First off, I would like to apologize for my absence. I'm going through a re-adaptation phase in Brazil after a few years living abroad, more specifically in South Korea. Also, a few family happenings (happy, thank God!) have forced me to give a break at blogging. I had the best intentions to post every now and then while things were going crazy here, but unfortunately I couldn't make it. However, the quiet days are back and I finally managed to return. I would like to give my very sincere thanks to all who still visited my blog and left lovely comments while I was away. I will try my best to make it up to you :o)

Let's see.... where was I?.... oh.... I was saying....

I said goodbye to Korea a couple of months back, but I brought with me lots of memories from this land. It was quite an experience! The different culture is so interesting and very often, unusual. I learned to enjoy Korean food though my five year stay wasn't enough to get used to everything. One of the dishes that I was sure I would miss the most was Bibimbap. So, I brought the stone pots used for making my favorite among so many different kinds of Bibimbap, the Dolsot Bibimbap

Before I go on, for those who are not familiar, Bibimbap is a traditional Korean dish that is probably the most popular among foreigners who visit or live in Korea. It is a rice & vegetable based dish with hundreds of  variations. The different types of Bibimbap include versions with or without meat, with or without eggs, they may be served cold, hot, or piping hot, the vegetables may vary according to the seasons, and there are even the versions that include seafood.

My favorite is the "Dolsot Bibimbap". It is served piping hot (sizzling, actually) in individual stone pots that are heated on the stove top and at the bottom of the pot you will find a layer of crunchy rice to be enjoyed at the end of the meal. The rice at the bottom sort of fries in a thin layer of sesame oil which smells terrific! This kind of Bibimbap is usually served with a raw egg (or just the yolk, which I prefer) on top. As you mix the rice with all the ingredients, the heat of the pot will cook the egg through. If you enjoy eating your food very hot from start to finish, I guarantee that this one will not disappoint you, even if you are a slow eater. By the way, don't eat this dish if you are in a hurry, you will most likely burn your tongue :o)  

Just in case you are curious:

BAP = rice

BIBIM = mixed

DOLSOT = stone pot

This version doesn't have the raw egg, instead, egg pancakes that are cut into thin slices.
When Bibimbap arrives at your table, it is a neatly arranged and colorful dish. The vegetables are arranged over a "bed" of rice, all julienned and similar colors are usually positioned opposite to each other, creating harmony with the colors. In the middle, a raw egg or meat, or both. When Bibimbap is not served in a stone pot, a sunny side up egg is usually used instead. Another option for the egg is to cook a slightly beaten egg into a thin pancake and then cut it into thin strips. When I attended a cooking class in Korea to learn how to make Bibimbap, the instructor used this technique with the egg, but she cooked whites and yolks separately to make white and yellow strips, making the dish even more colorful. Live and learn :)

To eat your Bibimbap, guess what! All the beautifully arranged ingredients have to be mixed with the spoon so that the pepper sauce can be incorporated. You might not know (I didn't!) that Koreans traditionally eat rice based dishes with a spoon, not chopsticks.

Korean food is very spicy. When you live there for a while, you gradually increase the spiciness that you can bear, and when you least expect it, your standards are way beyond when it comes to "bearable heat". Red pepper in Korea is made from pure pepper pulp, no vinegary taste. It is very tasty, not just hot. The red pepper paste is going to be the base of the sauce that will season your Bibimbap so, if you enjoy spicy food this dish is for you.

The Bibimbap presented here is an adaptation from Aeri's Kitchen.

You only need a small amount of each ingredient for each serving, so adapt the amounts accordingly.

Start by marinating the meat:

1/2 cup ground beef or pork (I used pork)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1 pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients and set aside while you prepare the vegetables. After you sautée the veggies, use the same pan to sautée the meat until it is cooked through.

One of the most typical ingredients in Bibimbap is Gosari (braken). This plant can be toxic if eaten raw, so Koreans treat them with some process that makes it edible. After this process, it looks like this:

Don't worry if you can't find this ingredient for your Bibimbap, it will still turn out delicious. Moreover, I have read that this vegetable is known to contain carcinogens linked to some types of cancer. More about this HERE. So, I'm not very excited about finding it anyway.

To measure the vegetables, pick about the same amount of each one. For example, 1/2 cup of each ingredient yields about 3 or 4 servings of Bibimbap. All veggies should be julienned.
mung bean sprouts (moyashi): 
Boil some water in a sauce pan and add the mung bean sprouts. As soon as the water boils again, drain the sprouts and immediately immerse them in cold water for a few minutes to stop cooking. Drain again. Season with a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp sesame oil. 

onions, carrots, zucchini, and green onions:
Sautée the julienned vegetables, one at a time, in a pan that has been lightly greased with sesame oil, for one minute each. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside separately.

Chop the Kimchi and quickly sautée it. You can find the recipe for Kimchi HERE.

Dried seaweed:
Cut the seaweed into thin strips using kitchen scissors.

Lettuce and cucumbers:
These are used raw, julienned.

The vegetables can be substituted according to seasonal availability or your preference. Try to use a colorful selection of vegetables to make your dish more appealing and healthier. Vegetarians may omit the meat or use grilled tofu as a substitute.

If the Bibimbap is not served in a stone pot, a sunny side up egg is usually served on top. Another way to use the egg is to lightly mix it with a pinch of salt... 

...and cook in a pan as a crepe. 

Then, cut it into strips.

For Dolsot Bibimbap (in a stone pot), put a raw egg (or just the yolk) in the middle of the dish, on top of everything. The heat of the pan will cook the egg through. I have tried it with and without the egg white, I honestly prefer without.

Red pepper sauce:
3 tbsp Korean red pepper paste 
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 clove of garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and set aside. This sauce is served separately, according to each one's taste.

Korean or Japanese style rice is used for this dish. You can find the recipe HERE. You will need about 1 cup cooked rice for each serving.

Assembling the dish:
Brush some sesame oil on the bottom of the stone pot. 

Make a "bed" of rice.

Arrange the prepared vegetables, side by side, making a circle. Preferably, arrange similar colors opposite to each other. The beef can go in the middle or along with the vegetables. Finally, place the egg (or egg yolk) in the middle carefully.

Heat the pot on the stove top over medium heat. In approximately 5 minutes, it will start to sizzle. It will take about 10 minutes but depending on your stove, it may take more or less time. So, keep an eye o it, you don't want it to burn!

These stone pots usually come with a wooden plate to protect your linen and your table, and I highly recommend you use them. Handle with care, it will be very hot! There are special pliers used for removing the pot from the stove, but if you don't have one, a thick oven glove will do.

Serve with the pepper sauce (to taste) and mix everything thoroughly with a spoon. Eat directly from the pan.

Maintaining your stone pot in good shape includes NEVER using soap when cleaning. Please refer to the manufacturer's instructions.


  1. Renata! It's so nice to see you on your blog again. I'm so glad to read that everything is all right with you. I have missed your wonderful posts. And what a fantastic one to welcome your readers back.

  2. Renata!! Where have you been?? I'm always checking for your Daring Kitchen challenges and there haven't been any in months. Ooops..just read that you left South Korea and you're back in Brazil! Well...hope all is going well..and welcome back! Love Bibimbap and yours looks terrific!

  3. Reneta,

    Welcome back, Hope you settled in Brazil. I think about your absence. Your bibimbap looks delicious.

  4. Hi ^^
    I'm Aeri from Aeriskitchen.
    I'm very glad to see your korean cooking post. Your bibimbap looks amazing. :) thanks

  5. I adore bibimbap, one of my fave Korean dishes. Yours looks stunning. All the best to you with getting use to being back in Brazil, big move after 5 years abroad.


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