Bibimbap, sometimes spelled bi bim bap or bi bim bop, is a popular Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed rice”. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste), soy sauce, or doenjang (a fermented soybean paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The hot dish is stirred together thoroughly just before eating. In South Korea, Jeonju, Jinju, and Tongyeong are especially famous for their versions of bibimbap.
Bibim translates as “mixed” and “bap” means “cooked rice,” so bibimbap literally means “cooked mixed rice.” Before eating, it is customary to mix everything together. There are many simple to elaborate variations on this dish, this recipe is the “classic” bibimbap, akin to what you;d receive if you ordered bibimbap in a Korean restaurant. Bibimbap is often prepared and served in a heated stone or earthenware bowl called dolsot-bibimbap. “Dolsot” means “stone pot” in Korean, and this version makes a layer of crispy, crackling rice on the bottom of the bibimbap.
- 5 cups cooked short-grain rice
- 12 ounces soy bean sprouts, washed and drained
- 8 ounces of spinach blanched and washed with the excess water squeezed out by hand
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 English cucumber
- 3 to 4 green onions, chopped
- ½ pound fresh lean cut of beef (fillet mignon, flank steak)
- 4 ounces fernbrake (gosari), fresh or soaked from ½ ounce dried gosari (details below)
- 1 ounce dried bellflower roots (doraji), soaked in cold water for 18 to 24 hours.
- 4 eggs
- vegetable oil
- sesame oil
- sesame seeds
- soy sauce
- honey (or sugar)
- Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
- Firstly, cook the rice in a rice cooker.
- Prepare the vegetables.
- Boil the bean sprouts for about 15 minutes in a soup pot with a pinch of salt. While the bean sprouts are being cooked, you can start cutting up your other vegetables.
- Remove the bean sprouts and drain as much water as you can. Place in a bowl and add 1 tsp of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and 1 clove of minced garlic. Mix well with your hands (wear plastic gloves). Set aside.
- Blanch the spinach in boiling water until it wilts -about 1 or 2 minutes. Remove and squeeze out as much water as you can (you can use tongs for this part). Drain well. Add 1 clove of minced garlic, a tsp of soy sauce and a 1/2 tsp of sesame oil. Mix well with hands. Set aside.
- Stir-fry the carrot matchsticks for about 30 seconds or until it softens a little. Dish out and place on a platter.
- Stir-fry the cucumber matchsticks with a pinch of salt until they turn a little translucent. Dish out and place on a platter.
- Saute the rest of the minced garlic in about 1 tbsp of cooking oil. Add 1 tbsp of gochujang and stir-around till fragrant.
- Add in the pork.
- Add about 1 tsp of gochugaru (hot pepper powder) and stir around till well-mixed. Stir fry till the pork is cooked. Dish out and place on platter.
- Prepare 4 eggs sunny side up.
Finally, compose your bibimbap
- Spoon rice into individual serving bowls.
- Place one sunny side up egg in the centre of the rice.
- Arrange the vegetables section by section on top of the rice.
- Spoon a portion of the pork on the rice as well.
- Finally, add about 2 tsps of gochujang (or more!) on top of the ingredients.
- Mix well with your spoon.
- Add 1 – 2 drops of sesame oil before eating.