Classic Korean Bibimbap

Classic Korean Bibimbap

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
279 Calories
9g Fat
42g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 279
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 1158mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 22mg 111%
Calcium 139mg 11%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 791mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Use this recipe to make arguably the best known Korean dish around the world: bibimbap. What makes this meal stand out? Not only is it a Korean classic, but it's also delicious, gorgeous on the plate, and easily tweaked for different palates and spice levels. That means if you're a typical American or Westerner who can't handle foods that are extremely spicy, homemade bibimbap is the dish for you since you can easily lower the spice load.

The bottom line is that if you're a true fan of Korean cuisine, you should know how to make this dish, or at least try it. Bibimbap is to Korean cuisine what apple pie is to American cuisine.  To eat, add a small amount of oil and desired amount of gochujang to your finished bowl and mix everything together with a spoon.

While optional, if you want to add meat, both raw and cooked ground meat work well.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups medium-grain Korean rice, or Japanese rice

  • 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin strips

  • 1 1/2 cups spinach, parboiled and squeezed of excess water

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided

  • 1 dash sesame seeds

  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts, parboiled and squeezed of excess water

  • 2 carrots, julienned

  • 4 shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated if dried, sliced

  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin strips

  • 1/2 pound meat, optional

  • Fried egg, optional

  • Gochujang, or red pepper paste, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Korean Bibimbap ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. To begin, you'll need to cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. If you don't want to use Korean or Japanese rice or are being health conscious, you can try brown rice instead. This will affect the flavor, of course.

    Cook rice on stove in a pot

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Next, give the cucumber strips a saltwater bath for 20 minutes.

    Add cucumber strips to saltwater

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4.  Drain the cucumber strips using a sieve.

    Drain cucumber strips

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  5. Then, season spinach with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a dash of sesame seeds.

    Season spinach with sesame oil, salt, and sesame seeds

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Season bean sprouts with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and a dash of sesame seeds.

    Season bean sprouts with sesame oil, salt, and a dash of sesame seeds

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. You'll then need to sauté the carrots with a dash of salt.

    Saute carrots with salt

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  8. Next, sauté the mushrooms with a dash of salt.

    Saute mushrooms with salt

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. After that, sauté the zucchini with a dash of salt.

    Saute zucchini with salt

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  10. Then, place the cooked rice in a large bowl and arrange vegetables on top.

    place the cooked rice in a large bowl and arrange vegetables on top

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  11. If desired, beef, egg, or both can be placed in the center.

    add egg to the bibimbap in the bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  12. Serve each helping with small bowls of gochugang and sesame oil.

    Classic Korean Bibimbap

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Recipe Variations

  • This recipe includes six vegetables, but if that's too many for your liking, you can instead make it with just three or four veggies or with whatever you happen to have in your fridge.
  • Substitute the white rice with brown rice, if desired.
  • Koreans usually eat this rice dish with some beef, but if you're not a fan of red meat, don't despair.
  • You can also top bibimbap with just an egg fried sunny-side-up. The reason this dish is so popular is that it's not only very tasty, but it's also completely versatile.

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