Mixed Rice with Sashimi | Hwe Dup Bap (회덮밥)

Yesterday's spicy scallop rolls were just an appetizer before the star of our meal, hwe dup bap. Hwe dup bap is basically bibimbap except with fresh sashimi, greens, and seaweed salad as the mix-ins. When I was young, my parents would get hwe dup bap all the time while my sister and I would get either regular bibimbap or rice with pieces of grilled unagi on top. As kids, we were just too squeamish about raw fish.

But, now that we're older with more refined palates, we're all about that sushi. We frequent a local all-you-can-eat joint regularly and it's been great. But, I was in the mood for this more Korean preparation of sashimi. So, I popped by the fishmonger and bought up their sushi-grade fare to make this old favorite at home.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
4 cups cooked sushi rice
2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

½ lb. salmon, thinly sliced (sushi-grade)
½ lb. tuna, thinly sliced (sushi-grade)
1 avocado, sliced
2 cups chopped red leaf lettuce
1 cup seaweed salad
1 scallion, chopped
handful nori, cut into strips
baby cucumber, julienned

½ cup hot pepper paste
¼ cup apple juice
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Start by preparing some rice. Use short grain sushi rice (which is the kind of rice that Korean people and Japanese people eat). About 2½ cups dry rice will yield 3½ to 4 cups cooked rice. Rinse the rice under cold water three times to get rid of the excess starch. Soak the rice in cold water for about 30 minutes or until the grains look opaque. Then, pour the mixture into a rice cooker or pot with enough water to go about ½" above the rice and cook. If you're cooking the rice on the stove, use a low heat and cook with the lid on; it will take 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the pot. I like to use a shallower pot because the rice cooks through a bit more evenly and quickly.
Stir together the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, and sesame seeds and pour over the rice. Gently mix together (gently because you don't want to smush the grains of rice) until the seasonings are evenly distributed.
Next, start working on the fish. Thinly slice the fish with a sharp knife. The sharper the knife, the easier it will be to cut the fish. A dull knife is more likely to shred the fish, which makes for an uglier presentation.

Pack about 1 cup of rice into a bowl and flip into each serving bowl; I like doing this so that there's a perfect mound of rice in the middle of the bowl. Pile the fish on top of and around the rice.
Next, chop the lettuce thinly (so that it's on the verge of being shredded), slice the avocado, julienne the cucumber, cut the nori into strips, and chop the scallions.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl. I like to display the ingredients nicely and make sure each component is visible. Nestle the lettuce around the rice, place some avocado slices on top of the rice, add the seaweed salad on the edge, and sprinkle the scallions and nori on top.

To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients together. This sauce is the same sauce I use for bibimbap. Traditionally, the sauce for hwe dup bap is usually a bit more acidic but I'm not a huge fan. If you prefer the more acidic sauce, double up on the rice wine vinegar or replace with apple cider vinegar, which is more potent.
Isn't that pretty? This dish is gorgeous and colorful and it's not bad for you either (health-wise).
To eat, each person should add as much sauce as he/she likes and then mix up the whole bowl with a spoon. I love hwe dup bap. It's colorful, it's delicious, and it's a great way to quell sushi cravings. I love trying to get a little bit of every ingredient in each bite - a little avocado, a little fish, some seaweed salad, and of course a nice amount of rice - but I also love the surprise of just going for it with a big spoonful.
Here's the recipe page: