DIY Bi Bim Bab (비빔밥)

My attempt at homemade BiBimBab (비빔밥)

Disclaimer: Please be mindful that I am not a Korean and not in any way trying to teach you guys how to cook proper Korean food. I am only sharing my version of BiBimBab I like to make. :)

I love trying out different cuisines, as well as cooking different menus. It feels like an adventure when I try to search for the perfect ingredients. I could be at the supermarket aisle, standing there for hours searching for a particular ingredient to cook a particular dish. The challenge comes in when I am trying to find something odd in a groceries store which has everything labelled in foreign language. That is why I name it "the quest for the perfect ingredients". Haha.

Anyway, I think I first had BiBimBab (비빔밥) in 2007. I have to say I did not quite like it on my first try. Having said that, I have grown to love Korean food in the past few years. Bab (밥) itself means rice / meal in Korean. However I am unsure what BiBim means. BiBimBab is basically a rice dish with a few different 'toppings', which commonly are stir-frys (veggies and meat), and drizzled with a special chilli sauce. You are supposed to mix everything in your bowl before you start eating. Sometimes, BiBimBab could be served on a hot stone bowl. In this case, it is called DolSot BiBimBab (돌솥 비빔밥).

The picture below shows what a DolSot BiBimBab looks like.
Image source: I am a food blog

I am going to share my version of homemade DIY BiBimBab. 

Recipe (serves 2):
1. Rice (1 cup);

2. 300 gr minced beef (marinated with soy sauce and sesame oil);

3. 1/2 carrot & 1/2 cucumber (julienned);
Image source: Flickr

4. 250 gr spinach (boiled);

5. 2 eggs;

6. GohChooJang (고추장) sauce / special chilli sauce;

7. Some garlic and sesame oil to stir-fry.

1. Place your rice in the rice cooker. Add more water on top of the amount that you would put in when cooking normal rice;

2. Heat the pan and add garlic along with the sesame oil. When the garlic turns golden, add the marinated minced beef. Stir fry until all of the beef are cooked and remove from heat and set aside;

3. Using the same pan, fry the eggs. When the eggs are done, remove from heat and set aside;

4. Using the same pan again, stir fry the julienned carrots. This should not take long because the surface of the carrots are cut that small, they only take a few minutes to cook thoroughly. Remove from heat when done and set them aside;

5. Boil the spinach until they are soft and drain them;

6. Arrange everything on a round bowl, by first placing the rice at the bottom of the bowl. Then place the fried egg at the center on top of the rice, and the remaining stir fried items and cucumber surrounding the egg yolk. Do the same for the other bowl (remember the recipe serves 2);

7. Once done, drizzle the special chilli sauce (GohChooJang) on top;

8. Mix well before eating.

Personal tips:
1. Ensure you add enough water when cooking rice to create the 'sticky' feel. Most Korean rice that I tried have this sticky feel (about 1/3 the texture of porridge);

2. Buy side dishes (banchan) to create a more 'complete' feel of the Korean meal;
Image source: ColumbusCrave

3. When boiling the spinach, boil them quickly (mine only took 2 minutes). When you turn off the heat, let the spinach blanch in the hot water. This will prevent the spinach from yellowing (from boiling it too long);

4. If you are using the stone bowl, you may skip the fried eggs and instead just crack an egg on top of your rice when you are about to serve the BiBimBab. However, if you are worried that you might be infected by Salmonella, opt for a safer egg method (e.g. fried / boiled);

5. Be creative and substitute or add the meat and veggies with anything you like, such as chicken or pork as opposed to beef, adding other veggies to the mix e.g. bean sprouts, enoki mushrooms, regular mushrooms, etc.

Happy eating!!

If you are going to try this recipe, let me know how you go. Don't forget to tag me on instagram and add a hashtag "ALTFDIY5" or "ALTFDIY" which stands for "a little too free DIY".

If you are interested to see other DIY posts, don't forget to follow my social media to get more updates on my new projects:
Instagram: @fragilekuromi
Youtube: alittletoofree
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