Have you ever eaten Bibimbap? (BEE-beem-bop) If not, then I’m so excited for you! You get to try something new that’s guaranteed to knock your socks off. It’s basically rice and vegetables (usually spinach, bean sprouts, carrots and mushrooms) and thinly sliced marinated beef topped with an egg prepared over easy. The steak marinade is called Bulgogi (BULL-go-ghee) which is a combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. A sauce called Gochuchang (GOH-choo-jang) paste, a spicy red pepper paste, can be poured over the top. I was introduced to Bibimbap by my cousin who traveled to Korea and brought back this tasty recipe. My husband and I have eaten Bibimbap at two restaurants around Madison, so it’s out there, even in our neck of the woods. Makes me wonder if I’m on the cutting edge of a culinary trend. Nah.
Here’s how to make Bibimbap. It’s not complicated, but it has a lot of steps.
1) The day before you want to serve Bibimbap, make the bulgogi marinade for your beef. Combine all the following ingredients in a large, resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour; overnight is even better. (This marinaded beef is delicious in its own right. I’ve served it over rice with stir fry veggies and it’s excellent.)
1 lb beef, rib eye or sirloin are best, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper.
2) On the day you want to serve Bibimbap, start by preparing the steamed white rice. Just make rice as you usually do, making enough for everyone to have a good portion.
3) While the rice is cooking, cook the meat. Heat a pan or grill on high. Remove beef from the marinade and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to compile Bibimbap.
4) At the same time as you cook the meat, saute your vegetables in a little peanut or sesame oil and season with salt. I used carrot, bean sprouts and spinach, and you can also add mushrooms; I just don’t care for them.
5) This recipe requires a lot of multi-tasking because you also have to cook the egg over easy at the same time as the veggies and beef. Or cook it earlier and keep it warm.
6) Now it’s time to put everything together. Put the rice in a large bowl or plate. Place the bulgogi (with juices) and veggies on top of the rice but lay them out separately so you can see each ingredient. Put an egg on top. Serve with the Gochuchang Paste and enjoy!
Here’s how to make the Gochuchang paste:
4 tablespoons gochuchang (available at Korean grocers – I found it at Woodman’s)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.
I hope you try Bibimbap and enjoy it!