in the middle of a piece of plastic wrap and wrap it up like an envelope. Place 1 or 2 inside a baggie and place in freezer. To thaw take a portion and unwrap it and place it in a microwaveable dish, pour a little water on top and place a lid or cover on the dish and microwave for 2 minutes, check to see if it is hot, and microwave some more if necessary.
Have a great day everyone.