Bibimbap, a traditional Korean food, has been passed down from the Joseon Dynasty in the 1600s. One theory of the origin is that the Korean king had bibimbap for lunch when the royal family visited. Another is that after a ceremony for ancestors in Korean New Year, the family shared the food to pay tribute to the ancestors’ spirits. Third theory, the family made bibimbap using the rest of the food from this year and greeted the New Year with new meal. The last theory is that during farming season, the farmers had meals several times each day. It was difficult to prepare meals, so families made mixed food instead.
Whenever I visit Korean restaurants, I usually order bibimbap because it’s healthy, delicious, and fits almost anyone’s appetite. Bibimbap’s literal meaning is mixed food with rice. “Bibim” means mix and “bap” means cooked rice. We sauté each ingredient separately because ingredients need different cooking times.
Here is how to make bibimbap:
1-pound beef tri-tip, sliced thin
1 bunch spinach, steamed
1 bunch bean sprouts, steamed
4 eggs, beaten
4 cups cooked rice
1 carrot, julienned
1 zucchini, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
5 ounces mushrooms, sliced
sesame seeds, roasted
gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
Marinate beef with mixture of soy sauce, black pepper, sugar, garlic, and sesame oil. After about 30 minutes, sauté beef until well done. Put beef in a serving dish.
Mix spinach with mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and sesame oil. Remove to a serving dish.
Mix bean sprouts with salt, garlic, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
Fry eggs with vegetable oil. Flip and cook second side. Remove from the pan and slice eggs into about 3-inch lengths.
Sauté carrot with salt and vegetable oil until slightly cooked. Sauté the zucchini, red pepper, and mushrooms same way.
Make sauce by mixing ¾ cup gochujang, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon garlic, and 1 tablespoon water.
To serve, put rice in individual bowls. Have everyone top their rice with prepared ingredients, having each one in a separate part around the edge of the bowl. Put eggs in center. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Before eating, mix all ingredients together with some sauce. Enjoy beautiful colors and the delicious taste during the meal.