How to make Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice and Vegetables)
Bibimbap is one of my favorites so I recently decided to try to make it myself. I first tried it at a little Korean restaurant about 20 years ago in South Oakland, Pittsburgh when I went to the University of Pittsburgh for my undergrad degree. The restaurant was called “Winners”. There was an entrance that was sort of obscure where you had to walk down a stairwell that went into the basement restaurant. My friend Dave and I would go there and always order bibimbap and cover it in hot sauce while we drank roasted barley hot tea. I have such fond memories of that place that it made me a little sad to see Winners got only 2 & 1/2 stars on Yelp but on the other hand, I have to admit, the comments are sort of true from my memory. It was a crazy little dungeon-like place, that sold a lot of malt liquor “40′s” but still, I thought the food was great. Please let me know if you have ever been to Winners. (Dave are you out there?) Send me a photo of Winners in South Oakland! I can’t find one anywhere!
Winners was a fond memory but now the Korean Restaurant that I have been going to for almost the past 10 years is called “Spring Garden, Korean Japanese Restaurant” located at 5 South 35 Street, Camp Hill, Pa 17011. The food there is really good. They got 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp but I would give them a 5. It isn’t a fancy place but the food is really good and the owners are very nice and always ask me about my family. I think they are a husband and wife and I think it’s one of their mothers who helps.
Since I live little farther away from Spring Garden than I used to, I decided to try to make bibimbap at home. I found recipes on the web and incorporated a few of them into one to make my first batch of bibimbap.
Bi bim means “mixed,” while bap means “rice.” Bibimbap (pronounced bee-beem-bahp) (also called bibimba, bibimbop, bibimbab or b-bop) is a typical Korean meal. The meal consists of a bowl of steamed white rice topped with vegetables, beef or tofu or chicken, an egg, and kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste).
How to make Bibimbap:
- 1/2 to 1 cups of rice per person (I used Jasmine rice)
- 2 cups of fresh bean sprouts
- a bunch of fresh spinach
- 2 small zucchinis
- 7-9 Shiitake Mushrooms caps
- 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 egg per person
- soy sauce, kochujang (Korean chili pepper paste), garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil and vegetable oil
- Prepare the rice in a rice cooker or a stainless pot.
- Prepare a tray to put all of your ingredients on.
- Rinse the bean sprouts and put them in a pot with a cup of water. Add 1 ts of salt and cook for 10 minutes. Drain water and mix bean sprouts with 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Put it on the tray.
- Put the spinach in a pot of boiling water and stir it for a minute. Then rinse it in cold water a few times and squeeze out excess water with both hands. Mix it with a pinch of salt, 1 ts of soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds. Put it on the tray.
- Cut 2 small size zucchinis into thin strips, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and mix together. A few minutes later, sauté them with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a pan over high heat. When it’s cooked, it will look a little translucent. Put it on the tray.
- Slice shitake mushroom caps into strips, about 5-6 pieces per mushroom and sauté with 1 ts of vegetable oil. Add 2 ts of soy sauce and 1 or 2 ts of sugar and stir it for 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and put it on the tray.
- Mix ground beef with 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbs of soy sauce, 1/2 tbs of sugar, a little grounded black pepper. Put in refrigerator covered for 30 minutes to flavor beef. Heat frying pan, add some vegetable oil and cook thoroughly. Once it is cooked add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and Put it on the tray.
- Peel and slice carrots into thin strips, sauté it in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil for 30 seconds and put it on the tray.
- Pour 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan and heat egg with sunny side up. Leave the yolk runny.
- Put rice in a big bowl, and attractively display all your vegetables and meat. Place the sunny side up egg on the center.
- Serve it with sesame oil and hot pepper paste.
- Stir it all up to eat!
The ingredients above are typical bibimbap ingredients but there is really no fixed ingredient list. There are a variety of alternative ingredients that are used such as:
daikon radish, cucumber, fern brakes (kosari), white mushrooms, salmon, tofu, chicken, kimchi, okra, bulgogi, lettuce, red bell peppers.