Bibimbap

Friends, it’s time for us to talk about bibimbap. Neal discovered this delicious dish while living in Korea, and Meghan discovered it while dating Neal in Boston 😉

Here’s how it all went down (for Meghan at least). While Meal was in grad school, they would typically do homework at Meghan’s school library in Harvard Square. Inevitably, they would decide they “deserved a treat” merely for doing homework, and would go sample a Harvard Square restaurant for dinner. One fine night in February 2017, we traipsed off to a restaurant that VERY SADLY HAS SINCE CLOSED DOWN, Kaju Tofu House. We’re still sad about it, but thankfully they do have another location in MA, it’s just much less convenient to where we live. Anyways, here’s what we ate on that night in 2017:

Allegedly, “bibim” means mixing various ingredients, and “bap” means rice. So bibimbap is a mixture of meat, and/or vegetables, and/or an egg over rice, topped with sesame seeds and gochujang sauce and served in a hot bowl. (At least that’s what Neal tells me, so if it’s way off please direct all complaints straight to him). To reuse my own joke, it was love at first bite.

After that night, Meal realized they could probably recreate this magic, minus the hot clay bowl part. We have had various attempts over the years since then, and have ultimately figured out a recipe that meets our personal preferences. It looks like this:

And it tastes like this (4 servings):

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 5-6 oz spinach
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 large carrot (or 2 small), grated
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • Sesame seeds for topping
  • Gochujang sauce for topping

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice.
  2. Grate the carrot and slice the cucumber. Put aside.
  3. Sauté spinach. Drizzle sesame oil over it and season with salt. Put cooked spinach aside in a bowl.
  4. Add ground beef to the same skilled. Cook until meat is done, then drain fat if necessary.
  5. Add chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the skillet with the cooked beef. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Fry eggs for however many bowls you’re making.
  7. Make bowls by adding 1/4 of the cooked rice, beef, spinach, carrots, and cucumber, and top with 1 egg per bowl. Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve with gochujang.

Notes

  • If you don’t like it too spicy, use about half of the garlic chili paste. We are spicy people 😉
  • Same idea with gochujang sauce – a little goes a long way if you’re not as spicy as us.
  • This recipe is very customizable based on meat, vegetable, etc. preferences. Choose your own adventure.