Welcome to the fourth individual edition of Introducing Geography! In this series, we are sharing our books, crafts, recipes, and field trips relating to either our continental or state studies for our very first Kindergarten year. You can find our continental unit study schedule on the post Introducing Geography but we did skip our ocean studies and plan to cover these later instead. So far, we have explored Australia, Africa, and South America. Today, we are finally bringing you our Asia study which was completed a few weeks ago!
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We honestly had a lot more planned than what we actually did which is part of why it took so long for me to finally call it done and publish this. Seeing as this is our first official year, I try to remember that life happens and the most important thing is teaching the littles to love learning. Worrying about the small things we didn’t get to do is a sure way to squish the fun so instead we are letting it go! We did manage to talk about where Asia is on the map, read the corresponding section in our Beginner’s World Atlas, and then we cooked a special dish called Bee-Bim Bop which we found in the back of one of our themed books. Our oldest (5) knows where to find Asia, how to spell it, and that the people there eat a lot of rice. Kindergarten success? We thought so. 😉
Our Asia book list:
Bee-Bim Bop (as found at the end of Bee-Bim Bop)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 2 cups white rice
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 green onions (scallions)
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, roasted (optional)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 pound tender, lean beef (such as sirloin tip)
- 2 carrots
- 2 pkgs. frozen spinach, defrosted, or 1 pound fresh spinach, washed
- 1 pound mung bean sprouts
- Other ingredients
- 4 eggs
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- Serve with
- Ko-chee-change (Korean hot-pepper paste, optional)
- Kimchee (Korean pickled cabbage, optional)
- You: Pour 2 cups of rice into a rice cooker or a pot. Add 4 cups of water. If you have a rice cooker, put the lid on and press the button. Grownup: If you are using a pot, put the pot over a high flame until the water boils, then lower the flame, cover the pot, and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until the rice is tender and all of the water has been absorbed.
- Grownup: Mince the garlic and chop the green onions. You: Mix all the marinade ingredients in a big bowl.
- Grownup: Slice the beef across the grain into very, VERY thin slices. You: Put all of the beef into the bowl with the marinade. Stir well with a big spoon. Wash your hands. Then, stick your hands into the bowl, grab handfuls of beef, and squish all of it around for 2-3 minutes. This makes it nice and tender. When you finish, wash the marinade off your hands. Set the beef aside.
- You: Break the eggs into a large measuring cup. Throw away the shells. Beat the eggs with a fork until the whites and yolks are completely mixed together.
- You: Put 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil into a small nonstick frying pan. Grownup: Put the pan over a medium flame. Let it heat for about 1 minute. Pour about 1/4 of the egg into the pan. Rotate the pan quickly so the egg spreads out in a thin layer on the bottom. Cook the egg for 1 minute. Using a wide spatula, flip the egg over and cook the other side for 1 minute. You now have an egg “pancake”. Flip the pancake onto a cutting board and leave it there to cool. Repeat until you have used up all the egg, adding a little more oil if needed. You should be able to make at lest 4 pancakes. Leave them on the cutting board until cool enough to handle.
- You: Put the egg pancakes on top of each other to make a neat stack. Roll up the stack tightly. Grownup: Cut the roll into 1/4-inch slices. You: Put the slices into a medium-sized bowl unroll them, and toss them around a little. They will look like a bunch of yellow ribbons. Set aside.
- Grownup: Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrot. Then cut them into julienne strips (small sticks about 2 inches long) with a knife or in a food processor. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high flame and stir-fry the carrots over high heat until tender. Empty the carrots into a bowl and set aside.
- You: If you are using frozen spinach, squeeze some of the water out of it. Grownup: If you are using fresh spinach, cook it for 2 minutes in a pot of boiling water, drain, and let cool for a few minutes, then squeeze some of the water out. Put 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the frying pan and stir-fry the thawed or precooked spinach for 2-3 minutes until tender. Empty the spinach into a bowl, season it with salt and pepper, and set aside.
- You: Pour one cup of water into a large saucepan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Grownup: Put the pan over high heat. When the water boils, put the bean sprouts into the pan. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the bean sprouts and empty them into a bowl.
- Grownup: Put the large frying pan over high heat. Heat the pan for about 30 seconds. Take the bowl of beef and marinade and dump it into the frying pan-all of it at once. (When the beef hits the pan, it will sizzle loudly.) Using a spatula or wooden spoon, spread the beef out in the pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes until all the read meat turns brown. turn off the heat. There will be cooked beef and some gravy (meat juices) in the pan.
To Serve: Put the rice, the bowls of egg strips and vegetables, and the pan of meat where everyone can reach them. Each person puts a pile of rice in the middle of a soap bowl or plate and some meat and vegetables on top. (Be sure to pour a couple of spoonfuls of meat juice on your rice.) Top with egg ribbons. If you like spicy food, add some ko-chee-chang. Now “bee-bim”-mix everything together. It’s ready to eat (with some kimchee on the side, if you wish)!