Learn how to make world renowned Bibimbap (Korean rice and vegetable bowls) that’s even better than my favorite restaurant version! This recipe is made with beef bulgogi or shortcut Korean ground beef (other options included), your choice of veggies, and the BEST umami rich spicy Bibimbap Sauce you’re going to want to douse on everything. Although this dish has a few components, it is simple to make, the veggies can be prepped ahead and everything is served at room temperature for ZERO prep stress.
Watch How to Make Korean Bibimbap
Bibimbap can be made with anything from marinated thinly sliced beef (most popular), to Korean ground beef, chicken, turkey, pork and even shrimp! For this recipe, I’ve scaled down my Beef Bulgogi recipe that’s slightly sweet and savory and 100% stand-alone-scrumptious. It can be marinated for as little as 30 minutes while you prep the vegetables up to overnight.
Together, the vegetables used in bibimbap recipe are collectively called namul (나물). There are no right or wrong vegetables to use, as long as you choose a variety of flavors, textures and flavors. This recipe has used the most common and pantry friendly vegetables with complimentary textures:
Korean Bibimbap Sauce
FAQs About Korean Bibimbap
Bibimbap is a Korean dish made of cooked rice as its base, topped with an assortment of sautéed and seasoned vegetables, often including spinach, carrots, bean sprouts, mushrooms, and zucchini, along with a protein source like beef, tofu, or a fried egg. It’s typically served with a spicy and savory gochujang sauce, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds. The dish is known for its vibrant colors and is mixed together before eating to create a harmonious blend of textures and flavors.
Yes, Korean bibimbap can be a healthy dish as it includes a variety of vegetables, lean protein, and rice. However, the overall healthiness depends on specific ingredients and portion sizes. To make it even healthier, opt for lean protein such as chicken and minimal rice, or brown rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice instead of white rice.
Bibimbap is traditionally eaten by mixing all the ingredients together thoroughly before taking each bite. The traditional method is to use chopsticks to break the yolk in two crisscross slices, then toss the rice, meat and vegetables together with chopsticks. You can toss completely with chopsticks, or switch to a spoon to ensure everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
The most popular way to make bibimbap is with cooked ingredients, including cooked rice, sautéed and seasoned vegetables, and a cooked protein source like beef. However, the more traditional way to make bibimbap is with raw beef and a raw egg yolk – not dissimilar to French steak tartare.
No, bibimbap is not always made with beef. While beef (often in the form of bulgogi) is a common protein choice, bibimbap can also be made with other proteins like chicken, pork, or tofu, or omitted altogether for a vegetarian version. The protein selection can vary based on personal preferences and dietary restrictions.
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- 5 cups cooked white rice, preferably short grain
- 4 eggs
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
BEEF BULGOGI (See Notes for Options)
- 1/2 pound (8 oz.) beef tenderloin or top sirloin THINLY sliced across the grain – less than 1/8″ (See notes)
- 1/4 Asian/nashi pear grated on large holes (may sub sweet apple like Fuji)
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons rice wine (like Kikkoman Aji-Mirin)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Gochujang paste
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 tsp EACH ground ginger, onion powder, pepper
- vegetable or peanut oil for cooking
- 3 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 8 ounces bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
- 2 carrots sliced on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick then into batons (see photo/video)
- 2 large zucchini sliced on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick then into batons (see photo/video)
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
- 2 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
- 1 TBS+½ tsp minced garlic, divided
- 1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- Add the marinade ingredients to a shallow bowl or freezer bag and whisk to combine. Add beef and turn to coat. Cover and marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to overnight.
- Shiitake: Add mushrooms to a heat-proof bowl (like glass) and pour boiling hot water over top. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain, squeeze dry with a kitchen towel, then, then slice ¼-inch thick.
- Carrot and Zucchini: Add sliced carrots and zucchini to two separate bowls. Toss each with ¼ teaspoon salt. Let rest 20 minutes, then drain excess liquid.
- Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Bean sprouts: Add sprouts to a microwave safe bowl with a lid along with ¼ cup water. Microwave for 3 minutes to steam. Alternatively, steam in pan. Run under cool water, then drain. Squeeze dry with a kitchen towel. Return to a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds and ¼ teaspoon salt. Transfer to a large serving platter.
- Carrots: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and stir-fry until crisp-tender. Toss with ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil and ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds; remove to the platter.
- Spinach: Heat empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of water and the spinach. Cover and let steam for 1-2 minutes, until wilted. Remove the lid and stir the spinach; push to the side. Add 1 teaspoon oil to part of the empty pan. Add 1 teaspoon minced garlic to oil and sauté 30 seconds. Stir altogether with ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds; remove to the platter.
- When ready to cook, let beef sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if it’s been refrigerated.
- Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy bottom skillet. Working in batches as needed, add meat in a single layer (grabbing meat with tongs so excess marinade drips off) and let sear 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook an addition 1-2 minutes or until caramelized in spots but just cooked through. Transfer to a plate.
- Divide warmed rice between 4 bowls, then top evenly with vegetables and beef.
- Fry Eggs: Crack the eggs in separate bowls or ramekins. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches as needed, add eggs to the pan on opposite sides. Cook sunny-side up, 3 to 4 minutes, until the whites are cooked and the yolks are loose. Transfer to the bowls.
- Garnish: Sprinkle with sesame seeds, drizzle with toasted sesame oil and drizzle with Bibimbap Sauce. Stir everything together and dig in!
- Don’t NOT make this recipe because it looks complicated. The beef marinates while you prep the vegetables and each vegetable takes just minutes to cook and is seasoned simply with most of the same ingredients. Additionally, this is not a time sensitive recipe AND everything is served at room temperature, so take your time and/or start and stop as you like.
- To thinly slice beef: Wrap beef in plastic wrap and freeze 1 hour or until it is firm enough to hold shape but still soft enough to slice.
- Bulgogi Alternatives: Use the
- Notes: See post for additional information on ingredients, tips, and variations. Watch the video for exactly how to make it!
- To store and reheat: Bibimbap stores exceptionally well for 4 to 5 days, whether elements are separated or combined. Microwave assembled bibimbap bowls at 60 seconds, then at 15 second intervals as needed. The only downfall is the egg yolk will cook completely.
- Beef: can be marinated overnight, then brought to room temperature before cooking.
- Vegetables: each vegetable can be prepared and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then gently warmed in a skillet when ready to enjoy.
- Bibimbap sauce: can be whisked together up to 48 hours in advance.
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