My daycare kids recently fell in love with the children’s book Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park. Not only is it a charming story that kids can relate to, it encourages kids to try a new dish (with vegetables included)!
The text is rhythmic and offers simple rhymes along with fun words like “sticky-lickety.” Realistic and cute illustrations (complete with family dog) and a plot kids can really relate to make this book an instant hit.
Best of all, kids get really excited to try out Bee-Bim Bop (a traditional Korean dish) for themselves!
“Hungry hungry hungry for some BEE-BIM Bop!”
In the back of the book there is a recipe for the beloved Bee-Bim Bop, so I decided to give it a try with my daycare kids. The kids chanted lines from the story as we worked. They couldn’t wait for it to be ready.
I made a couple of changes to the recipe due to dietary restrictions and availability of ingredients. Traditionally, the dish contains meat which I simply omitted, though I used the marinade as a (delicious) dressing.
When it was all done, everyone was excited to serve themselves (just like in the book). I was surprised to see that everyone at least tried each ingredient!
This dish is not just for kids either. I made again the next week for my husband. It’s now one of our favorite dishes.
Bee-bim bop (adapted from the book Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Parker) Serves 4
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 green onions, minced
- 5 Tbls soy sauce
- 2 Tbls honey (According to the American Academy of Pediatrics honey is safe for children over the age of 1).)
- 2 Tbls safflower oil
- 1 Tbls toasted sesame oil
- pinch of black pepper
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bag fresh spinach
- 1 cup (or 2) sunflower sprouts (the recipe calls for mung bean sprouts)
- any other vegetable you’d like!
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
- Sauteé the garlic and green onions in the safflower and sesame oils until the garlic is lightly brown.
- Add the soy sauce, honey and pepper. Stir until mixed. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Sauteé or steam the vegetables. I did each one separately so the kids could assemble their plates on their own. I find children are more willing to try new things this way.
- Beat the eggs with a little salt and pepper.
- Heat a little oil in a skillet. Pour in about a quarter of the egg mixture and gently swirl the pan so the egg coats the bottom of the pan. Flip after about a minute and cook the other side briefly. Set the cooked egg pancake aside and repeat.
- Slice the egg pancakes into ribbons.
- Place each ingredient in a serving bowl with a serving spoon.
- Encourage everyone to assemble their own bee-bim bop by placing some rice and veggies in a bowl and egg on top. Pour on a little sauce and mix like crazy!