HomeLifestyleFood & RecipesA five-dinner plan to make your week that bit easier

A five-dinner plan to make your week that bit easier

We have a new favorite recipe in the rotation at our house: Eric Kim’s version of gyeran bap. Several cultures have a dish like this, a soul-satisfying combination of fried egg and rice, topped as you like.

I’ve made variations on egg rice many times, but I especially love Eric’s method of allowing the butter to brown, and his addition of soy sauce to the pan (which makes for, as he describes them, “buttery soy sauce drippings”). We eat this for lunch, though it’s just as good for breakfast, dinner or snacking.

Gyeran bap (egg rice)

Gyeran bap is a lifesaving Korean pantry meal of fried eggs stirred into steamed white rice. In this version, the eggs fry and puff up slightly in a shallow bath of browned butter. Soy sauce, which reduces in the pan, seasons the rice, as does a final smattering of salty gim, or roasted seaweed. A dribble of sesame oil lends comforting nuttiness, and runny yolks act as a makeshift sauce for the rice, slicking each grain with eggy gold (you can cook the eggs to your preferred doneness, of course). This dinner-for-one can be scaled up to serve more: just double, triple or quadruple all of the ingredient amounts, using a larger pan or repeating the steps in a small one.

By: Eric Kim

Serves: 1

Total time: 10 minutes


½ tbsp unsalted butter

2 large eggs

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 cup steamed white rice, preferably short- or medium-grain

1 (5g) packet roasted, salted seaweed, such as gim (optional)


1. Melt the butter in a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until the melted butter starts to darken in colour from yellow to light brown, 1 to 1½ minutes.

2. Crack in the eggs and drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil on top, cooking until the whites puff up slightly around the edges of the pan and the translucent parts around the yolks start to turn opaque, 2 to 2½ minutes. Watch that the soy sauce doesn’t burn, removing the pan from the heat if necessary.

3. Scoop the rice into a medium bowl and top with the fried eggs, including all of the buttery soy sauce drippings from the pan. Crush the seaweed directly over the eggs, piling it high. This will seem like a lot of seaweed, but it will wilt as you mix everything together with a spoon, which you should do to disperse the ingredients before eating.

Traybake chicken with artichokes and herbs

This weeknight traybake takes inspiration from classic Italian pork roast


This weeknight traybake dinner takes inspiration from porchetta, the classic Italian pork roast that’s scented with fennel and herbs. Here, a fragrant spice rub of ground fennel, garlic, rosemary and sage is placed onto chicken thighs, instantly elevating plain chicken with minimal effort. Canned artichokes are a versatile and time-saving pantry staple, commonly tossed into salads but here, they are fantastic roasted. The juicy chicken thighs create a bright pan sauce mixed with briny olives and lemon juice. Leftovers can be chopped and tossed with mayonnaise for a fantastic chicken salad the next day.

By: Kay Chun

Serves: 4 servings

Total time: 50 minutes


3 large fennel bulbs (about 1.4kg), trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1.5cm-thick wedges

2 (400g) cans whole artichoke hearts in water, drained and halved lengthwise

225g cherry tomatoes

6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp ground fennel

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1.4kg)

90g pitted green olives, chopped

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp red-pepper flakes (optional)


1. Heat oven to 220C. On a rimmed baking tray, combine fennel wedges, artichokes, tomatoes and 3 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Spread in an even layer.

2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, ground fennel, rosemary, sage and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper, then rub with spice mixture. Arrange the chicken on top of the vegetables skin-side up.

3. Roast until vegetables are tender and chicken is golden and crisp and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

4. Divide chicken and vegetables among plates. Pour pan juices into a small bowl, let settle and then skim off the fat with a spoon. Stir in olives, lemon juice and red-pepper flakes (if using). Spoon sauce over chicken and vegetables. Serve warm.

Brown butter salmon with spring onions and lemon

This dish is a celebration of soft food and subtle flavours


This dish is a celebration of soft food and subtle flavours. To prevent overcooking, the salmon bakes in a light yet comforting sauce that’s made with just three simple ingredients: butter, spring onions and lemon peel. The salmon comes out silky, and the sauce is nutty from the browned butter and slightly sweet from the roasted spring onions and lemon peel. Serve with a squeeze of lemon for freshness and a simple side like broccolini, green beans, grains or pasta. This technique also works for other fish like cod, halibut or arctic char.

By: Ali Slagle

Serves: 4

Total time: 25 minutes


680g salmon, skinless or skin-on (1 large fillet or four 170g fillets)

Salt and black pepper

1 lemon

6 tbsp unsalted butter

1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced


1. Heat the oven to 160C. Pat salmon dry, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest of the lemon in wide strips. Cut the lemon into wedges for serving.

2. In a large, ovenproof frying pan, melt the butter over medium. When it’s foaming, add the spring onions and the lemon peel, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns brown and smells nutty, 3 to 6 minutes (if you’re using a light-coloured pan, you’ll see the browned bits in the pan. If you’re using a dark-coloured pan, look for dark spots on the white parts of the spring onions; those are browned bits of butter and a sign to remove the pan from heat).

3. Immediately remove from heat, and add 4½ tablespoons of water. Stir to combine. Lay the salmon, skin side down (if there’s skin), into the sauce. Cover the pan and bake until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, or slightly longer if you’re cooking a single, large piece (you’ll know the salmon is done when the fish flakes or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 50C).

4. Eat the salmon with a spoonful of sauce and a squeeze of the lemon.

Roasted mushroom larb

Earthy mushrooms replace meat in this take on Thai larb


Earthy mushrooms replace meat in this take on larb. A dish popular in the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand, larb is often a lively combination of cooked minced meat, fresh herbs and a punchy dressing. In this recipe, mushrooms are roasted until golden brown and crispy around the edges, and, once cooled, tossed with a mix of coriander, mint, basil and aromatics, including sliced spring onions. Lime juice and soy sauce keep the dressing tangy and savoury. A subtle, nutty crunch from toasted ground rice is an essential element of the salad, so don’t skip this step. Serve the dish with steamed rice and additional lime wedges for squeezing.

By: Yewande Komolafe

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes


900g mixed mushrooms, such as button, oyster, and shiitake, trimmed and quartered, or torn into 5cm pieces if large

60ml neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable oil


2 tbsp uncooked glutinous or sweet rice

2 limes

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

1 garlic clove, minced

2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced, or ½ tsp red-chilli flakes

40g thinly sliced red onion

25g sliced spring onions

15g chopped fresh coriander leaves and tender stems

7.5g fresh mint leaves, torn

15g fresh Thai or sweet basil leaves, torn

Steamed rice, for serving


1. Heat oven to 220C.

2. Spread the mushrooms in an even layer on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and, using your fingers, toss to coat. Roast, turning the pan halfway through, until mushrooms are golden brown and crisp around the edges, about 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toast the rice in a small frying pan over medium, stirring often, until it begins to smell nutty and turn golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder and process to a medium-coarse powder.

4. Zest and juice 1 lime into a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar, soy sauce, garlic and chilli. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the roasted mushrooms to the bowl and toss to coat. Add the onion, spring onions, coriander, mint and basil. Stir to combine, then sprinkle on the toasted rice powder.

5. Cut the remaining lime into wedges. Serve the mushroom larb alongside steamed rice with lime wedges for squeezing.

Meatless meatballs in marinara sauce

Serve on their own, in a sandwich, or over spaghetti


These “meatballs” use plant-based ground meat, and a combination of onions, garlic and tamari give them a satisfying chew and robust flavour. Because there’s no egg for binding, these are slightly more delicate than other meatballs, so use a light touch when shaping them, and make sure the mixture is very cold. Serve them on their own, covered in marinara sauce, or stuff them into hero rolls for sandwiches. They are also excellent over spaghetti.

By: Melissa Clark

Serves: 4 to 6

Total time: 45 minutes, plus chilling


60g panko breadcrumbs

40g minced onion

6g chopped parsley leaves and tender stems

3 garlic cloves, grated or minced

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ tsp dried oregano

Pinch of red-pepper flakes (optional)

680g plant-based vegan ground beef (such as Beyond Meat)

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

700ml marinara sauce, homemade or shop-bought

Parmesan (optional, or use vegetarian parmesan if you prefer), for garnish


1. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, garlic, tamari, salt, pepper, oregano and red-pepper flakes, if using, and mix well. Add plant-based beef, and blend with your hands until well mixed. Cover mixture and chill for at least an hour or up to 24 hours (it’s easiest to form the meatballs when the mixture is very cold).

2. Heat the broiler. Form 28 meatballs, each about 3cm in diameter. Transfer meatballs to one or two rimmed baking trays, and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Broil meatballs until golden and firm, 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat marinara sauce in a pot. Serve meatballs with sauce on top, showered with cheese if you like and drizzled with a little more olive oil.

© The New York Times

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