Bibimbap – it’s one of Korea’s most iconic dishes!
And one of my top-3, all-time favorite foods (healthy, filling but light-on-the-stomach).
Before we start, let’s start with the pronunciation of bibimbap.
I hear too many TV personalities from the West butchering the word. It’s pronounced bee-beem-bap. (Say it three times aloud – so you can order it confidently in Korean and get street cred from your Korean friends 🤓)
Bibimbap means “mixed rice” in Korean.
The dish comes from hard times. Back in the days, Koreans took leftover vegetables – sometimes including meat – and mixed it with leftover rice. It was a cheap and quick way to eat (as opposed to prepping a traditional Hansik meal).
Thankfully, Bibimbap hasn’t changed with the times – it remains the same “formula” as it did decades ago!
Steaming hot rice at the bottom. Topped with a variety of seasoned vegetables (referred to as namul). Then a main protein like minced beef or bulgogi. And crowned with a sunny-side up egg!
Now don’t forget the gochujang-based sauce – which is drizzled over the entire bowl before mixing. Take a look below…
NOW A BIBIMBAP STORY.
During a flight on Korean Airlines, I remember being so amused by a tourist couple trying their first Bibimbap.
After receiving their in-flight meal trays, the couples looked at each other confused. They were on their own, as their neighbors got beef and pasta (heh!). No one to ask…
In their eyes, they had received an underwhelming boiled veggie platter – with plain white rice on the side.
I couldn’t take my eyes of them – I continued to stare:
They stabbed a few of the boiled veggies with the fork and proceeded to squeeze a small line of gochujang sauce over it. Then ate it straight, like ketchup on a french fry. (Oh my god 🤯)
…Then grabbed the spoon and ate the white rice by itself! (Oh my god x 2 🤯)
That’s when I knew > I had to introduce a bibimbap recipe on Future Neighbor ASAP!
Today, our bibimbap toppings will be all vegetables! But feel free to include a protein of choice – like minced beef or even strips of steak. It’s up to you!
Pan-fry the vegetables on a medium heat. We want them to sweat and get soft, but not charred! The bright colors is part of the visual appeal of the dish.
Note: Our recipe below is for a 1-person serving.
If you plan to make for 2+ people, double-up the ingredients for the vegetables and meat. Also, when making the gochujang sauce, I recommend switching to a Tablespoon measurement rather the teaspoon. Should be enough!
KEY TASTE VARIABLE
This key taste variable is the (amazingly good) gochujang sauce!
To make it, we’ll mix our gochujang paste with the right ratio of soy sauce, sugar and vinegar. It transforms the earthy, smoky spice of gochujang into a more balanced, spicy-sweet-and-tangy flavor.
We hope you enjoy this dish very much! Don’t forget to tag us in IG (@efutureneighbor) with your bowl. We enjoy seeing pics from you! Here’s how I felt after a bite…
Heh, alrighty – Daniel out! 🕺
P.s. If you’re cooking (or eating alone) at home – don’t get too lonely! Play our latest discussions in the background and enjoy some food-for-thought 🙉:
Bibimbap - Secret is the Gochujang Sauce!
- Short Grain Rice - 1 cup
- Carrot - 30 grams
- Zucchini - 30 grams length of your pointer finger
- Cabbage - 1 leaf
- Lettuce - 3 leaves
- Gim - 4 crisps
- Shiitake mushrooms - 2
- Soybean sprouts - 1 cup
- Egg - 1
- Gochujang - 2 teaspoons
- Soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Sesame oil - 1 teaspoon
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon
- Vinegar - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sesame seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Prep Bibimbap Ingredients
- Julienne Carrot, Zucchini, Cabbage, Lettuce and Gim. Cut Shiitake Mushrooms into thin slices as well.
- FOR SOYBEANS - Fill a pot with water. Season the water with a few shakes of salt. Place your soybean sprouts into the water. Then place on high heat. When it comes to boil, immediately drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside
- FOR ZUCCHINI, CARROT AND MUSHROOMS - For each vegetable, repeat the following steps: Put a frying pan on medium-high heat. Put some oil in. Once the pan is hot, place the vegetable in. Season with salt. Stir-around for 1-2 minutes until the vegetable begin to soften-up. Then place onto a plate and set aside
Make Bibimbap Sauce
- Mix all of the ingredients listed under 'Gochujang Sauce'
- Place one cup of rice at the bottom of your bowl. Then neatly arrange each vegetable (carrot, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, shiitake mushrooms, gim, soybean sprouts) on top of the rice. Place a fried egg in the middle (optional). Then place a few scoops of the bibimbap sauce over the top.
- Snap an Instagram photo - duh!
- Then thoroughly mix the sauce in with all of the ingredients. Bon Appetit!
- When pan-frying vegetables, cook them on a medium heat.
- Also feel free to use vegetables of your choice. Popular alternatives include blanched spinach, minced beef and pickled radish.
- If you are cooking for two, use Tablespoon measurements (rather than teaspoon) when making the Gochujang sauce.
- Watch video below for more details