Guide to Making a Delicious & Colorful Bibimbap
A guide to making a delicious and colorful bibimbap! Bibimbap translates to mixed rice and it’s the first dish I tried that made me fall in love with Korean food. The different combination of ingredients, textures, and flavors is what I love so much about it!
What is Bibimbap?
Bibimbap is a Korean dish that translates to mixed rice. Bibim means mixed and bap means rice. The rice is generally served topped with a variety of vegetables, kimchi, egg, meat, and gochujang. As the name states, you mix everything up before eating. Bibimbap can be served in variety of ways. My favorite is dolsot bibimbap which is served in a hot stone pot. Everything in the pot crackles and sizzles. The rice at the bottom gets nice and crispy. It’s the different combination of textures and flavors that I love so much about this dish! So this guide to making a delicious and colorful bibimbap is for my favorite way to make it at home – dolsot bibimbap with bulgogi!
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Protein to Use
As I mentioned previously, there are many different variations of bibimbap. You can add your favorite meat, seafood, or keep it plant-based. My favorite protein to use is thinly sliced ribeye beef which I usually get from the Asian grocery store like H Mart or 99 Ranch. Thinly sliced beef loin New York (from Costco), ground beef, or chicken also work great. I featured the thinly sliced meats in my Grocery Store Favorites. I also love taking shortcuts where I can so my favorite to use for a quick weeknight meal is CJ Korean BBQ Sauce’s Bulgogi Marinade. It works great for any meat or even tofu. I usually let it marinate for about an hour or longer is ideal. If I am short on time, I’ll just let it marinate for as long as it takes me to prep the other ingredients.
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Some of the Korean ingredients I use for this are not easily accessible. A lot of times I can only find these at Asian grocery stores and I know not everyone is lucky enough to have these close by. Here are some suggestions of other common items that you might be able to find at the store instead:
- Korean bbq sauce – my favorite brand is CJ Foods. Substitute with teriyaki sauce or Google recipes for bulgogi marinades if you want to try to make it from scratch.
- Gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes – substitute with crushed red pepper flakes. Gochugaru has a more mild spice and sweet, smoky flavor. Adjust measurements as needed.
- Gochujang hot pepper paste sauce – I am currently using the Assi Brand. You can also make the sauce from scratch using gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, vinegar, and soy sauce. Combine and adjust to your liking. There are also many recipes you can find online for it.
- Gochujang – this is the one item in this guide that I would not recommend substituting. Gochujang has a flavor profile that is hard to replicate. It’s sweet, spicy, and a little funky. However if you really cannot get it, I would suggest mixing sriracha and honey (and miso paste if you are able to get it, however, places that have miso usually also have gochujang).
- Dolsot stone pot – if you don’t have a stone pot, you can replicate the sizzling crispy rice effect in a cast iron. A regular pot works as well but it’s a little more difficult to crisp up. Alternatively you can just serve everything in a bowl if you don’t care about having crispy rice.
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Beef Bulgogi Bibimbap
- ½ lb thinly sliced ribeye beef
- ¼ onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbs CJ Korean BBQ Sauce – Bulgogi Marinade
- ½ tsp sesame seeds
- ½ tsp gochugaru Korean red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 carrot, julienned
- shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 6 oz spinach
- garlic powder
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 2 eggs, sunny side up
- cucumber, sliced
- sesame seeds
- 1 green onion, sliced
- gochujang hot pepper paste sauce
- Combine all ingredients for bulgogi in a bowl. Marinate for 1 hour covered in the fridge.
- Add a drizzle of sesame oil to a pan on medium heat. Sauté and lightly season carrots, mushrooms, and spinach with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Cook the marinated beef.
- Coat a dolsot stone pot in sesame oil on medium heat.
- Add rice, egg, beef bulgogi, sautéed veggies, kimchi, cucumber, sesame seeds, green onions, and gochujang sauce.
- Keep the stone pot on medium heat for about 5 minutes so the bottom of the rice gets crispy. You should hear crackling/sizzling noises.
- Mix it well before eating and enjoy!