Bibimbap: Eating Your Veggies in Korea

Posted by on Aug 20, 2015 in Destinations, Featured, Food, Korea, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 32 comments

Welcome to Week 242 (20/08/2015) of Travel Photo Thursday. My computer has been limping along for a while now, and, to add insult to injury, I spilled liquid on it last week. My numbers no longer work, so I am using an On-Screen Keyboard — Ugh.  Anyway, enough of my computer woes. Hopefully things will be sorted out in the next week or so.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared any food with my readers, so let me introduce one of Korea’s signature dishes, Bibimbap; meaning “mixed rice”. The dish is a mixture of warm rice, gently cooked vegetables, gochuchang (red pepper paste), soy sauce, or  doenjang (a salty soy bean paste). I have always enjoyed mine with red pepper paste.

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The dish is easily available anywhere in the country, but if you want to experience the best head to the historic town of Jeon-ju. I wrote about my Jeon-ju bibimbap experience way back in 2010.

 

This version contains not only veggies, but also bulgogi (beef) . Adding the egg on top changes the name of the dish slightly. Now, we call this dolsot Bibimbap. Yes, the egg is raw, but not for long. The rice and veggies are incredibly hot when they arrive at your table. The egg cooks completely as you mix your piping hot rice and veggies together, usually with a healthy dollop of  gochuchang (optional for those who can’t handle spicy). There’s absolutely no reason to worry about undercooked egg; not going to happen.

 

Jeon-Ju Bibimbap

A signature dish in Korea – Jeon-Ju Bibimbap

Korean cooking is slowly evolving with an attempt to become more sophisticated. Many bibimbap restaurants now give their customers numerous choices. The last time I ate the dish I chose this delicious version, which featured mushrooms and bulgogi. The choice was not easy, with more than a dozen choices on offer. Notice, there is no egg.

 

Mushroom and Bulgogi Bibimbap

Bibimbap – A Korean signature dish

 

If you aren’t in Korea or a city/town with a Korean restaurant, try making your own. I learned to make this in Korean cooking class, and although preparing the vegetables was time consuming, the finished dish was ‘clean your bowl’ delicious. This is a single portion recipe, so increase the amount of ingredients accordingly.

INGREDIENTS

120g of rice; 50g of bean sprouts; 30g of zucchini; 1 egg; 10g lettuce; 10g of carrot, 30g of mushrooms; 200g beef; crushed garlic; sesame oil; gochuchang; salt;  soy sauce

You can add whatever vegetables you like. It’s a great tasting, and affordable dish, when you use what’s in season. Super easy to make a vegetarian version. 

WHAT TO DO 

Cook the rice

Boil the bean sprouts (a quick blanch is enough)

Fry the egg and let cool; shred

Shred the beef and fry 

Shred the zucchini, carrot, mushrooms, and lettuce

Season the bean sprouts and mushrooms with salt, sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce

Fry the zucchini and carrot with salt and sesame oil

Place the rice in a large one serving bowl, and top with the cooked ingredients

Add the desired amount of gochuchang, mixing until the rice and veggies are coated. 

Bon appetit!

 

You may want to add a side dish of Korea’s famous Kimchi. Koreans eat this spicy fermented cabbage with every meal. Yes, even breakfast!

 

Korean Kimchi

Korean Kimchi

 

Have you ever tried Bibimbap or Kimchi (sometimes spelt Gimchi)? What did you think? Would you make this at home?

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Bibimbap

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32 Comments

  1. Oh dear. All my sympathies about your computer woes. A couple of computer ago I lost one due to a chai tea accident at an airport. Liquids and computers do not mix!

    Not much for kimchi, but the other dish looks delicious!

    I’ll link a post shortly. . . .

    • Hi Cindy. Thanks. We’re still liming along, and I know better than to have liquid around this thing. I am sitting here with my first pot of morning tea, so I haven’t learned my lesson. My computer tech has ordered a new keyboard, so hopefully I can get things back to normal once that arrives and is installed. Kimchi is definitely an acquired taste. I don’t eat it everyday, but when I eat out I always have some.

      • No tea while writing on the laptop!?! No!!!! That’s just not realistic. I’d have to give up writing! (Good luck with the new keyboard.)

  2. Thanks for the recipe. I love Korean food (not that I’ve been to Korea) but I have never tried making it myself. It looks achievable! 🙂 I’m not one for raw eggs either 🙂

    • Hi Jan. The trick with the raw egg is that the rice and veggies are hot enough that it will cook when everything is mixed together. Quite often Bibimbap is served in a scalding hot stone bowl, and the egg definitely gets cooked. I won’t eat raw eggs either.

  3. Yum!! Just in time for lunch (not sure if I’d make it myself tho….;)

    • Hi Lydia. I’ve made it once, and while I enjoyed the experience I probably wouldn’t make it again. It’s very time consuming, and living here in Korea there is not lack of bibimbap restaurants.

  4. One of the best things about international travel is tasting the food of the country. As long as it is not insects! But this dish looks easy enough to make at home. Thanks for the recipe. Happy travels and have a great weekend ahead.

    • I agree, Jill. I hope you make this and enjoy it.

  5. That’s tough having computer woes, I feel for you! I’d love to try this dish in situ, but I fear I’m too lazy (or time pressed?) to make it myself.

    • Hi Phoebe. It is easy to make, but time consuming.

  6. I LOVE kimchi and most other Korean food! Never made it though – I might have to give it a go.

    • Hi Ellen. Let me know how it turns out.

  7. I have had kimchi – my daughter is obsessed with trying different restaurant’s kimchi – but never bibimbap. Gonna have to try!

    • Hi Jill. I’m sure you will enjoy it. All Kimchi is not created equal. For me, it has to be firm and not slimy. I know that sounds gross, but sometimes it is, and that’s how some people like it.

  8. The Week of (Computer) Woes it seems. Ours just had a new hard drive installed after one year (!!!) of use and also got Windows 10 (urrgghhh!) so it is a steep learning curve I’ve been on trying to make this a pleasant experience. Love this dish you showed us . . .we must both have food on the mind as well. Computer stress = food??? Have a good week!! Hugs, J.

    • Hi Jackie. That must be it. I have been eating too much of late. Good luck with Windows 10.I hope to upgrade once my computer is fixed.

  9. Oh yes! My husband and I love eating this dish. Here in Los Angeles you can find it in many places from a food truck to a restaurant. A lot of versions here feature meat. This is a good suggestion to add to the weekend. I would like to try this home (I have tried other Korean dishes before).

    • Hi Ruth. With the large Korean community in LA I can just imagine that there would be lots of opportunity to try good Bibimbap. Good luck making it at home. It’s an easy dish, but preparing the vegetables can be time consuming.

  10. Love bibimbop and kim chee!

  11. I could see myself eating these dishes. They both looking very appetizing (minus the raw egg) and healthy. I really enjoy Asian food that is cooked fresh.

    • Hi Kathy. The rice and veggies are very hot, and when you mix everything together the egg cooks perfectly. I am not a raw egg eater either.

  12. I like ordering Bibimbap because of the way the word sounds. So much alliteration in the syllables. I like it with Beef Bulgogi on top. More b’s in the name that way. And of course, it tastes good, too. I ordered it Dolsot style in Texas, but in deference to health inspector rules, the egg came soft boiled. There’s enough Korean restaurants nearby so that I doubt I’ll ever make it at home. And bleh to Kimchi for me.

    • Hi Michele. That’s a great way to serve the egg, and of course, it cooks when you mix everything together.

  13. I have never had bibimbap, but it looks delicious. It sounds very similar to what I do for a stir-fry meal, less the gochuchang which I’ve never heard of. I have had kimchee and quite like that.

  14. Computer – bad, food – very very good. Love the raw egg in the dishes, it works so well.

  15. I love this dish, I can eat it all the time and it is so flavorful and complex!

  16. I LOVED the bibimbap I tried in Montreal, it was at a small family run Korean restaurant on St Denis. So healthy too!

  17. I LOVE bibimbap and kimchi! I used to have lots of it when I lived in Boston and we had this amazing korean restaurant in Chinatown. Over the years, have had good korean food in different countries but have yet to have it in Korea! someday soon I hope 🙂

  18. On my recent trip to Korea, this is probably what I ate most often, since it was a cheap, filling meal! The waiters were generally very disapproving of how I wanted to eat it: not all completely mixed together. Apparently that’s JUST NOT DONE. So they would watch me give it a stir or two and start to eat. Then they would come over, snatching the spoon from my hand and stirring it for me until it was completely, uniformly mixed together. Then they’d let me have my spoon back and eat! This happened several times!

  19. Bibimbap is my favorite Korean dish! Next is bulgogi! Ahhhh your posts are making me really very hungry now. That kimchi looks like a winner! I’d definitely gain weight if I ever visit Korea.

  20. Really appetizing photos, Nancie! I’ve tried bibimbap here in multicultural Toronto but never with the egg on top. Maybe I’ll try it at home!

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