Bibimbap Recipe 1 - Classic Dolsot Bibimbap (with Vegetarian Vegan Option)
Looking for a nutritious meal for your family or friends? Something that would completely wow your guests?
Try this Bibimbap recipe. It's a heavenly combination of beef, flavourful vegetables cooked just right, fried egg on top and the spiciness of Korean Chilli Paste with a hint of aromatic sesame oil.
This could also be an amazing vegetarian/vegan dish if you just skip the beef and/or egg. The flavours of all the vegetables are more than enough to please your palate.
Bibimbap is not a dish for beginners though, as there are many cooking steps involved. But all the hard work is well worth it!
Also, remember that you can choose 3-4 toppings for a simpler version. Please see below for tips on how to choose toppings.
You can buy bibimbap ingredients online here.
The following is the summary of seasoning ingredients for each topping. You can also find these amounts in the cooking directions below but we thought this chart may help you see everything at once. Please note that these amounts are for the default serving of 4. The amount of salt may vary depending on the type of salt you use.
|g||salt||soy sauce||sugar||minced garlic||sesame oil||black pepper||chopped green onions||sesame seeds|
|beef||100||1 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||1 tsp||pinch||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|shiitake mushroom||50||1 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||pinch||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|gosari (fernbrake)||35||1 tbs||1/2 tsp||1 tsp||pinch||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|doraji (platycodon root)||35||1 tbs||1/2 tsp||1 tsp||pinch||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|soy bean sprout||100||1/4 - 1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|korean spring greens||100||1/8 - 1/4 tsp||1/4 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||pinch||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|spinach||100||1/8 - 1/4 tsp||1/4 tsp||1/2 tsp||1/2 tsp||pinch||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|zucchini||100||1/4 tsp||1/2 tsp||1 tsp||1 tsp||1/2 tsp|
|carrot||70||1/4 tsp||1 tsp||pinch|
Don’t be overwhelmed! You can choose a few toppings you like.
When it comes to bibimbap, there is no one original recipe. In general, classic bibimbap includes beef, soy bean sprouts namul, spinach namul, gosari (fernbrake) namul, mushrooms and carrots. But people substitute in and out with a variety of toppings, such as doraji (platycodon) namul, eggplant namul, zucchini namul, chui namul, radish and many more depending on the region and season.
When choosing toppings, consider balance in taste, texture and color.
Taste: For pleasant bitterness add toppings like doraji (platycodon root) namul, bom namul, chui namul and san namul.
For sweetness, add carrots or zucchini.
Texture: If you like a bit of a mushy texture you can add zucchini and mushrooms, whereas things like platycodon are more crunchy.
Color: You want to use a variety of colors to create a beautiful and contrasting array. (For example, if you have spinach perhaps you don't need to use two other greens. You want different colors like red, white, brown, etc.) When you arrange the ingredients, try to put contrasting colors next to each other, and similar colors as far apart as possible.
You can buy Korean dried vegetables online here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a stone bowl and where can I buy one?
“Stone Bowl” is the common North American name for the sizzling bibimbap bowl, directly translated from “Dol Sot” bibimbap. Natural stone bowls are mostly used in restaurants for the unique look, but many Koreans use ceramic stoneware at home for its ease of use and sanitary benefit. In terms of function, it performs just like natural stone. One primary example is its sizzling effect. Buy stone bowls here
Why are stone bowls so big and how many people can I serve with one stone bowl?
Stone bowls are traditionally for individual servings (meaning one bowl is for one person), though they are big. But, that doesn't mean you have to fill up the bowl to the top if you are not a big eater. Big bowls are used because it's easy to mix things up without making a mess. But then again, I could see the fully filled dolsot feeding 2-3 small eaters if people want to use it as a communal bowl.
Why can't I get the crust at the bottom?
There could be two reasons for this. ONE, you may be using the wrong type of rice. For all Korean cooking, use short grain rice. (It's also called sticky rice. Koreans and Japanese eat this type of rice). Other types of rice may not be sticky enough. Also, your rice can be cooked too dry. TWO, you may just need to leave your bowl on the stove for a longer time. It takes awhile to pre-heat the dolsot, so you probably want to leave the rice in the bowl for 10-20 min after pre-heating it. You can try to put it on medium after pre-heating, but you will have to check it frequently to prevent burning.
Not all the toppings are hot after following this recipe. Is that normal?
Traditionally, the veggies (na-mul) on bibimbap are not supposed to be hot. Na-muls are room temperature side dishes that you can also use in bibimbap. If you prefer everything to be hot, add all the topping when you pre-heat the bowl and rice and leave the whole thing on the stove on low heat for awhile, with a cover or a lid. One of our viewers suggested putting the whole thing in the oven for awhile.
Do I have to use a stone bowl for bibimbap?
No, bibimbap can be served in a regular bowl. But, it's definitely a step up in terms of taste and presentation.
Can I blanch everything at once?
There are three reasons why we blanching things separately. First, it allows you to create a killer presentation. If you mix everything up, it won't look as pretty. Secondly, ingredients get cooked at different speeds. So, you may end up with some things undercooked or others overcooked. Thirdly, when you cook things together, the flavors can be infused to create a different flavor than the intended one. However, I am not going to discourage you from experimenting and adapting the recipe to your liking. After all, cooking is a creative process!
More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comment section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.
1. Soak gosari
Soak 35g of dried gosari (fernbrake) in water for at least 3 hours. Overnight is ideal!
Soak dried gosari (fernbrake)
2. Soak doraji
Soak 35g of dried doraji (platycodon roots) in water for at least 3 hours. Overnight is ideal! Then soak in salt water for 20 min to get rid of the bitter taste (salt water step is optional).
Soak dried doraji (platycodon roots)
Soak in salt water
3. Soak and wash mushrooms
Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in sugar water (1 tbs sugar + 2 cups water) for 30 min or until they become soft. Then, wash thoroughly and squeeze all the water out. If you can get fresh Shiitake mushrooms, just wash them in cold water.
Soak in cold water
Squeeze water out
4. Wash gosari & doraji
Wash gosari and doraji twice in cold water. Drain water in a strainer.
6. Prepare garlic and green onions
Peel and mince 4-5 cloves of garlic and finely chop 3 green onions.
Mince 4-5 cloves garlic
Chop 3 green onions
7. Prepare carrot & zucchini
Peel and wash ½ carrot and ½ zucchini.
Peel & wash
Julienne 4 shiitake mushrooms, ½ carrot and ½ zucchini.
9. Prepare beef
Julienne 100g of beef and marinate with 1 teaspoon of regular soy sauce, ½ teaspoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon chopped green onions, ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds and a pinch of black pepper.
10. Blanch and remove water
Blanch bracken, platycodon roots, spinach, and Korean spring greens separately in boiling water with a pinch of salt (bracken: until soft, 10-20 min depending on how long you soaked, platycodon roots:10 min, spinach: 1 min, Korean spring greens: 1 min). Rinse in cold water and squeeze all the water out with your hands. Blanching time may vary depending on how soaked your vegetables are. As a rule of thumb, blanch until they just become soft. Don’t over cook.
Blanch in boiling water
with ⅛ teaspoon salt.
Rinse in cold water
Squeeze water out
11. Prepare soy bean sprouts
Blanch soy bean sprouts in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 5 min. Ensure the lid is closed. Otherwise, it could have unpleasant smell later. Rinse in cold water and drain water out in a strainer (don’t squeeze).
Blanch soybean sprouts
in boiling water
Rinse in cold water
Drain in strainer
12. Sauté gosari
Coat a pan with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Sauté gosari (fernbrake) with ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, for 3 min on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of gukganjang (soy sauce for soup), 1 teaspoon chopped green onions and saute for another 5-10 min until softened. If it starts to stick to the bottom, you can add a bit more water. Turn off the heat. Add a pinch of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds. *Cooking time may differ depending on how the gosari was dried and how long the gosari was soaked in water.
Sauté gosari Med Heat 3 min
Sauté Med Heat 7 min
Off heat and add
13. Sauté doraji
Sauté doraji (platycodon roots) exactly same way as bracken.
Sauté doraji Med Heat 3 min
Sauté Med Heat 7 min
Off heat and add
14. Sauté shiitake mushrooms
Sauté julienned shiitake mushrooms with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, ½ teaspoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of chopped green onions, a pinch of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds on high heat for 3 min or until cooked.
High Heat 3 min
15. Sauté carrots
Sauté carrots with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper on medium heat for 5 min or until cooked.
Med Heat 5 min
16. Sauté zucchini
Sauté zucchini with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of chopped green onions, a pinch of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds on medium heat for 3 min or until cooked.
Med Heat 3 min
17. Sauté beef
Sauté the marinated beef in vegetable oil on high heat until fully cooked (about 5 min). Stir frequently.
Sauté beef High Heat 5 min
18. Season spinach and mix
Season blanched spinach with the following and mix well with your hand: ⅛-¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of gukganjang (soy sauce for soup), ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of chopped green onions, a pinch of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Season spinach and mix
19. Season spring greens and mix
Season bom namul (spring greens) and mix exactly same way as spinach: ⅛-¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of gukganjang (soy sauce for soup), ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of chopped green onions, a pinch of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Season Korean spring greens and mix
20. Season soy bean sprouts and mix
Season soy bean sprouts with the following and mix well with your hand: ¼-½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of green onions, a pinch of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Season soy bean sprouts and mix well
21. Heat stone bowls
Coat 4 stone bowls with vegetable oil or sesame oil and place a bed of rice (short grain rice/sticky rice) at the bottom of stone bowls and leave them on LOW heat for 15-20 min (or until golden brown crust is formed at the bottom).
Coat stone bowl with oil
Place a bed of rice
Low Heat 15 min
(golden brown crust)
22. Top with ingredients
Add more rice. Top with all ingredients so that contrasting colors are beside each other. If you prefer all ingredients to be hot, add everything when you preheat the stone bowl and rice (in the previous step). You don’t have to completely fill up the bowl. Stone bowls are big so people can mix the content without making a mess. If you are a small eater, use a smaller amount of rice.
Add more rice
Top with ingredients
23. Fry eggs (optional)
Fry 4 eggs with salt and pepper and place it on top of the dish (one for each stone bowl). Eggs are optional.
Place on top
24. Serve and enjoy
Serve with gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) and sesame oil on the side. To enjoy the dish, add red chili paste and sesame oil to your liking and mix everything well. You can kick it up a notch by making a special sauce instead of plain gochujang. See bibimbap sauce or bibimbap sauce with beef for the recipes. Or you can buy Bibim Gochujang Sauce.
Serve on the side