Bibimbap

비빔밥
Rice mixed with vegetables, meat, an egg, and chili pepper paste

Today’s recipe is bibimbap, a super-popular Korean dish you might have heard about already! It’s made of a bowl of rice, sautéed and seasoned vegetables (namul: 나물), a bit of hot pepper paste (gochujang: 고추장), and usually a bit of seasoned raw beef, too (yukhoe: 육회).

Bibim (비빔) translates as “mixed,” and bap (밥) means “cooked rice,” so bibimbap literally means “mixed rice.” Before eating it you’re supposed to mix everything all together.

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There are many variations on this dish, from simple to elaborate, and this recipe I’m showing you today is for one you could consider “classic” bibimbap. If you ordered bibimbap in a Korean restaurant, you would probably get something like this dish, with regional variations. I’m also going to show you bibimbap prepared and served in a heated stone or earthenware bowl called dolsot-bibimbap (돌솥비빔밥). “Dolsot” means “stone pot” in Korean, and this version is well-known for the way the bowl makes a layer of crispy, crackling rice on the bottom of the bibimbap.

Even though we mix up bibimbap before we eat it, each ingredient needs to be prepared with care and individuality, bringing out their unique flavors, textures and colors so they come together beautifully in the bowl and deliciously in your mouth. The different ingredients aren’t random, they’re chosen because they balance, harmonize, and offset each other.

This recipe isn’t quick and easy, it takes some time to make. But if you’re really in a rush you can make a great bibimbap with the soybean sprouts, spinach, and carrot (or red bell pepper, or both), and gochujang, sesame oil, and an egg— those items are unskippable!

I’m going to share some more bibimbap recipes on my website in the future, and you’ll see how many different variations there are. This version is a little different than the version in my cookbook, because I make a quick and simple soup with the bean sprouts. When I started my YouTube channel, bibimbap was one of the first recipes I made, because it’s such an essential dish in Korean cuisine. So I’m happy to remake the video now in HD with much better editing and instruction. I’ve been building up to this video by remaking videos for the ingredients, too. I remade yukhoe, and sigeumchi-namul, and my yukagaejang video has a lot of detail about preparing the mountain vegetable fernbrake.

So if you’ve been following my videos, you’re now ready to be a bibimbap master! Ready? Let’s start!

Ingredients (serves 4)

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How to prepare dried fernbrake (gosari) for use

If you have presoaked or fresh fernbrake you can use it straight away, but if you have dried fernbrake you’ll need to get it ready to eat. It’s fast if you have a pressure cooker, but if you don’t it will take some time.

With a pressure cooker:

  1. Wash ½ ounce of dried gosari and boil it with 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse in cold water a couple of times.
  3. Drain. It should make 4 ounces.

In a pot on the stove:

  1. In a large saucepan add ½ ounce of dried gosari to 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 30 minutes. Cover and let stand until cool, about 2 to 3 hours.
  2. Rinse the fernbrake a couple of times, drain and put in a bowl. Cover with fresh cold water and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight in a cool place, changing the water 2 or 3 times during the soaking.gosari
  3. Taste the gosari: It should be soft. If it’s tough, boil it again in a fresh pot of water for about 20 minutes and then let it sit, covered, until soft.
  4. Drain. It should make 4 ounces.

Make rice

If you have a usual method for making rice or have a rice cooker, go ahead and make 5 cups of rice like you usually do. But here’s how I do it on a pot on the stove. 2 cups of dried rice makes about 5 cups of cooked rice.

  1. Rinse 2 cups of rice in cold water and scrub the wet rice with your hand. Rinse and drain until the drained water is pretty clear.
  2. Put the rice in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add 2 cups of water, cover, and soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Cook over medium high heat for 7 to 8 minutes until the surface is covered with abundant bubbles that are spluttering noisily and look like they’re about to overflow the pot. Turn the rice over a few times with a spoon and cover the pot again.
  4. Turn the heat to very low and simmer for another 10 minutes until the rice is fully cooked and fluffy. Remove from the heat.
  5. Fluff the rice with a spoon to release excess steam. Let the rice stand, covered, at room temperature to keep it warm.

Prepare and cook the ingredients for bibimbap

I like to get a big platter and then put each vegetable on it as they’re ready. I think it looks really pretty, but you don’t have to do this. When all vegetables are prepared and ready to use, the platter looks pretty delicious!

Soybean sprouts:

  1. Put the soy bean sprouts in a pot and add 4 cups water and 2 or 3 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over medium high heat. Take out the sprouts with tongs and put them into a bowl, leaving about ½ cup of sprouts in the pot with the water you used to boil them. This is the soup to serve with bibimbap later.bibimbap kongnamul
  2. In a bowl, mix the sprouts by hand with ½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Put them on the large platter.

Spinach:

  1. Cut up the blanched spinach a few times and put it in a bowl. Mix by hand with 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Cover and put it next to the soy bean sprouts on the platter.

Other fresh vegetables:

  1. Cut the carrot into matchsticks, put them in a bowl, and mix with a pinch of salt. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until sweating.bibimbap carrot
  2. Cut the red bell pepper into halves, deseed, and slice into strips. Put them in a bowl.
  3. Cut the zucchini into matchsticks and mix with ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Cut the cucumber into halves lengthwise and slice thinly crosswise. Mix with ¼ teaspoon salt.

Beef:

  1. Cut the beef into matchsticks and put them in a bowl.
  2. Mix with 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds with a spoon.bibimbap yukhoe
  3. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Mountain vegetables:

  1. Cut the fernbrake (gosari) a few times into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Put the bellflower roots (doraji) in a large bowl. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons salt. Rub for a minute to wilt slightly and release some of the bitterness. Rinse them in cold water a couple of times and drain. If you find some roots are too thick, split them lengthwise. Set aside.

Let’s cook!

  1. Heat up a pan over medium high heat. Squeeze out excess water from the carrot. Add a few drops of cooking oil to the pan and sauté the carrot for 1 minute. Put it on the platter next to the soy bean sprouts and spinach. Clean the pan with wet paper towel or wash it.
  2. Heat a few drops of cooking oil in the pan and squeeze out the excess water from the cucumber. Sauté with ½ teaspoon minced garlic and a few drops of sesame oil for 30 seconds. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.
  3. Heat up the pan with a few drops of cooking oil. Add the red bell pepper and sprinkle a pinch of salt over top. Sauté for 30 seconds. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.
  4. Heat up the pan and squeeze out excess water from the zucchini. Add a few drops of cooking oil and sauté with 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, a drop of sesame oil for 1 minute until slightly softened. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.
  5. Heat up the pan with a few drops of cooking oil. Add the bellflower roots and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium so as not to brown them. Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic and a drop of sesame oil. Stir for another minute until a little softened. Put it on the platter. Clean the pan.bellflower root (doraji)
  6. Heat up the pan. Add a few drops of cooking oil. Stir the gosari for 2 minutes until a little softened. Add ½  teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sugar, and keep stirring for another minute. Put it on the platter.

bibimbap vegetables

Serve

Here are a couple of ways to serve: bibimbap in a regular, shallow bowl, and dolsot-bibimbap in a stone or earthenware bowl.

In a regular, shallow bowl

  1. Reheat the soybean sprout soup.soup
  2. Divide the cooked rice into 4 portions. Each portion will be a little more than 1 cup of rice.
  3. Put the rice in each of 4 bowls and arrange the vegetables and beef on the rice. Top with the egg yolk and gochujang. If you prefer your eggs and beef cooked, make sunny side up eggs and slightly pan-fry the beef before putting them on the top of rice.
  4. Sprinkle the bibimbap with the sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup to a small bowl and sprinkle some chopped green onion over top.
  6. Serve right away with more hot pepper paste on the side.bibimbap

Dolsot-bibimbap in an earthenware bowl (ttukbaegi) or stone pot (dolsot)

  1. Reheat the soybean sprout soup.
  2. Put a few drops of sesame oil in the bottom of each of 4 earthenware bowls. They should be big enough to hold 4 to 6 cups each.
  3. Divide the rice among the bowls. Arrange the vegetables and beef on the rice. Top each serving with an egg yolk and 1 tablespoon gochujang. If you prefer your eggs and beef cooked, make sunny side up eggs and slightly pan-fry the beef before putting them on the top of rice.
  4. Set each pot on a burner. Heat over medium high heat until you hear a ticking, crackling sound coming from the rice.dolsot-bibimbap
  5. Sprinkle the bibimbap with the sesame seeds, drizzle with sesame oil to taste.
  6. Ladle the soup to a small bowl and sprinkle some chopped green onion over top.
  7. Serve right away with more hot pepper paste on the side.gochujang

Eat

  1. Gently but firmly mix everything together in the bowl with your spoon. Try not to crush the more delicate ingredients.bibimbap mixing
  2. Eat with your spoon.

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370 Comments:

  1. jpb123 usa joined 8/11
    Posted September 5th, 2013 at 1:08 pm | # |

    Quick question!! Do you think it will taste okay if I use brown rice instead?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 4th, 2014 at 11:17 am | # |

      Yes, it will still be delicious!

  2. chris330 chicago joined 8/13
    Posted August 8th, 2013 at 3:28 pm | # |

    Made this the other night and it was a huge success (and this was my first experience with Korean cooking)! I didn’t have Kosari, but even without it the dish still turned out well.
    Thanks for the easy to follow directions.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 9th, 2013 at 11:17 am | # |

      Your “huge success” is my success, too! Cheers! yes, without gosari, it will still be delicious!

      • Cactus_Pear Leesville, LA joined 1/14
        Posted January 3rd, 2014 at 11:19 pm | # |

        I can’t figure out how to make my own post, but I wanted to let you know I made this for work and it was a huge success! Everyone loved it

  3. Alice Kaye New Jersey joined 7/13
    Posted July 9th, 2013 at 3:32 pm | # |

    When you say “ts”, do you mean table spoon or teaspoon?

    In the US, we use tbsp=table spoon or tsp=teaspoon. Just want to make sure I don’t put too much in! Thanks! :)

    • Alice Kaye New Jersey joined 7/13
      Posted July 9th, 2013 at 3:42 pm | # |

      Nevermind! I realized as I read down further, it was teaspoon and that you wrote tbs for tablespoon. Haha. Thank you anyway! :) Cannot wait to try this out.

  4. marmalademiki joined 2/09
    Posted June 14th, 2013 at 8:43 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi –

    I bought the already boiled kosari. I left it in the fridge for a week – is it still good to use now? Thanks

  5. 196flavors Beverly Hills, CA joined 6/13
    Posted June 8th, 2013 at 9:37 pm | # |

    Over the past year, bibimbap has become one of my favorite recipes! It was one of the first dishes I made for our “cooking around the world” blog : http://www.196flavors.com/2012/11/04/south-korea-dolsot-bibimbap/

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 9th, 2013 at 8:09 am | # |

      Your dolsotbibimbap looks very beautiful and tasty!

  6. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09
    Posted April 12th, 2013 at 10:09 pm | # |

    Hai eonni,

    I want to make this recipes, but I have a problem with some of the ingredient. But before I ask you, I think I should read the comment above, and I found the answer before I ask you…. Hehehe…. My problem is : hot pepper paste – solved, kosari – solved.

    Thank you for the other readers question!

    Love you Maangchi eonni!

  7. Fujia GERMANY joined 7/12
    Posted February 28th, 2013 at 7:26 am | # |

    After a long time I made Bibimbap one more time, but this time I made photo to show you!
    Thank you so much for the recipe. I always, wenn I look a new Drama, want to eat something like I see in the movie. Really apprecciate your efford and your strong to do all these dish to show all of us.
    Have a very bright day.

  8. acjacjac Sanford, NC joined 1/13
    Posted February 4th, 2013 at 11:05 am | # |

    I am so excited to make this! Ive been craving this…

  9. Lakapati Manila, Philippines joined 1/13
    Posted January 24th, 2013 at 8:20 pm | # |

    Thank you for this recipe, it was my inspiration. I made a vegetarian version of your bibimbap last night and used coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce) and coconut sugar (instead of white sugar) and brown rice. Who knew it was so easy? :)

    • lfxx Taubaté - SP / Brazil joined 1/14
      Posted January 11th, 2014 at 2:29 am | # |

      OMG! Can you please give your version of this recipe? <3

  10. sohngj Seattle, WA joined 12/12
    Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 1:26 am | # |

    Sometimes, my family makes bibimbap, but instead of gochujang paste,they just add leftover dwenjang jigae. Is this normal? Have you heard of this before?

  11. R Australia joined 1/13
    Posted January 1st, 2013 at 9:23 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi, thank you for a very informative blog and recipes! It actually got me interested in cooking cause I’m not a very cook person. Anyways, I have been so interested in Korean culture and keep up the fantastic work. I really appreciate it! Greetings from Australia :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 12:06 am | # |

      ” I’m not a very cook person” : ) Good luck with your Korean cooking this year 2013!

  12. Fujia GERMANY joined 7/12
    Posted December 12th, 2012 at 7:14 am | # |

    Dear Maangchi, today I made the best Bibimbap ever!
    I’m so tankfull! You’re the best. You made it simple and I like it very why I’ve every day only a little time for myself. After work I’m to tired to do what I want, this way today I take a free day and make Bibimbap for all my family.
    Thank you very much, Maangchi.
    I wish you a very wonderful day.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 3rd, 2013 at 12:07 am | # |

      wow, I’d like to see what your bibimbap looks like! Cheers!

  13. ladycook United States joined 1/12
    Posted December 10th, 2012 at 9:32 pm | # |

    can you make a new video for this recipe. I try watching it on my tab and phone but its too low on quality hence its really blurry to watch. i would really appreciate it. thank you.

  14. TCanam Nova Scotia joined 10/12
    Posted October 13th, 2012 at 9:52 am | # |

    Hi! I also have a question about the stone bowl. Do you heat it on the stovetop? Medium heat or higher? I know you oil the bowl before putting the rice in. How do you keep the oil from burning before you add the rice? Do you add the oil at the last minute before the rice? I like my bowl really hot so it makes the rice crispy:) Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 14th, 2012 at 10:11 am | # |

      I usually heat it over medium heat, and I never have a problem with the oil burning before adding the rice.

      • Pepper_corn Philippines joined 10/12
        Posted October 24th, 2012 at 11:08 am | # |

        Hi maangchi I’m really glad to find your website. I really love Korean food.
        I always try to find cook book but watching you from You Tube is really awesome.
        Now I can cook Korean food and serve it to guest at home. Thanks to you. Good luck!

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted October 25th, 2012 at 7:27 am | # |

          Thank you very much for your interest in my recipes. Happy cooking!

  15. Myao USA joined 6/12
    Posted July 9th, 2012 at 12:54 am | # |

    Ooh Maangchi, I’m so full! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to move again… Your bibimbap was so tasty! It was easy to adapt to my vegetarian diet, and it was so quick to make! Even though I only made enough for one bowl, I could only get through a third before I was done. Healthy and good for staying slim! I think I’ll be making this all the time. :D My favorite part? The shitake mushrooms in sugar and soy sauce! Mmn!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 14th, 2012 at 10:11 am | # |

      Congratulation!
      Your vegetarian version sounds interesting and delicious.

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