Bibimbap – Korean Rice Bowl.

February 20, 2022

Bibimbap – Korean Rice Bowl.

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Bibimbap is a nutritious Korean mixed rice bowl recipe topped with beef, assorted vegetables, gochujang sauce, and a fried egg. 🥢

It sounds straight forward, but I am here to tell you that it’s SO much more than a simple rice dish. It’s heaven.

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Bibimbap is the perfect Sunday evening healthy meal prep dish for those busy weeknights yet satisfying enough to enjoy for a weekend date night in, when all my husband and I usually crave is greasy fatty foods like cheeseburgers and french fries (ugh, yum).

Having a build your own bibimbap station at a party, ladies’ night or wedding is also in the realm of possibilities (honestly, the possibilities are endless). The pops of colors, flavors, and textures will certainly wow your guests!

What makes this Korean mixed rice bowl – or Bibimbap Recipe – so good?

Well, first the rice gets crisped in a scorching hot dolsot (Korean stone bowl), and is then topped with:

  • Marinated ground beef
  • Honey sesame gochujang sauce
  • Pickled carrots
  • Cucumber salad
  • Seasoned spinach
  • Seasoned mung bean sprouts
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Kimchi (I use store-bought spicy King’s Kimchi)
  • Nori (I love all flavors of Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks– wasabi being my fav!)
  • Fried egg

Just imagine all those flavors and textures coming together as one; vinegary, spicy, salty, sweet, fresh, nutty, crispy, crunchy, tangy, briny, earthy. The result is an amazing umami flavor bomb that you NEED in your life asap!

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Can I make this Bibimbap Recipe Vegan or Vegetarian?

Bibimbap can absolutely be prepared vegan or vegetarian. Just substitute the beef for tofu, Beyond Beef, or your favorite vegan protein. You can skip the egg if you’d like; however, I know some of you will still want that Instagram worthy shot. 📸

I’ve got the perfect solution for you: vegan eggs! Or shall I say….Veggs. These are not my vegan egg recipes, and although I have not attempted either (recipe one, recipe two), I just love the creativity behind them; super cute, fun, and great for anyone that just wants a complete photo of their (veganized) bibimbap!

How to Make Bibimbap Ingredients – Easy Recipe Process Breakdown

Steamed Rice:

Steam four portions of rice according to package directions (check out this rice conversion chart)! I like using brown rice due to its many health benefits; however, many cooks often use short-grain white rice (sushi rice works great) as it tends to get the crispiest in the stone bowl. You could even use cauliflower rice if you’re watching your carb intake. To each their own!

Allow the rice to continue steaming in the pot for a few without removing the lid. Fluff the rice with a fork and set it aside in the pot for now. Soon, we will crisp it up in the stone bowl. 🍚

Marinated Beef:

Four simple (yet so flavorful) ingredients make up the beef marinade. Regarding the beef, I use the Simply Nature organic grass-fed ground beef from Aldi. It’s half the price of the few brands that Publix sells!

Whisk together the minced garlic, gochujang, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Gently massage the marinade into the beef with your hands; don’t overmix, or it will become tough and dense. Cover and allow the beef to marinade in the fridge. I usually leave it in there for 3+ hours, but if you’re crunched for time, thirty minutes will do!

This will give us plenty of time to prepare the rest of the Bibimbap ingredients!

Toasted Sesame Seeds:

Before we start whippin’ up the assorted Korean vegetable toppings and honey sesame gochujang sauce, let’s get the toasted sesame seeds out of the way. They are going to be used in many of the recipe components below, so it will be easier to have it prepared and ready to go!

Place five tablespoons plus one teaspoon of sesame seeds in a small pan, and toast them on medium-low heat until they begin to turn golden brown. Toasting the sesame seeds brings out their rich, nutty flavor. Cook for three to five minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Stir the sesame seeds often to avoid burning them, as the flavor will turn quite bitter. 😝

I used tri-colored sesame seeds, but you can also use the plain white/beige seeds. Either works!

Pickled Carrots:

Sweet, sour, tangy pickled carrots take this bibimbap dish to the next level! You can store any leftovers, which make great snacks or salad toppings, in mason jars for up to 3 months in the fridge.

Quick pickling any vegetable is amazingly easy. Simply bring the vinegars, water, sugar, and pickling salt to a boil, allowing the salt and sugar to dissolve. Cover the pot during this process so the liquids don’t reduce, otherwise you will not have enough pickling liquid to fill the mason jars!

Slice the scallions and mince the garlic, then evenly distribute each ingredient between the two 16 oz. wide mouth Ball mason jars.

You can use whole carrots or baby carrots. If you’re using whole carrots, peel, then slice the tops and bottoms off them so they’re (somewhat) evenly shaped. If using baby carrots, halve or quarter them lengthwise, depending on their size.

I don’t waste the tops of the whole carrots just for a clean presentation. Bentley likes to eat them! 🥕 Today he had to share with our guest, Gracie, our best friends’ Australian Shepherd. Deb and Justin’s new house is in the process of being built, so we took the whole fam in for a little while. Lucky for us, they are amazing friends, and we couldn’t get along any better! Oh, and they love to cook (and eat) just like us! We’ve gone on so many weekend trips with them that it feels quite normal to be living with them. Plus, they’ve always had their own designated bedroom at our house anyway. 😋

Now, divide the carrots and the steaming hot pickling liquid evenly between the two mason jars, cover with lids, and place them in the fridge for a bit.

Cucumber Salad (Oi Muchim):

The only cooking involved in this Korean cucumber Salad is the toasting of the sesame seeds, and yay, that’s already done!

Thinly slice your English seedless cucumbers (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick) with a mandolin slicer or knife. I like using a mandolin for this because it’s quick, easy and ensures an even slice. 🥒

The sauce is a little spicy from the gochujang (Korean chili paste); however, you can add less than two tablespoons if you wish. Everyone’s heat tolerance is different. While making the sauce for the cucumber salad; I suggest adding the gochujang in one to two teaspoons at a time and tasting in between until you’ve reached your desired spice level. Two tablespoons, which is what the recipe calls for, is equal to six teaspoons. We like it spicy in the Geiger household, so I sometimes add even more than two tablespoons!

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Give the sauce ingredients a nice even stir, then gently toss it with the sliced cucumbers. Top the Korean cucumber salad with one tablespoon of sesame seeds and some sliced scallions, and that’s that! Another step is complete.

You can cover the cucumber salad and chill it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the bibimbap.

Seasoned Spinach (Sigumchi Namul):

Ahhh the seasoned spinach; blanched, then jazzed up a bit with a few simple ingredients. Conveniently the same seasoning recipe used in the cucumber salad.

The cooking process is very quick and easy. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a little bit of salt. Add the spinach and push it down into the water with a wooden spoon so it’s fully submerged, then blanch for 30 seconds. Easy-peasy.

You’ll want to transfer the spinach to an ice bath (large bowl filled with ice and water) to stop the cooking process.

While that’s cooling for a moment, let’s prepare the nutty five-ingredient sesame oil seasoning.


You will need:

  • Sesame oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Salt
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Scallions

This sesame oil seasoning is super light and adds just the right amount of flavor to this spinach side dish. I like to allow the spinach flavor to shine, since it’s one of my favorite vegetables! ☀

Once the spinach is cooled, squeeze as much water as you can out of it. You could use your hands or place the spinach in a strainer and use the back of a wooden spoon, but I like to use a cheesecloth. It’s a lot more efficient, and just easier! I cut a piece of the cheesecloth and lay it in a bowl, put all the cooled spinach in the cheesecloth, tie it up, and then I keep wringing it until all the water is gone.

Then, transfer the spinach to your bowl with the five-ingredient sesame oil seasoning and mix it around until the spinach is evenly coated. I like to garnish the spinach with extra scallions.

The result? Another winning Korean side dish.

Seasoned Mung Bean Sprouts (Sookju Namul):

This seasoned bean sprout salad is so light and delicious! It adds a perfect fresh crunchy note to the bibimbap.

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🌻 IMPORTANT TIP: If you are considered a high-risk individual (pregnant, weakened immune system, etc.), please read this article regarding beansprouts and their potential dangers. I am not a health professional; however, I did want to share this essential information. 💚

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First, you will want to thoroughly rinse the beansprouts and discard any that appear mushy/damaged.

Bring the water and salt to a boil, blanch the beansprouts for a minute or two, then strain the bean sprouts and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

If you haven’t already made the second recipe of the sesame oil seasoning from above (sesame oil, fresh garlic, salt, toasted sesame seeds and scallions), now would be a suitable time to do so! You can also add a teaspoon or so of gochujang if you want to spice it up a bit.

Toss the drained bean sprouts with the sesame oil seasoning, and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve your bibimbap.

Seasoned Mushrooms:

As you can see, I’ve got quite a variety of mushrooms; cremini (aka belly bella), shitake, and oyster. I found a gourmet blend at Publix and figured I would try it, and it did not disappoint! You can use one or a combination of those three mushroom varieties. 🍄

These seasoned mushrooms are just as simple as the other side dishes. We loooove simple!

You can either slice or dice them. I like to do a small dice.

Now let’s keep the sesame train going and sauté the mushrooms for a few minutes in a teaspoon of sesame oil, a pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Then, stir in some fresh garlic and cook until fragrant.

Chill the mushrooms in the fridge until it’s time to eat the bibimbap.

Bibimbap Sauce (Honey Sesame Gochujang):

Combine all ingredients but the toasted sesame seeds in a mason jar. I like to warm the remaining seeds in a pan prior to adding them to the other sauce ingredients, just to hear the sizzle!

This dish really gives me simple joys of all five senses.

Shake the mason jar well before serving the honey sesame gochujang sauce. You don’t need to heat it because the stone bowl will be hot enough to do that for you. As for the amount of sauce to use for each Korean mixed bowl: however much your heart desires! Store the rest in the fridge for up to two weeks. If there is any leftover sauce, you can use it for stir fry, marinade for steak chicken or fish, Korean tacos, etc.

How to make crispy rice for Bibimbap in a Korean Stone Bowl (Dolsot) or a Cast Iron Skillet:

Korean Stone Bowl (Dolsot):

Where to buy and how to care for your dolsot:

Amazon has tons of options depending on your needs, such as this stone bowl that I have and love.

This ceramic style stone bowl is great for bibimbap as well. Unlike the bowls mentioned above, it comes with a top and is dishwasher safe (double win!!!!!)

Speaking of washing your bowls, there are important steps that you should take to properly care for them so you can have the bowls for years to come.

How to make crispy rice in a Korean stone bowl (Dolsot):

Turn the oven to 400° and place the bowls on the middle rack (before it’s pre-heated). This helps the stone bowl slowly come up to temperature and heats the entire bowl.

Evenly coat each Korean stone bowl with some sesame oil. Spread a portion of rice evenly around each bowl (you can use a wooden spoon or spatula as the bowls will be hot), then place them directly on the stove on medium-low heat.

You really can’t beat the added crunch factor from the crispy rice in this bibimbap dish. Yum!!!

How to Make Crispy Rice in a Cast Iron Skillet:

Don’t have a dolsot? A great alternative method for getting that crispy rice would be a cast iron skillet. They’re more cost-effective; however, they do take away from the authenticity of the Korean bibimbap.

The small-sized skillets would be perfect for individual servings, or you can use a large cast iron and just scoop the crispy rice into any regular bowl that you have and build your bibimbap from there.

Cook on the stove until the rice sizzles and forms a golden-brown crust. It usually takes about five minutes, depending on how moist your rice is!

The Final Bibimbap Recipe Steps:

Brown the ground beef (don’t drain the fat), fry the eggs, and slice the Nori.

Assemble each Korean mixed rice bowl by topping with your desired amount beef, one egg, Nori, assorted vegetables (don’t forget the kimchi!), and a generous amount of honey sesame gochujang sauce.

You don’t have to cut the outer edge off the egg as I did. I just didn’t want it to shadow any of the pretty vegetable toppings; plus, Bentley likes to eat the egg white. 😋🍳

Give your bibimbap a nice mix and enjoy EVERY. SINGLE. BITE. You deserve it after all that hard work. 🥢

💙💚

As always, I’d love to hear from you all! About your experience with this dish, any alterations you may have made and loved (or didn’t love), or just life and cooking in general. You can reach out via email (hello@heavenlyspiced.com), and/or stay connected with me on social media, which I have linked below.

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MORE RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

Cheesy Flatbread Pizza with Salami and Honey Goat Cheese Almond Pesto.

Blackened Chicken with Herby Lemon Cucumber Couscous Salad.


Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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bowl of bibimbap with assorted vegetables in a Korean stone bowl dolsot and brown chopsticks on grey surface

Bibimbap – Korean Mixed Rice Bowl.


  • Author: Jenna
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Bibimbap is a nutritious Korean mixed rice bowl topped with beef, assorted vegetables, gochujang sauce, and a fried egg. Big flavor in a small stone bowl.


Ingredients

Units Scale

Marinated Beef:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Pickled Carrots:

  • 2 16-ounce mason jars with lids
  • 3 cups whole or baby carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 1/4 cup scallions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

Cucumber Salad:

  • 3 cups English seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced (1/8 inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Seasoned Spinach:

  • 12 ounces baby spinach, blanched
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Seasoned Mung Bean Sprouts:

  • 2 tablespoons scallions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Sautéed Mushrooms:

  • 4 ounces mushrooms (I used a mix of cremini, oyster and shitake), sliced or diced
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Honey Sesame Gochujang Bibimbap Sauce:

  • 16ounce mason jar (optional)
  • 1/3 cup gochujang
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

Additional Ingredients:

  • Rice (sushi rice, brown rice, etc.), portion depending on preference – 3/4-1 cup cooked rice per bowl is suggested
  • Kimchi
  • Nori (Seaweed Snacks), cut into strips
  • Fried eggs (one per bowl), sunny side up
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Instructions

  1. STEAM THE RICE. Cook the rice according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. MARINATE THE BEEF. Place your beef in a large bowl. Whisk together the garlic, brown sugar, gochujang, and soy sauce. Combine the marinade mixture with the beef, cover and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  3. TOAST THE SESAME SEEDS. In a small pan on medium-low heat, toast 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Set aside. We will use the sesame seeds in several of the other steps.
  4. PICKLE THE CARROTS. In a medium pan, combine the vinegars, water, sugar, and pickling salt. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil, allowing the sugar and salt to dissolve. In the meantime, mince the garlic, slice the scallions, and cut your carrots into strips. Evenly divide the garlic, scallions, and carrots between two mason jars. Pour half the pickling liquid into each jar, tightly cover with the jar’s lids, and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble your bibimbap. These carrots can be prepared the night before if you wish.
  5. CUCUMBER SALAD. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gochujang (I use two tablespoons of gochujang, but you may want to start with 2 teaspoons and increase based on your desired spice level), garlic, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. Thinly slice the cucumbers about 1/8-1/4 inch thick and combine with the other ingredients. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. SEASONED SPINACH. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a good pinch of salt. Add the spinach and push it down into the water with a wooden spoon so it’s fully submerged, then blanch for 30 seconds. Transfer the spinach to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. While that’s cooling; in a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, and salt. Now, squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach (I used a cheesecloth, but you can also try with your hands, or with a wooden spoon and a sieve or strainer). Combine the spinach with the prepared sesame oil seasoning, cover, and refrigerate.
  7. SEASONED MUNG BEAN SPROUTS. Rinse the pot that you used for the spinach and boil some more salted water. Add the bean sprouts and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, scallions, garlic, and salt. Gently fold in the bean sprouts, cover, and place in the refrigerator.
  8. SAUTÉ MUSHROOMS. Heat the sesame oil in a small pan on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, slice or dice the mushrooms. Once the pan is hot, toss the mushrooms into the hot pan along with the salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and cook until they start to turn slightly golden; about 3-5 minutes. Add the fresh garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove the mushrooms from the heat, transfer to a small bowl, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. COMBINE HONEY SESAME GOCHUJANG SAUCE INGREDIENTS. Measure the ingredients into a mason jar with a lid, shake it up, and chill in the fridge (so simple!).
  10. CRISP THE RICE. If you’re using a dolsot (Korean Stone Bowl): Turn your oven to 400° F and place the bowls on the middle rack (before it’s pre-heated). Once pre-heated, remove the Korean stone bowls from the oven and evenly coat each with half a tablespoon of sesame oil. Spread a portion of rice evenly around each bowl (you can use a wooden spoon or spatula as the bowls will be hot), then place them directly on the stove on medium-low heat. Resist the urge to check the rice! It should crisp up and form a golden-brown crust in about 5 minutes, depending on how hot your stove is.
  11. BROWN THE BEEF. Heat the sesame oil in the pan on medium heat. Toss the beef in the pan and brown until cooked through. Don’t drain the fat.
  12. FRY THE EGGS. Sunny side up is my favorite way to serve the eggs with bibimbap, but you can cook them any way you want; or don’t cook them at all. A raw egg yolk will also work, as the Korean stone bowl is so hot that it will cook the egg.
  13. SLICE THE NORI. Cut into strips and place in a serving bowl.
  14. ASSEMBLE YOUR BIBIMBAP. We made it! Gather all your prepped ingredients (ground beef, honey sesame gochujang sauce, pickled carrots, cucumber salad, seasoned spinach, seasoned mung bean sprouts, sautéed mushrooms, kimchi, nori and fried eggs). Display each ingredient in the bowl and serve. Give a nice mix of the bowl and dig in!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Notes

 

 
 
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven, Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Korean

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