What is Bibimbap? Is it Japanese or Korean Dish? By Grace S. L

20 09 2008

What is Bibimbap?  

Bibimbap is a  traditional korean rice dish  that are accompanied by cooked and fresh vegetables, sunny side up egg, and beef (you can also sub. for chicken or  any other meat).  

Lately, I have seen many Japanese and sushi restuarants serve bibimbap as their entree dish.  Lot of these restaurants that serve bibimbap  misinform their customers about the dish.  Bibimbap is a popular and common korean dish, not Japanese

The history of the dish is dated back to  late 1800s, the dish refrenced in Siuijeonseo (cook book compiled by Korean Royal Family cooks).  According to the book, the dish which means stir or to mix created by peasants during farming season.  During the farming season, famers did not have time to eat  a proper meal so they would get a bowl and mix all the side dishes and rice together and eat it as a meal.  At that time, the farmer would put whatever ingredients that were available to them. 

The bibimbap you see in korean restaurants today are little bit more refined.  The original dish did not accompany beef because meat was not readily available at the time. 

The traditional bibimbap recipe calls for:

Steamed white rice
Bulgogi (soy marinated beef)
1 carrot, julienned
Cooked bean sprouts, sauteed in a little sesame oil or veg. oil and seasoned with salt
Cooked spinach, sauteed in a little sesame or veg. oil and seasoned with salt
4 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced and sauteed in veg. oil and seasoned with salt
1 egg, cooked over easy
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
Soy sauce, to taste
Gochuchang Paste (korean chilli paste)

* you can use the Bulgogi recipe, given below or you can simply just stir fry some beef and use that too. 


1 pound of sliced rib eye

Marniate the meat in:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 Korean pear or Asian pear, grated with juices
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 small white onion, grated or sliced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (20-ounce) bottle lemon-lime soda, optional (recommended: Sprite or 7-Up)

1.  Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a large baking dish. Add the thinly sliced beef and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight; it is best if marinated overnight.

2. Use grill or pan to cook the beef and reserve on the side for the dish. 


When all the ingredients are prepared, do the following: 

1. Put cooked rice in large slightly shallow bowl. Place bulgogi (with juices from cooked meat) and veggies on top of rice but place separately so you can see each ingredient beautifully placed on rice. Put egg on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce.

When ready to eat, mix all ingredients together with some gochuchang paste, to taste. The bibimpap should be moist and not dry. Add more sesame oil and gochuchang paste, to taste.  

So next time when you go out to japanese restaurant and see bibimbap on the menu, you now know that it’s korean dish not japanese.




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