Bibimbap (Korean Rice Bowl)

비빔밥

BIBIMBAP IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE DISHES BECAUSE I LOVE EATING VEGETABLES

Bibimbap is probably Korea’s most internationally popular dish, which you can now find in many restaurants in the western world (even in supermarkets!) However, it is incredibly easy to make, and tastes absolutely delicious when made properly.

Bibim (비빔) bap (밥) simply translates to "mixed rice" in Korean. The famous rice bowl traditionally consists of rice, egg, seasonal vegetables (namul), Korean chilli paste (gochujang) and marinated beef (yukhoe). It is then mixed together before serving.

Korean Rice Bowl

CUSTOMISABLE

Bibimbap can be as customisable as you wish! Whether you're a meat eater, pescatarian or solely plant based, make sure you pack your bowl full of lean protein.
I always think that two-thirds of your plate should be covered with veggies. The variety of vegetables doesn't matter too much – use whatever you have. Using lightly sautéed or raw vegetables not only adds a welcoming crunch, but also retains its minerals and vitamins far better than cooked vegetables.

SIMPLE VERSION

The cooking of this dish goes very quickly, so be sure you have all the ingredients before you start. (It might seem silly to cook the vegetables separately, but it makes a big difference in the finished dish.) I've simplified this version slightly by making one seasoning mix for all the vegetables.

Traditionally, each vegetable would be seasoned individually. It does better keep the integrity of the flavours, but it is tedious. I've compromised by cooking each one separately, but using the same seasoning. I also make one giant one to share – as that's easier too.

WHAT IS BIBIMBAP SERVED IN?

Dolsot bimbimbap (돌솥 비빔밥) is prepared and served sizzling in a hot stone bowl (dolsot). A splash of sesame oil is used to glaze the bottom of the pot, so that you get a nice golden and crispy rice base. Check out Judy's Korea page for more information on Korean equipment!

INGREDIENTS

Find out more about each ingredient and where to buy it by clicking on the ingredient links below!

Ingredients

Serves 4-6

BEEF BIBIMBAP

  • 115g of fresh beef, very thinly sliced, preferably bulgogi meat or rib eye
  • 875g of rice, steamed
  • 100g of beansprouts, tails and soft pieces removed, rinsed and dried
  • 55g of shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and cut into 5mm slices
  • ½ courgette thinly sliced on an angle
  • 85g of mangetout
  • 1 carrot, julienned

SEASONING

GOCHUJANG SUACE

TO SERVE

Method

Heat a large heavy-based frying pan (preferably cast iron) over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and gently spread the rice over the base of the frying pan in a loose layer. Cook, undisturbed, for 8–10 minutes until the bottom of the rice develops a golden crust. This should be about the same time the toppings are done, but if the rice is ready beforehand, just turn off the heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the mirin, the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil, the garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. Mix 2 tablespoons of the sauce with the beef and sugar and set aside. Set the remaining seasoning sauce by the hob.

As each vegetable topping is finished, arrange it on a section of the rice in the pan so the toppings resemble the spokes of a bicycle wheel. In a medium non-stick frying pan, heat ½ teaspoon of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Add the beansprouts and 1 teaspoon of the seasoning sauce and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Arrange the beansprouts on a section of the rice.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the frying pan, add the beef and cook for 1–2 minutes until cooked through. Arrange the beef on the rice.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan, add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and cook for 1 minute until tender. Arrange the mushrooms on the rice.

Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in the frying pan, add the courgette and 2 teaspoons of the sauce and cook for 1 minute until just tender. Arrange the courgette on the rice.

Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in the frying pan, add the mangetout and 2 teaspoons of the sauce and cook for 45 seconds until crisp-tender. Arrange the mangetout on the rice.

Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in the frying pan, add the carrot and 1 teaspoon of the sauce and cook for 30 seconds until crisp-tender. Arrange the carrot on the rice.

Finally, heat 1 teaspoon oil in the pan, add the spinach and 1 tablespoon of the sauce and cook for 30 seconds until just wilted. Arrange the spinach on the rice.

Deglaze the pan with the remaining 1 tablespoon mirin, scrape up any browned bits from the base and spoon the juices from the pan over the meat on the rice. Arrange the kimchi on a section of the rice.

Spoon the Gochujang Sauce on the centre of the rice or serve on the side, if you like. Make a little well in the spinach, mushrooms and beef and gently put an egg yolk into each or arrange the fried eggs (if using) over the dish. Sprinkle the bibimbap with black sesame seeds and radish sprouts, if liked. Bring the pan to the table, set it on a trivet and mix everything together before spooning into bowls.

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