Mr. Anonymous, also known as my better half, has been leaving friendly notes and comments on Bam’s Kitchen stating that he feels that Korean food has been unrepresented and he would like some BiBimBap. He is in luck. I have some very lovely Korean friends who are are living right next door to me in Hong Kong.
Bibimbap (비빔밥) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed meal” or “mixed rice”. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating. The best part is the crunchy rice on the bottom of the bowl as it is usually served in a hot stone pot pre-heated in the oven.
I asked my dear friend if she could show me how to make this popular Korean dish called BiBimBap. I thought because this is such a popular Korean dish that she probably cooks this dish every week, but I was wrong. She told me that actually Koreans feel this is quite a complicated dish because of all the prep and steps involved. Most generally families go out to eat this dish instead. Hmm… I wonder how Mr. Anonymous will take this news??? (I don’t have the heart to tell him)
No worries! I am always up to a good challenge and I asked my cooking friend if we could split the tasks and make BiBimBap together for both of our families. Cooking together with friends who share a similar passion for cooking makes for a very happy experience in the kitchen. Friends who cook together learn each others’ culinary skills and cultural history, and encourage each other to try new things. Cooking together gives you a chance to slow down and talk while you are chopping, sautéing and simmering. Cooking with friends helps you realize that the act of cooking is much more than feeding your family, but it feeds your soul. A big thank you to Yoonsun. This BiBimBap recipe is dedicated to you.
- 1/2 Cup Kimchi (chopped)
- 2 handfuls Bean Sprouts
- 1/2 Onion (sliced thin lengthwise)
- 1 Carrot Julienne sliced
- 1 Zucchini Julienne sliced
- 1/2 Cucumber Julienne sliced (do not cook)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 4 Egg fried whole
- 1 Dried Seaweed (laver) Julienne sliced (do not cook)
- 2 tablespoons garlic
- toasted sesame seeds
- salt to taste
- oil for frying
- 2 Bowls Cooked Rice
Beef and Marinade:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 Kiwi grated with juices (some prefer Korean pear)
- 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
- 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda, optional
- 3 Tbsp Korean Red Pepper Paste
- ¼ tsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Brown Rice Vinegar or Apple Vinegar
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ¾ tsp toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- ½ tsp Minced Garlic
Step 1: In a medium bowl combine ground beef and all marinade ingredients (soy sauce, kiwi, garlic, onion , ginger, brown sugar, honey, sesame seeds sesame oil. red pepper, black pepper, green onions and lemon lime soda.) Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours to marinade.
Step 2: In a small pot, bring water to boil and add spinach and quickly cook for about 1 minute and remove, drain and squeeze out water. Add a little oil to a small frying pan, add the cooked spinach and add a little garlic, salt and toasted sesame seeds and saute for about 1 minute. Remove spinach from pan and set aside in a small plate.
Step 3: In a small frying pan, add a little cooking oil and fry kimchi with a little toasted sesame oil for about 3 minutes and set aside in a small dish.
Step 3: In a small clean frying pan, add a little cooking oil and add bean sprouts, little garlic, salt and sesame seeds and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes until translucent and set aside in a little bowl. Repeat this process of frying vegetables individually and adding a little garlic, salt and roasted sesame seeds for the onions, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots (or any vegetables you wish).
Step 4: In a medium pan, add a little oil and add the marinated ground beef and stir fry until brown. Set aside.
Step 5: Cut up cucumbers and slice up laver leaves and set aside (do not cook)
Step 6: Make the special sauce. In a small bowl combine Korean red pepper paste, soy sauce, brown rice vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame seeds, sesame oil and minced garlic. Stir well and set aside.
Step 7: Fry up one egg per person. Some may like it sunny side up, some like it like an egg pancake and cut into strips. Some like their eggs raw, added to the hot dish at the end of the preparation of the dish. (Whatever you prefer)
Step 8: Grease individual hot stone pots and place in oven to pre-heat. I used some hot stone pots and an iron skillet worked really nice to give that crunchy rice on the bottom that everyone loves. (I set my oven to 220 Celsius and kept my hot stone pots in for about 20 minutes- until nice and hot)
Step 9: Take individual hot stone pots or iron skillet out of the oven with oven mitt and set on hot plate. Place about once cup of cooked rice on bottom on hot stone pot and top decoratively with cooked beef and vegetables. Place a dab of Korean Red Special sauce on top and cooked egg on top.
Step 10: Serve BiBimBap as decorated, allow guests to stir and add more Korean special red sauce to taste as desired. Enjoy!
Time saver idea from Yoonsun: Press several heads of garlic at once and freeze in small individual containers for later use.