This bibimbap (비빔밥) recipe was originally posted on this blog back in February, 2010. As you can tell from the numerous comments below, it’s been enormously popular. Today, I am updating the bibimbap post with the new photos I took over the holiday break.
Bibimbap is a large bowl of rice topped with an array of individually prepared vegetables and beef, and served with seasoned red chili pepper paste (gochujang). Bibim means mixing, and bap means rice. The mixing usually happens at the table right before eating.
Bibimbap served in a sizzling hot stone bowl (dolsot) is very popular at Korean restaurants. It’s my absolute favorite! The hot stone bowl gives the bottom layer of rice a nice golden crust, and the rest of the food sizzles while being mixed. At home, we sometimes make bibimbap using side dishes left over from previous meals. It’s that versatile!
This bibimbap recipe looks long, but it is actually a collection of several side dish (banchan) recipes that are very simple to make. Even if you are not making bibimbap, you can use any of them to make small side dishes as well. For my bibimbap, I used 7 toppings, but any 3 or 4 of these will make a delightful bibimbap dish.
- 3 cups short grain rice
- 8 ounces beef, rib eye or sirloin (substitute shiitake mushrooms for a vegetarian dish)
- 2 cups boiled gosari*, 고사리 (fernbrake)
- 16 ounces soybean sprouts, 콩나물 (or mung bean sprouts, 숙주)
- 1 bunch spinach
- 2 kirby (pickling) cucumbers (or 1 Korean cucumber)
- 2 small zucchinis
- 2 medium carrots
- 5 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 or 3 scallions, chopped
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- roasted sesame seeds
- salt and pepper
- vegetable or canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of Korean red chili pepper paste (gochujang, 고추장)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons of water
- Cook the rice in a rice cooker or following package directions, using a little less water than called for. The rice for bibimbap should be a little drier than usual for best results.
- Beef: Cut into thin 2-inch long strips. Mix in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of rice wine, 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 sesame seeds and a pinch of pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes. Sauté in a skillet for 2 - 3 minutes over high heat.
- Gosari (Fern brake): Cut into 3-inch lengths. Season with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and a pinch of pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes. Sauté in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of vegetable/canola oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Soy bean sprouts: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil with a teaspoon of salt. Add the bean sprouts and boil for 3 minutes. Drain quickly and shock in cold water to stop cooking. Drain again. Toss with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spinach: Blanch the spinach in salted boiling water only until wilted, 30 - 40 seconds. Drain quickly and shock in cold water. Squeeze out water. Cut into 3-inch lengths. Toss with 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cucumbers: Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then thinly slice crosswise. Generously sprinkle salt over sliced cucumbers and set aside for 10 - 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid. Toss with 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds.
- Zucchinis: Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise and then thinly slice crosswise. Generously sprinkle salt over sliced zucchinis and set aside for 10 - 15 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid from salted zucchini by hand. Add 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds. Sauté in a lightly oiled skillet for 1 - 2 minutes over medium high heat.
- Carrots: Julienne the carrots into match sticks. Sauté in a lightly oiled skillet for 1 - 2 minutes over medium high heat, sprinkling salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Assemble: Place a serving of rice in a big bowl. (If using a stone bowl, heat it over medium heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and rice and cook the rice for several minutes until the rice sizzles.) Nicely arrange a small amount of each prepared vegetable and beef over the rice. Drizzle a little sesame oil over. Top with an egg fried sunny-side up and serve with the red pepper paste sauce.
- *You can buy dried gosari (고사리) at any Korean market. Rehydrate by boiling in water until tender.
- **Other common toppings for bibimbap include shiitake mushrooms (sliced and sautéd), bell flower roots (doraji - soaked and sautéd), onion (sliced and sautéd), a leaf of lettuce, and kimchi (sliced).