Classic Korean Bibimbap Recipe

Bibimbap
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    70 min
Ratings (5)

Use this recipe to make arguably the best known Korean dish around the world, bibimbap. What makes this meal stand out? Not only is it a Korean classic, it's also delicious, gorgeous on the plate and easily tweaked for different palates and spice levels. That means if you're a typical American or Westerner who can't handle foods that are extremely spicy, homemade bibimbap is the dish for you since you can easily lower the spice load. The bottom line is that if you're a true fan of Korean cuisine, you should know how to make this dish, or at least try it. Bibimbap is to Korean cuisine what apple pie is to American cuisine. 

This recipe includes six vegetables, but if that's too many for your liking, you can instead make it with just three or four veggies or with whatever you happen to have in your fridge. Koreans usually eat this rice dish with some beef, but if you're not a fan of red meat, don't despair. You can also top bibimbap with just an egg fried sunny-side-up. The reason this dish is so popular is because it's not only very tasty but it's also completely versatile. Enjoy!

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups medium-grain Korean (or Japanese) rice
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin strips
  • 1.5 cups bean sprouts, parboiled and squeezed of excess water
  • 1.5 cups spinach, parboiled and squeezed of excess water (3/4 pound before cooking)
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated if dried and then sliced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 pound meat (optional, both and cooked ground meat work well)
  • Fried egg as a topping (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds

How to Make It

  1. To begin, you'll need to cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. If you don't want to use Korean or Japanese rice or are being health conscious, you can try brown rice instead. This will affect the flavor, of course.
  2. Next, give the cucumber strips a saltwater bath for 20 minutes and then drain.
  3. Then, season spinach with 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt and a dash of sesame seeds.
  4. Season bean sprouts with 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp salt and a dash of sesame seeds.
  5. You'll then need to sauté the carrots with a dash of salt.
  6. Next, sauté the mushrooms with a dash of salt.
  7. After that, sauté the zucchini with a dash of salt.
  8. Then, place the cooked rice in large bowl and arrange vegetables on top.
  9. If desired, beef, egg or both can be placed in the center.
  10. Serve each helping with small bowls of red pepper paste (kochujang) and sesame oil.
  11. To eat, add a small amount of oil and desired amount of red pepper paste to your bowl and mix everything together with a spoon.