DISH OF THE WEEK: Dolsot bibimbap at Han Il Kwan
Eaters around the country are waking up to the wonders of Korean food, to the pleasure of something as simple as a bowl of rice with meat and veggies, a topper of a sunny-side egg plus a generous helping of a hot sauce.
Duluth is filled with numerous spots to fill up on this comforting Korean dish, known as bibimbap, but when dining in Duluth isn’t a possibility, a tasty version awaits just inside The Perimeter at Han Il Kwan in Doraville.
The dolsot bibimbap at Han Il Kwan stands out for the additions of less frequently seen chunks of jellied mung bean and strings of brown kelp, which join sautéed mushrooms, bean sprouts, carrots, watercress, zucchini and ground beef. It’s all prettily arranged over hot rice – the requisite egg and snippets of nori completing the picture – and arrives crackling and sizzling in a hot stone bowl, the dolsot, in which it is cooked.
Part of what makes a dining experience memorable is the company. In this instance, I was eating with two Koreans. When I picked up a pair of chopsticks and began genteelly mixing everything together, they stopped me.
“You have to attack it,” said one. He grabbed two serving spoons and frenetically started tossing it all.
“Yes,” agreed the other. She grabbed the ketchup-like bottle of gochujang and began squirting. By the time she finished, the dish was painted with bright red circles of the spicy-sweet chili pepper sauce.
He attacked a second time, stirring until every grain of rice, shred of carrot, meat and more was coated with sweet heat.
The dolsot bibimbap at Han Il Kwan is tasty, especially when you “attack” it.
Han Il Kwan, 5458 Buford Hwy, Doraville. 770-457-3217. Facebook: Han il Kwan https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hanil-Kwan/121217981223649