Along with kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage), 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 seasoned vegetables, thin strips of beef (although optional for vegetarians), a whole egg, and gochujang (red chili pepper paste). For those who cannot handle the heat of the gochujang, you can substitute it with soy sauce or a slightly milder red chili sauce (Sriracha). As there are countless variations depending on preference of ingredients, there is also a distinctive style in which it can be served. If you’ve ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you probably have seen and heard some sizzling sounds coming from stone earthenware bowls filled bibimbap, which is called dolsot bimbimbab. In the colder months, I love these stoneware pots because they always come out sizzling/bubbling/steaming and keep the food super-hot, even after prolonged periods of time. There are 2 kinds of these stoneware pots, the one mentioned earlier and another called dukbaegi (stoneware for soups & stews). Although I don’t own any right now, hopefully I’ll get my hands on one of these rustic, traditional bowls before the colder weather comes around.
Servings: 4 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 zucchini, julienned
- 4 cups bean sprouts
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 large eggs, sunny side up
- 4 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- any type of lettuce leaf varieties
- 4 tbsp gochujang (Korean red pepper paste; Sriracha sauce okay too)
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Cut vegetables into matchstick pieces (or julienned) and set aside for sauteing.
- In a pot, bring enough water to cover spinach and 1 tbsp of salt to a boil. Blanch spinach briefly and drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze spinach dry of excess water into a ball.
- Wipe out skillet; heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium-high. Add carrots and cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant or semi-browned, 1 minute. Add zucchini slices mixed with gochugaru (red pepper flakes). Combine spinach and soy sauce; set aside until serving.
- 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. Runny eggs are essential since the yolks will combine with the gochujang to make the final sauce.
- 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.