Bibimbap is Korean cuisine in the form of a bowl of white rice with a side dish on it in the form of vegetables, beef, egg, and gochujang spicy sauce. His name literally means “mixed rice” derived from the word 비빔 (mix) and 밥 (rice). Before eating, the rice and side dishes are stirred together.
Bibimbap has many variations by region in Korea. Jeonju Town in North Jeolla is the city of origin of the most famous regional bibimbap variations in Korea. “Jeonju bibimbap” (Jeonju mixed rice) is the bibimbap that contains the most numerous dishes in Korea.
There are several theories about the origin of bibimbab, one of which there is said that this food is made from offerings dedicated to ancestral spirits. After practicing Jesa, people share food and offer it together in a bowl. There is also a kind of food called heotjesabap or “food after jesa”. Rice mixed beef originated from Jinju City, Gyeongsang Province is a bibimbap containing rice plus side dishes in the form of vegetables and raw beef (yuk hoe). Historically, this mixed rice was created during the Imjin War when local people had to prepare practical dishes at crucial times.
Dolsot bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥) is a bibimbap served in a heated stone bowl. Dolsot means “stone bowl”. The heat from the stone bowl will ripen raw eggs placed over the rice as a side dish. Before the rice is put, sesame oil is poured at the base of the stone bowl to form a fragrant and crisp layer of rice crust at the bottom of the bowl.
Enough about histories. Now let’s talk about how to cook Bibimbap at home!
- Bean Sprouts
- Ground Beef
- Black Pepper
- Sesame Oil
* Gochujang is a hot paste made of soy. It is used in many Korean dishes and can be purchased in any Korean market.
How to Cook
- Chop the cucumber into thin slices and soak them in salt water for 30 min. Completely
drain the water.
- Boil spinach and bean sprouts separately for 10 minutes. Completely drain the water
from them and season with salt.
- Cut mushrooms and zucchini into thin slices and pan fry them in oil.
- Pan fry the ground beef in oil with salt and black pepper to flavor.
- Chop the lettuce into thin slices (similar to how they would be chopped for cole slaw).
- Fry the egg, over easy.
- Place all ingredients over a bowl of rice and serve
- Just before eating, add a drop of sesame oil and a spoon of gochujang. Mix and enjoy!