Koreans usually have a bowl of cooked rice, soup and side dishes for their regular meals. Bibimbap is cooked rice mixed with all the side dishes. It’s generally said that the origin of the dish lies in the old custom of mixing cooked rice with cooked vegetables for ancestral memorial services after the ritual. All the separate dishes are mixed in a huge bowl and it’s seasoned with a drop of sesame oil and seasoned sauces including soy sauce. In some regions, bibimbap is also dubbed the “ancestral memorial service dish.” During the Joseon Dynasty, bibimbap was called goldongban. Goldong means antiques and other various goods. So, the dish was called goldongban as various ingredients are mixed with cooked rice. Locals also used to enjoy the dish on the New Year’s Eve.
Main Ingredients :
Main Ingredients: 150 g cooked rice (or 1 bowl of cooked rice), 100 g summer squash, 20 g carrots, 10 g bracken, 10 g bellflower root, 1 brown oak mushroom, 20 g bean sprouts, 1 egg, 20 g rump beef
Spices for Seasoning Beef: 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp sesame oil
Seasoned Red Pepper Paste: 1 tbsp water, 2 tsp red pepper paste, 1 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 30 g ground beef, 1 tsp sesame oil
Cut the summer squash into 5 cm-long pieces then peel the flesh thinly while turning. Cut all the ingredients – summer squash, carrot, brown oak mushroom, and bracken – into 5 cm-long matchstick-like strips. Stir-fry all the sliced ingredients separately by each vegetable with cooking oil in a frying pan. Blanch bean sprouts and bellflower roots in slightly salted boiling water. Drain and shred the bellflower roots into 5 cm-long strips. Stir-fry the seasoned 5 cm-long strips of beef. Fry an egg slightly so that it’s half-cooked and the shape is retained. Mix all the ingredients for seasoned red pepper paste and stir-fry in a frying pan with oil until it becomes glazy. Put cooked rice in a large bowl and top it neatly with the stir-fried vegetables in order. Add a spoonful of seasoned red pepper paste in the center and finally top it with the fried egg.
☑ To prevent the stinky smell of bean sprouts when blanching, either put the lid on or uncover the pot throughout the cooking process.
☑ Season the meat before stir-frying to enrich the flavor of the meat and to make the bibimbap more delicious.
☑ Cooking beef for a long time will toughen it, so stir-fry it quickly on high heat, while vegetables should be cooked on medium high heat for about one minute.
☑ Mix bibimbap with chopsticks.
☑ If you can’t get summer squash, use zucchini; green bean sprouts can replace bean sprouts; and various mushrooms can be used instead of brackens or bellflower roots.
☑ Soy sauce can season bibimbap if red pepper paste is not available.
Kim Su-jin: Hansik Researcher
- Director of Association for Research on Taste of Korea
- Head Director of Food & Culture Korea Academy
- Nation’s First Film Food Director
(Major works: “Ssanghwajeom”, “The Painter of Wind”, “King and the Clown”, “Best Chef”)