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What is Bibimbap and How Can You Cook It At Home

Korean Bibimbap is a delicious and visually striking mixed rice dish that originates from Korea. The term “Bibimbap” literally translates to “mixed rice” in Korean. It is a hearty and nutritious meal that brings together a variety of colorful vegetables, marinated meat, a fried egg, and a spicy gochujang (Korean red chili paste) sauce. Here’s a detailed description of the different components:

  1. Rice (Bap): The base of Bibimbap is steamed short-grain rice. Short-grain rice is commonly used in Korean cuisine for its sticky texture, which helps bind the various ingredients together.
  2. Vegetables: Bibimbap features an assortment of fresh and sautéed vegetables, each prepared separately to maintain its unique texture and flavor. Common vegetables include:
    • Spinach: Blanched or sautéed spinach seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.
    • Carrots: Julienne-cut and lightly stir-fried until tender.
    • Zucchini: Sliced and sautéed with a touch of sesame oil.
    • Bean Sprouts: Blanched bean sprouts typically seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.
    • Shiitake Mushrooms: Sliced and sautéed for a savory umami flavor.
  3. Protein: Bibimbap traditionally includes a protein element, often marinated and stir-fried. Common choices are:
    • Beef: Thinly sliced and marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and sugar.
    • Tofu: Cubes of tofu can be marinated and pan-fried for a vegetarian or vegan option.
    • Chicken or Pork: Sliced and cooked in a similar marinade as the beef.
  4. Fried Egg (Gyeran Mari): A sunny-side-up or over-easy fried egg is placed on top of the Bibimbap, and the yolk adds a rich and creamy element when mixed into the dish.
  5. Gochujang Sauce: Gochujang, a fermented red chili paste, is mixed with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and sometimes garlic to create a flavorful and spicy sauce. This sauce adds a bold kick to the dish.
  6. Sesame Seeds and Seaweed (Gim): Bibimbap is often garnished with sesame seeds for added crunch and nuttiness. Some variations also include thin strips of dried seaweed (gim or nori) for a touch of umami.

What is Bibimbap and How Can You Cook It At Home



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Indulge in the vibrant and harmonious flavors of Korean cuisine with Bibimbap. This iconic dish features a colorful array of fresh vegetables, marinated beef, a perfectly fried egg, all served over a bed of steamed rice. Topped with a spicy gochujang sauce, each bite is a delightful blend of textures and tastes.


  • For the Marinade:
  • 250g beef (ribeye or sirloin), thinly sliced

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated

  • 1 tablespoon mirin or rice wine (optional)

  • For the Bibimbap:
  • 4 cups cooked short-grain rice

  • 4 cups assorted vegetables (carrots, spinach, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, zucchini), julienned or sliced

  • 4 fried eggs

  • Sesame seeds for garnish

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (for stir-frying vegetables)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the Gochujang Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chili paste)

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon water


  • Marinating the Beef:
  • In a bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, and mirin (if using).
  • Add thinly sliced beef to the marinade. Toss to coat the beef evenly. Allow it to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Preparing the Vegetables:
  • Julienne or slice the assorted vegetables.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir-fry each vegetable separately with a pinch of salt until just cooked. Set aside.
  • Making Gochujang Sauce:
  • In a small bowl, mix together gochujang, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and water. Adjust the consistency with more water if needed.
  • Cooking the Beef:
  • Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated beef for 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  • Frying the Eggs:
  • Fry eggs to your liking – sunny side up or over-easy.
  • Assembling Bibimbap:
  • In individual bowls, place a serving of rice.
  • Arrange portions of each cooked vegetable and cooked beef on top of the rice.
  • Add a fried egg on the center of each bowl.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and drizzle with gochujang sauce.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Results:

  1. Use Short-Grain Rice: Traditional Bibimbap is made with short-grain rice for its stickiness and texture.
  2. Hot Stone Bowl (Dolsot Bibimbap): For an extra layer of flavor and texture, consider serving Bibimbap in a hot stone bowl. The rice touching the hot bowl becomes crispy, adding a delightful crunch.
  3. Experiment with Vegetables: Feel free to add or substitute vegetables according to your preference.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories500
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 15g 24%
    • Saturated Fat 3g 15%
  • Sodium 800mg 34%
  • Potassium 600mg 18%
  • Total Carbohydrate 70g 24%
    • Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
    • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 20g 40%

  • Vitamin A 2000%
  • Vitamin C 30%
  • Calcium 80%
  • Iron 1%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutritional Notes for Korean Bibimbap:

  • Healthy Fats: The dish provides a moderate amount of healthy fats, primarily from sesame oil and the egg.
  • Protein Source: Bibimbap is a good source of protein, mainly from the beef and the egg.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: It contributes significantly to Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron intake.

Alterations and Modifications for Korean Bibimbap:

  1. Vegetarian/Vegan Bibimbap:
    • Alteration: Omit the beef or replace it with tofu or tempeh. Increase the variety of vegetables.
    • How to Achieve It: Marinate tofu or tempeh in a similar marinade as the beef. Sauté or grill until golden brown.
  2. Gluten-Free Bibimbap:
    • Alteration: Ensure all sauces are gluten-free, and use tamari instead of soy sauce.
    • How to Achieve It: Check the labels for gluten-free soy sauce or use tamari as a gluten-free alternative.
  3. Vegan Bibimbap:
    • Alteration: Replace the beef with marinated and sautéed mushrooms or plant-based protein of your choice.
    • How to Achieve It: Sauté a mix of mushrooms, or use your favorite plant-based protein source.
  4. Low-Carb Bibimbap:
    • Alteration: Substitute rice with cauliflower rice or another low-carb alternative.
    • How to Achieve It: Pulse cauliflower in a food processor and sauté until tender for a low-carb rice alternative.

Detailed Storage and Freezing Instructions for Korean Bibimbap:


  1. Vegetables and Beef:
    • Store leftover stir-fried vegetables and cooked beef in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  2. Rice:
    • Store cooked rice separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  3. Gochujang Sauce:
    • Store the gochujang sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  4. Garnishes:
    • Keep sesame seeds in a cool, dark place. Keep herbs and greens refrigerated, wrapped in a damp paper towel.


  1. Beef and Vegetables:
    • While it’s best fresh, you can freeze cooked beef and vegetables in airtight containers for up to 1 month. Reheat gently on the stove.
  2. Rice:
    • Freeze portions of cooked rice in sealed bags or containers for up to 1 month. Thaw and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
  3. Gochujang Sauce:
    • Freeze small portions of gochujang sauce in an ice cube tray. Thaw as needed.


  1. Beef and Vegetables:
    • Reheat stir-fried beef and vegetables in a pan over medium heat until heated through.
  2. Rice:
    • Reheat rice in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water to prevent drying.
  3. Gochujang Sauce:
    • Gently warm gochujang sauce on the stove, adding a little water if needed for desired consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can I make Bibimbap ahead of time?

While components can be prepared in advance, assemble Bibimbap just before serving to maintain freshness and textures.

Can I freeze cooked rice

Yes, you can freeze cooked rice for up to 1 month. Thaw and reheat as needed.

Can I use other vegetables?

Absolutely! Customize the Bibimbap with your favorite vegetables or based on what you have on hand.

Can I use a different protein?

Certainly! Try chicken, pork, or seafood as alternatives to beef.

Can I make Bibimbap without gochujang?

Gochujang adds a unique flavor, but if unavailable, you can use a mixture of sriracha and soy sauce for a similar kick.

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