What are the ingredients that make up Korean Bibimbap?

korean bibimbapThe Korean Bibimbap is one of the most sought after delicacies. The term literally means “mixed rice”. Generally this dish is served with warm rice which is topped with seasoned and sautéed vegetables or namul. This is one of the most popular Korean food recipes. It is sometimes accompanied with chili pepper paste or gochujang. The first ever mention of this delicious dish was mentioned in Siuijeonseo which was a cookbook anonymously published in the 19th century. This dish soon started appealing to various palettes in Korea and soon there were many variations seen in the bibimbap which are done even today. Traditionally this involves mixing different food items which are then offered at the jesa or ancestral rite. This is done in a bowl and after the offering is made, the bibimbap is consumed by all.

One of the things that must be noted about the Korean bibimbap is that it is easily made at home with the help of steamed rice, meat and vegetables. But this is also found in more sophisticated forms in many Korean restaurants in Singapore as well. Since the 20th century, this dish became widespread in many countries including Singapore. The reason for its popularity lies in the fact that it is very easy to prepare. There can be different ways to prepare it: a more simplistic homely way and in restaurant style.

The vegetables commonly used for the Korean bibimbap are:

  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • mu (daikon)
  •  soybean sprouts
  • mushrooms
  • doraji (bellflower root)
  • gim
  •  spinach gosari (bracken fern stems)
  • zucchini,

Along with this, many use tofu which is sautéed and added to the rice. For those who prefer non-vegetarian ingredients can also add beef, chicken and seafood. The great thing about this dish is that the vegetables not only add flavor but also color which makes it all the more appetizing. After all, we eat with our eyes first and then our mouths.

As mentioned before, there are variations to Korean Bibimbap such as:

  1. Dolsot Bibimbap: This Korean food recipe is called so since it is served in a stone bowl which is steaming hot so much so that the raw egg on top of the dish is cooked against the sides of this bowl. This is a sizzler dish and one of the notable preparation methods is to coat the bottom of the bowl with sesame oil before placing the rice in it. This makes the bottom layer of the rice crispy and golden brown.
  2. Hoedeopbap Bibimbap: This is another type of bibimbap which uses raw seafood like tuna, salmon, tilapia and even octopus. The bowl must also contain any kind of meat as well. This is most popular amongst fish lovers especially in Korea and Singapore. This can also be accompanied with sliced eggs that are fried and even with meat. All of these ingredients in the Korean bibimbap are stirred slightly before eating. This dish can be served hot or cold.

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