Korean Style Mixed Rice Bowl with Varieties Toppings
OHHH MYYY! Bim-bim What?!! Bim-bim-bam NO?!!. certainly, it is the most famous and super-dupper-popular traditional Korean dish called Bibimbap. Yes!!, Bibimbap is a bowl of rice to be exact Asian short grain sticky rice, fried sunny side egg, varieties of cooked vegetables, seasoning beef or chicken, kimchi, and gochujang. In short, as you already see varieties of the toppings are limitless.
There is another version of Bibimbap prepared and served in earthenware or thick clay bowl. Koren called it dolsot-bibimbap. The dolsot bowl provided a layer of crispy and crunchy rice on the bottom of the bibimbap. Similar to cracking bottom layer of Catalan Paella.
So, there is actually no right or wrong way to make it. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as you want. That is to say, I am thinking foie gras, duck confit and Japanese onsen egg here. However; I will guide you to build the foundation of toppings to make this a unique Bimbimbap version of your own. Traditionally most recipe will call for Gosari or fernbrake and Doraji or dried bellflower roots. Certainly, feel free to use them if you be able to get a hand on these items. On the other hand, I am skipping them for this recipe.
The most time consuming of this recipe is to have all the toppings prepared individually with care and perfection. In other words, this what set apart between a forgettable and amazing Bibimbap. Above all, toppings should be the star of Bibimbap eating experience by balance and counterbalance each other. Therefore; texture, flavor, color, visual, and aroma are in the play here. In conclusion, Bibimbap toppings remind me of the Game of Throne. 🙂
- 4 eggs, large
- 2 cups carrot, shredded
- 2 cups zucchini, julienne
- 2 cups English cucumber, sliced Halfmoon
- 1 lb bean sprouts
- 1 lb spinach, blanched and squeezed dried
- 1 cup red bell pepper, julienne
- 1 pound beef, thinly sliced I preferred short ribs or skirt steak
- 1.5 cups green onions, chopped
- Kosher salt
- vegetable oil
- garlic, minced
- sesame oil, to taste
- sesame seeds, toasted
- soy sauce, to taste
- brown sugar or honey, as needed
- gochujang or Korean hot pepper paste, as needed
- 6 cups steamed Asian short grain rice. I use Nishiki brand
To Prepare the topping ingredients for Bibimbap:
Having a large size ingredients assembly tray or platter will make the Mise en place better to organized the toppings.
Cooking the Bean Sprouts:
- In a pot of lightly salted water, boil the bean sprouts over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes and drained well.
- Adding the sprouts into a mixing bowl. Then mix with 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 0.5 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Then set aside on the assembly tray.
Seasoning the Blanched Spinach:
- Roughly cut the spinach and put it in a mixing bowl. Then add 0.5 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and lastly 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds. After that, transfer it into the tray.
Preparing the Vegetables:
- First, mix the shredded carrot with a pinch of salt. Then let it sit for 10 minutes. Next, over medium heat with a little drop of cooking oil quickly sauté the carrot. Then set it aside on the assembly tray.
- After removing the carrot, in the same pan quickly sauté the bell pepper. Then set it aside on the assembly tray.
- Separately, mix zucchini with a pinch of salt about 0.25 teaspoon. Repeat the same process with the cucumber. Next, let them sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out all the access water then sauté the cucumber with 0.5 teaspoons of minced garlic and a drop of sesame oil. Repeating the process with zucchini but this time sauté with additional of 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion.
Cooking the Beef:
- Marinade the beef with 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1.5 teaspoons of sesame seeds.
- After marinated at least 2 hours, cook the beef as needed with a little vegetable oil to your liking doneness.
To Serve and To Eat
For the first part is to have the toppings assembly tray ready. Then, place steamed rice in a serving bowl about a cup. Next, fry the egg to your liking I recommend sunny side up is the way to go.
The second part is to assemble the bowl. Basically, you would want to place the egg in the middle. Then build the toppings around it. Drizzle with sesame oil and garnish with toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions, and a dollop of gochujang.
The last part is to eat bibimbap by gently mixing everything together but be careful not to mash or crush the ingredients to mush. Recommend extra gochujang on the side and a bowl of homemade soup… Bon Appetit!!!