After bulgogi, this is a Korean cuisine favourite in the Feastively kitchen. It’s the perfect dish to savour any seasonal veggies. It’s packed with probiotic kimchi, lots of protein and oodles of flavour from Gochujang paste, a fermented soybean and pepper mixture. It’s traditionally cooked by sauteeing the veggies and meats and served on a bed of rice cooked in a clay pot.

I still fondly remember my time in Seoul in the middle of winter when this would be a welcome dish. If you let the veggies cool down you can still have it in summer. Imagine a barbecued steak, sliced with its juices, sitting atop the sesame coated rice alongside these delicious veggies. Mmmm my mouth’s salivating just thinking about it.

You can get gochujang at most Asian grocery stores. The pastes vary in terms of heat. I personally use the hot one and it’s really not that hot.

Make sure you use a good quality sesame oil. We need this for adding a strong sesame flavour to the dish. You’ll find these in most supermarkets in the Asian food section. I’ve used Chang’s and Yeo’s brand before and they’re both good.

Kimchi can be a tricky one. I’ve had the ones from the supermarkets but they lack the full flavour profile. Ideally, you want a strong peppery flavour with vinegary sourness. The cabbage should have become nice and tender and absorbed much of the spice. Again, you’ll be better off buying one of these from the Korean grocery stores in Melbourne CBD.

korean kimchi fermented cabbage
Image: huongnghiepaau.com

Let’s make this:

korean beef bibimbap bowl

Korean Beef Bibimbap

This is perhaps one of the better known Korean dishes after bulgogi. Take my word for it, this is not a salad. This is a heavy duty, highly nutritious hunger buster. It's made with rice, sauteed veggies, beef mince, kimchi and egg. The secret ingredient that binds all the ingredients together is Gochujang, a fermented soybean and chilli paste. You can vary the heat on this dish to your liking. Gochujang is easily available at most Asian grocery stores. Traditionally this dish is cooked in a clay pot. That's how you get sticky rice at the bottom of the pot because it's only after the rice is cooked that the other ingredients are added to the bowl. But don't worry if you don't cook with claypots, you can easily make this at home and serve it in a regular bowl.

Course Main Course
Keyword Korean Beef Bibimbap Recipe
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Calories 740 kcal
Author Harry Sekhon

Ingredients

  • 60 ml Sesame oil Try not using olive oil because it will change the flavour. Vegetable oil and canola oil are too mildly flavoured to make a difference.
  • 80 g Gojuchang paste
  • 200 g Spinach
  • 240 g Carrot
  • 12 g Garlic
  • 300 g Rice Best to use Sun rice medium grain. You can use other
  • 800 g Beef mince You can use stir fry ribbon cut. Alternatively, for a richer dish, use porterhouse steak and cook it as normal until medium rare and then slice into thin slices
  • 30 ml Dark soy sauce dark
  • 4 g Sesame seeds optional, for garnish only
  • 80 g Kimchi
  • 4 Eggs

Instructions

  1. Let's get started with prepping the carrots. Slice carrots into juliennes. If they're too tender, cut them into matchsticks. To learn how to Julienne carrots check out this Youtube video.

    carrot juliene
  2. Next, cook the rice. Add a pinch of salt to the rice as it's cooking. A good measure for cooking rice with the absorption method, to keep it nice and sticky, is 2 cups of water to a cup of rice. Cook it on a medium/low flame and never overload your pot. The weight of the rice above will squish the rice below and make it turn to mush. Generally, don't let the rice and water mixture rise above 5 centimetres.

    cooking rice with water
  3. While the rice is cooking, let's get started on the condiments that'll be served with rice. Bring a tablespoon of sesame oil up to temperature and fry the garlic until it turns light brown.  Toss carrot juliennes and stir continuously. Since the juliennes are so thin, they'll cook very fast. So stay sharp. Season with a pinch of salt. As soon as the carrots feel a little limp, remove them from the pan.

  4. Next, wilt the spinach. No need to add more oil just yet. Simply season with a pinch of salt and the heat, along with the salt, will draw out the moisture. As soon as the leaves wilt, remove them from the pan.

  5. Fry the eggs one at a time. Season with a little salt and remove after 2 minutes. You don't want the egg cooked to the point that the yolk becomes too thick. A runny yolk will nap the rice and give the dish a creamier texture. remove from pan and keep aside.

  6. Finally, lower the heat to cook the beef mince. All we'll add to the beef mince is some dark soy sauce. Spread the beef out on the pan and let it cook gently so that the beef sweats a little. This will melt the fat and make the beef nice and granular instead of chewing on tasteless lumpy bits.

  7. Assemble the bowl as shown. Rice first, then a small pour of sesame oil. Then assemble the other ingredients as shown.

    korean beef bibimbap bowl

Recipe Notes

You can use other veggies for this too such as capsicum, mung bean sprouts, turnip, zucchini, cucumber and Korean native veggies such as Fernbrake. The combinations are endless.

You could even use chicken instead of beef. Make sure you pan fry the chicken with a little garlic and soy sauce for extra flavour.

korean beef bibimbap bowl