At work, Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz, co-owners of Biwa restaurant, bring the rich tastes of izakaya restaurants and Japanese bar food, featuring handmade ramen accompanied with extensive cocktails, to Portland.
And at home, much like the decor of the restaurant, the prep dishes on the kitchen table are a marriage of food and design, reflecting the couple’s two passions: cooking and architecture. For Rosen and Voelz, presentation is key. “Part of the pleasure for us of cooking at home is [the food looking] nice on the table.”
Tonight, Rosen and Voelz are cooking a standard in their home, bibimbap. The everyday Korean dish is almost like a stir-fry, allowing them to use a diverse array of ingredients. “It gives us a way to both, in an easy way, eat a lot of vegetables, which is something we try to do, and use up a lot of leftovers.”
- 1 1/2 cups of short grain rice
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1/2 tsp ginger (minced)
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber
- 6 shitake mushrooms
- 2 cups of uncooked greens (Gabe and Kina used a mix from the farmers market.)
- 1 daikon radish
- 2 green onions
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup of protein (Gabe and Kina used leftover salmon.)
- 4/5 tsp of olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2 tsp of red wine vinegar
Rinse rice thoroughly and soak for 20 minutes. Combine rice with 1 3/4 cups water and cook in your preferred method (rice cooker, pot on stove, oven).
Gabe and Kina used a Korean stone bowl, which “lets you get a nice crust on the bottom of the bowl.” Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Let rest a few minutes. Uncover and fluff rice. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
After cooking the rice, turn heat to high for 20 seconds and then turn off. This allows the bottom to crust; when fluffing, it gives the rice more depth.
Cooking with a stone bowl: Lightly oil, then gently warm on stove. Add rice and water, and follow directions above.
Cut radish, cucumber and carrot into the size of matchsticks. Stem and thinly slice shiitakes. Thinly slice green onions. Wash greens and dry well.
Heat a little oil in fry pan. Add carrot with ginger and green onion. Season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry briefly. Put to side.
Heat oil in same fry pan at high heat. Add shitakes and lightly salt. Stir-fry until shitakes brown a little. Add garlic. Stir-fry briefly. Put aside.
Heat oil in same frying pan. Add green onions and garlic; briefly stir-fry. Add greens. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until wilted. Sprinkle with red wine vinegar. Set aside.
For all the vegetables, stir-fry very briefly. You are heating the vegetables, not fully cooking them.
Egg & Stir
Poach egg. Arrange the stir-fry on top of a large bowl of rice. Place egg on top of dish and stir. “This is something we do at Biwa, too,” says Gabe. “Everything will go on plain, and as is, and the composition happens at the end when you have this thing and you stir it all together.”
To poach an egg, bring the water almost to a boil, and right before the water boils crack the egg off the side of the pan. Drop the egg in and let set for 20 to 30 seconds. As soon as it is set up a little bit, take a spatula and run it under the egg so it doesn’t stick to the skillet. Then let cook for four or five minutes.
Video edited by Arts & Life’s John Kin