Along with kimchi, bibimbap takes its place among the favored foods in Korean cuisine. Literally meaning “mixed rice,” it’s a popular and healthy meal consisting of white rice topped with vegetables, beef, a whole egg, and gochujang (red chili pepper paste). For those who cannot handle the spiciness, you can substitute with soy sauce in place of it. As with variations with different ingredients, there is also its distant cousin dolsot bibimbap, which is bimbimbab served in a heated earthenware bowl. I love these stoneware pots because they always come out sizzling/bubbling/steaming and keep the food super-hot, even after finishing the meal. Ddukbaegi (stoneware for soups & stews) is similar to dolsot and can be seen served in many Korean restaurants. Though we don’t own any right now, hopefully we’ll be able to purchase one of these rustic, traditional bowls when the colder weather comes around.
You can use plain gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) with the bibimbab or you can make it runnier by adding these ingredients.
Servings: 4 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 1 bunch fresh spinach (or pre-packaged spinach)
- 1 lb sandwich steaks, thin cut (any thin cut will work though)
- 2 carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 English cucumber, cut into thin matchsticks (mixed with gochugaru)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 large eggs, sunny side up
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste; Sriracha sauce okay too)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (garnish)
- sprinkle gochugaru (red chili flakes; garnish)
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Cut vegetables into matchstick pieces and set aside for sauteing.
- In a large non-stick pan/skillet, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add spinach and cook, stirring constantly until wilted; drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze spinach dry into a ball.
- Wipe out skillet; heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium-high. Add carrots and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant or semi-browned, 1 minute. Add cucumber slices mixed with gochugaru (red pepper flakes). Combine spinach and soy sauce; set aside until serving.
- Add thinly sliced beef to non-stick pan and heat until browned. Wipe down with napkin.
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil in non-stick pan over medium-high. Add eggs and cook until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 5 minutes.
- Divide rice among four bowls; top with vegetables and eggs. Drizzle each with sesame oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Top with gochujang (red pepper paste) or Sriracha sauce as substitute.
*Bibimbab and its main ingredients (usually rice and vegetables) can be chosen at one’s preference. This is the main reason why bibimbab is so appealing; it suits vegetarians, dieters, health-conscience eaters, and even meat-lovers, who are more than welcome to add beef to their liking. For us, since we usually have rice available to eat at all times, we simply slice up any available vegetables or lettuce leaf varieties in the fridge for an “instant” and very satisfying bibimbab meal. So feel free to deviate from the original recipe!