Bibimbap (Korean pronunciation: [pibimbap]) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed meal.” 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.It can be served either cold or hot.
Vegetables commonly used in bibimbap include julienned cucumber, zucchini, mu (daikon), mushrooms, doraji (bellflower root), and gim, as well as spinach, soybean sprouts, and gosari (bracken fern stems). Dubu (tofu), either plain or sautéed, or a leaf of lettuce may be added, or chicken or seafood may be substituted for beef.For visual appeal, the vegetables are often placed so that adjacent colors complement each other.
In Korea, Jeonju, Jinju, and Tongyeong are especially famous for their versions of bibimbap.
A variation of this dish, dolsot bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥, “dolsot” meaning “stone pot”), is served in a very hot stone bowl in which a raw egg is cooked against the sides of the bowl. The bowl is so hot that anything that touches it sizzles for minutes. Before the rice is placed in the bowl, the bottom of the bowl is coated with sesame oil, making the layer of the rice touching the bowl golden brown and crisp.
The city of Jeonju, the capital of the North Jeolla Province of South Korea,is famous throughout the nation for its version of bibimbap,said to be based on a royal court dish of the Joseon Dynasty.
A further variation of bibimbap, called hoedeopbap uses a variety of raw seafood, such as tilapia, salmon, tuna or sometimes octopus but each bowl of rice usually contain one kind of meat. The term hoe in the word means raw fish. The dish is popular along the coasts of Korea where fish are abundant.
Having watched so many Korean dramas, they always successfully make you drool over one or another Korean food, then not for long I ended up as a regular customer of a Korean restaurant in town. What did I choose for my first dish? Of course, it’s gonna be the one I’ve seen the most in dramas, and Bibimbap is just one of them. Although, first time, it was my friend who nagged me to order. I thought it’s such a huge dish, me and two of my friends shared it together. Not gonna lie, when I saw it in a drama, I thought, what’s so great about it because it looked like they just threw everything in and mixed them up and that’s it. But oh boy, when the real thing was served, sizzling hot, wow it tasted so good. It’s a healthy dish too, so many kinds of veggies they put in and the paste they used results in an believable yummy.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert in Korean food/cooking. But I could share you my experiences with foods, not just Korean. If you can take Chinese food and are familiar with chilies, this one should do you good. Also, there are many kinds of Bibimbap so I heard.
Closeup of bibimbap ingredients