Bibimbap

Bibimbap

One of the most festive and most flavorful rice dishes I learned to cook was Bibimbap. So colorful and so delightful — spicy chili pepper paste, sweet-styled marinated beef, seasoned vegetables, and steamed rice gave a whole new experience in enjoying healthy dishes. It’s Korea-time and let’s start with this happy dish.

Bibimbap

Description

My first encounter with Bibimbap was about ten years ago, just before the K-Pop invasion. I had the opportunity to enjoy this in a home of a Korean friend. So we’re talking about authenticity. Oh yeah! As soon as the clock’s hands struck dinner time, I was led to a massive dining hall. Then a bowl of steaming hot rice filled with colorful veggies welcomed my sight. I did not know what to do. I found the bowl so delightful…so pretty…I ate it as it was prepared: first the carrot, then the beef, then the rice, then the mushroom…

My Korean friend noticed my eating folly and said: No, no, no, mix, mix, mix. Biii-Beeem-Bap!

He was absolutely correct — the only way to enjoy Bibimbap is to destroy its happy presentation in constant swirls of chopsticks. With this, all flavors are blended in one savory mix: the spiciness of the chili pepper paste, the sweetness of marinated beef, the soy goodness of shitake mushrooms, the comforting goodness of fried egg, etc…each ingredient offered something; their distinct flavors united. The mixing, it made sense. And it was good. So good that I unknowingly muttered: Mmmm-mmm-mmm…

Soon after, the K-pop flooded our local entertainment scene, and our food districts popped with Korean food joints. Remembering my Korean friend’s hospitality, I frequented Korean restaurants and ordered the unforgettable Bibimbap. It was: Mmmm-mmm-mmm, the second time around. 

And whenever I see a Filipino eating Bibimbap without mixing it, I would say: No, no, no, mix, mix, mix. Biii-Beeem-Bap!

Some fancy words about this dish:

  • Bibimbap: literally means mixed rice; so mix it, guys
  • Namul: the seasoned vegetables on top of the rice
  • Gochujang: Korean’s chili pepper paste
  • Dolsot Bibimbap: Bibimbap served in stone pot (Dolsot means stone pot); this will make your Bibimbap warmer, crispier, and usually served with raw egg
  • Bulgogi: barbecue-flavored beef; similar with beef teriyaki

Best enjoyed with:

  • Galbi Jim
  • Kimchi
  • Seaweeds
  • Sikhye (Sweet Korean Rice Beverage)

Restaurants that offer this dish:

  • Jang Ga Nae: Bibimbap @ 250.00 Php; Dolsot Bibimbap @ 300.00 Php
  • Happy 6 Days: Soup with Bibimbap @ 250.00 Php
  • Song Do: Bibimbap @ 340.00 Php
  • Kaya Korean Restaurant: Bibimbap @ 310.00 Php

Bibimbap is a healthy dish, and it’s not overwhelming, so I recommend learning this delightful dish and enjoy what the Koreans shared to the food world.

With that, let’s start cooking.

Bibimbap

Ingredients

  • Cooked rice*, 4 cups
  • Fried egg, 1, Sunnyside up
  • Gochujang**, 1 tablespoon
  • Water

Vegetables:

  • Bean sprouts, 1 package
  • Spinach, 1 bunch
  • Zucchini, julienned, 1 piece
  • Carrot, julienned, 1 piece
  • Shitake mushrooms, large, sliced, 4 pieces
  • Sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic, minced, 2 cloves
  • Sesame oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Onion, medium, diced, 1 piece
  • Soy sauce, 1 teaspoon, for spinach’s seasoning
  • Soy sauce, 1 teaspoon, for onion’s seasoning
  • Soy sauce, 2 teaspoons, for shitake mushroom’s seasoning
  • Sugar, 2 teaspoons
  • Salt, to taste

Note: Kosari (Fernbrake) can be included. I did not include it because it was unavailable.

Beef:

  • Ground beef***, 300 grams
  • Garlic, minced, 4 cloves
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Honey, 1 tablespoon
  • Soy sauce, 3 teaspoon
  • Sesame oil for stir frying
  • Sesame seeds, 1 dash
  • Black pepper, ground, to taste

*Choose Jasponica, you will never go wrong.

**If you can’t find Gochujang, mix Sriracha (1 tablespoon) with sesame oil (1 dash) and sugar (1 pinch).

***Leftover beef tapa can be a great substitute. Minced it and add a dash of sesame oil and seeds.

Bibimbap

Instructions

Note: When stir-frying with sesame oil, always use low to medium heat. We do not want a burnt taste.

Vegetables:

  1. In a saucepan, add water and a pinch of salt; add bean sprouts and cook for 15-20 minutes; drain and then set aside in a bowl
  2. Add and mix minced garlic, sesame oil, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of bean sprouts
  3. In a saucepan, boil water and add a pinch of salt; blanch the spinach for 1 minute; cool it down with cold water; drain the water and squeeze it tightly; then set aside in a bowl
  4. Add and mix the minced garlic, sesame oil, a pinch of salt, and soy sauce in the bowl of spinach
  5. Mix a dash of salt in the zucchini; then oil a pan with sesame oil and stir fry the zucchini until translucent; then set aside in a bowl
  6. Oil the pan with sesame oil and stir fry the onion, add soy sauce, and sprinkle it with sesame seeds
  7. Oil the pan with sesame oil and stir fry the carrot; do not overcook, if you want to retain its crispiness; then set aside in a bowl and mix it with sesame seeds
  8. Oil the pan with sesame oil, stir fry the shitake mushrooms, with sugar, salt, soy sauce; then set aside in a bowl

Beef:

  1. Heat pan with sesame oil
  2. Add garlic
  3. Stir fry beef
  4. Add soy sauce
  5. Add sugar and honey
  6. Make sure the beef is browned and cooked
  7. Set aside

Garnishing:

  1. In a bowl or in a dolsot (heated stone pot) put in rice
  2. At its center, place egg
  3. Then surround it with veggies and beef
  4. Place the gochujang near the egg, or zigzag it all over
  5. Serve while hot
  6. And don’t forget to mix, mix, mix while eating

Bibimbap

Additional Information

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes – 1 hour, depending if you can multitask (I got only one burner at the time I cooked this)
  • Dish: Korean
  • Related recipes: Gimbap, Jeonju Bibimbap, Dolsot Bibimbap
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