Ahh, bibimbap. Literally ‘mixed rice’, it is one of Korea’s most iconic dishes. I even enjoyed a bowl on my flight from Toronto to Seoul! It’s the ultimate in fairly healthy comfort food, and some varieties can even be enjoyed by vegetarians- a rarity among Korean main dishes.
There are numerous variations of bibimbap, but most seem to feature careful, colourful arrangements of vegetables such as sauteed spinach, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, radish, roasted seaweed, and green pumpkin (similar to zucchini), along with gochujang (spicy red pepper paste) and a fried egg on top. Seasonings generally include garlic, pepper and sesame oil. Some varieties include chicken, seafood, or beef. Jeonju bibimbap even features thinly sliced raw beef!
As per Korean norms, bibimbap is generally served with side dishes like sliced fish cakes and kimchi (The kimchi is a given. There will never not be kimchi).
How does one eat this delicious dish? It’s actually quite straightforward, as a fellow travel blogger discovered after a bit of trial and error! Add the rice and a dollop of gochujang if they’re not in your bowl already, mix it all up thoroughly, and enjoy! 🙂
Heck, bibimbap was even featured on an episode of Adventure Time! On that note, did you know that Lady Rainicorn speaks Korean?
For those interested in experimenting with Korean cooking at home, bibimbap is not terribly difficult, although all the julienning and sautéeing can be time-consuming. I still feel like the effort is worth it, unless you know a good gimbap place down the street 😉
Have you experimented with Korean cooking? How did your efforts turn out?