Saturday, December 29, 2007


Wikepedia defines Bibambap as ".....a popular Korean dish. The word literally means "mixed rice" or "mixed meal". (It is also sometimes spelled "bibimba" or "bibimbop").

Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables), beef, a fried egg, and gochujang (chile pepper paste). The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. It can be served either cold or hot.

Vegetables commonly used in bibimbap include julienned cucumber, zucchini, mu (daikon), mushrooms, doraji (bellflower root), and laver, as well as spinach, soybean sprouts, and gosari (bracken fern stems). Dubu (tofu), either plain or sautéed, or a leaf of lettuce may be added, or chicken or seafood may be substituted for beef. For visual appeal, the vegetables are placed so that adjacent colors complement each other. Many areas of Korea typically serve a vegetarian version of the dish which may well be the more traditional alternative.

A variation of this dish, dolsot bibimbap ("dolsot" meaning "stone pot"), is served in a very hot stone bowl, in which a raw egg is cooked against the sides of the bowl. The bowl is so hot, that anything that touches it, sizzles for minutes. Before the rice is placed in the bowl, the bottom of the bowl is coated with sesame oil, making the layer of the rice touching the bowl golden brown and crispy."

Well, today my son Tony and I decided to prepare this dish for dinner (actually he did all the cooking). We headed to a well known Japanese supermarket in Torrance and our journey began. We learned a lot today and I wish I had taken notes. For starters, today is a very busy day for purchasing exotic ingredients which go into making traditional Japanese New Year's foods. This supermarket was packed. We didn't get the hint from the packed parking lot. This was fun. Luckily we found a parking space and had the good fortune to traverse the supermarket aisles with another very helpful shopper who helped us navigate ingredients and described why people had certain items in their carts. How out of place we must have looked amongst this crowd. One shopper actually asked who was going to do the cooking. I understood as I was obviously along for the ride and considering Tony is a 23 year black guy traveling with his middle aged mom. Who knew he was a culinary student who had a clue about what he was about to prepare.

We opted to make our Bibambap with bok choy, napa cabbage, Kobe style beef, cucmumber, yellow squash, geeen onions, shitake mushrooms, carrots, turnips, soybean sprouts and snowpeas. As a side dish Tony opted to prepare pork cutlets coated with panko bread crumbs.

We did look for a ceramic pot to bring to high temps but decided my wok shaped cast iron skillet might do the job. We did get to temp but the searing action we were looking for was missed a opportunity.

All in all the dish turned out fantastic. Wish we had a couple more eggs to top and mix in. We decided not to mix everything before serving in order to allow everyone to add their own chile pepper paste to taste. This presentation served 7 adults with few leftovers.


Cheesywee said...

i'm half korean myself and your version of bibimbap is looking reallly good right now! if you go to any korean restaurant they usually give two different types of bibimbap- one in just a bowl, and another in a really hot stone bowl- to keep your food warm and sort of cook some things through while eating! I like to put a lot of korean spicy chili paste in my bibimbap and drizzle a little sesame oil to give it some leverage !

L said...

You have to give me a recipe. This looks so good and like something my kids would eat. They always complain that we eat the same things.

sylvie1950 said...

Cheesywee, I wish we could have found the stone bowls. I know that I have seen them at Marukai market before, but they eluded us yesterday.

Landa, my son did all the cooking. I don't think he had a recipe but was relying on memory to try to recreate what they prepared at school. I looked up a recipe from FoodTV which is quite similar.,1977,FOOD_9936_34704,00.html

You can change up the recipe using a variety of vegetables and meats.

sylvie1950 said...

The link didn't come across so I copied the Food TV recipe.

Bibimbap (BEE-beem-bop): One of the most popular dishes in Korean cuisine, bibimbap is a nutritious rice dish of steamed rice and pre-cooked vegetables (usually spinach, bean sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, egg and lettuce. It can also contain ground beef but can be ordered without meat. Dolsot bibimbap is the same dish served in a hot stone pot (the pot is pre-heated in oven) to make the rice on the bottom crunchy and to keep the dish hot for a longer time. Bulgogi (BULL-go-ghee): Literally meaning "fire meat", bulgogi is thinly sliced, usually rib-eye or sirloin, marinated grilled meat. Gochuchang (GOH-choo-jang) paste: spicy red pepper paste sold either in glass jars or plastic containers that can be purchased at any Korean or Asian food market.

Steamed white rice
Bulgogi, recipe follows
1 carrot, julienned
Cooked bean sprouts, sauteed in a little sesame oil or peanut oil and seasoned with salt
Cooked spinach, sauteed in a little sesame or peanut oil and seasoned with salt
4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and sauteed in peanut oil and seasoned with salt
1 egg, cooked over easy
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Soy sauce, to taste
Gochuchang Paste, recipe follows

*Cook's Note: This can be done in a regular bowl or a hot stone bowl. If it's in a hot stone bowl, the rice becomes crunchy because it's still cooking.
Put cooked rice in large slightly shallow bowl. Place bulgogi (with juices from cooked meat) and veggies on top of rice but place separately so you can see each ingredient beautifully placed on rice. Put egg on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce.

When ready to eat, mix all ingredients together with some gochuchang paste, to taste. The bibimpap should be moist and not dry. Add more sesame oil and gochuchang paste, to taste.

1 pound rib-eye
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Korean pear or Asian pear, grated with juices
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 small white onion, grated or sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (20-ounce) bottle lemon-lime soda, optional (recommended: Sprite or 7-Up)

Place rib-eye in freezer for about 30 minutes so that it is easier to thinly slice. When partially frozen, remove from freezer and thinly slice. Set aside.
Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a large baking dish. Add the thinly sliced beef and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight; it is best if marinated overnight.

Heat grill to high. Remove beef from marinade and grill for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to compile Bibimbap.

Gochuchang Paste (seasoned red pepper paste):
4 tablespoons gochuchang (available at Korean grocers)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.

Oishii Eats said...

Sylvie...I love that you're so down.

You can find the stone bowls at Kim's Home Center (2940 W Olympic Blvd).

sylvie1950 said...

Jeni, thank you for the stone bowl source. I will have go to Kim's Home Center.

Deborah Dowd said...

This sounds really good and I always ike a dish with a good story!

sylvie1950 said...

Co-inky-dink- The 1/9/08 L.A. Times food section has a cooking write up (full page) on Bibambap. I'd like to believe the author got the idea after reading my blog entry.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sylvie,

My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at I am very impressed with the quality of your posts and to that end, I’d like to invite you to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at

And thanks for sharing bibambap! I've never heard of it before, but it sounds like a basic Korean staple, so I must have had it? I have to be on the lookout next time I go out for Korean, I guess. =)


Shannon Eliot
Editorial Assistant,