Bibimbap is goodness and comfort in a bowl

Korean bibimbap is a mixed rice bowl that’s a simple, tasty way to use up your veggies with maximum flavour.

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 10 mins
  • COOKING TIME: 10 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy
  • PERFECT FOR: midweek meal

Korean bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl

It’s perfect to adapt to a vegetarian version for those ‘meat-free Mondays’.

Not only that, bibimbap helps take care of any of those veggies that have been a little neglected in the fridge.

And can be used up in this dish making a super tasty meal ensuring no food waste.

Something we all need to make sure we’re getting better at with food waste being a huge contributor to climate change.

What is bibimbap?

Bibimbap is a popular Korean dish and literally means ‘mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables’.

It has one of my new favourite Korean spice pastes, gochujang, to give it that wonderful soul warming flavour.

You can really make it up as you go with the veggies you have in your fridge.

But it’s nice to mix up some flavours and textures.

And if you’re daring, add an egg to give it a more authentic vibe.

Although a more authentic version is often served as in a dolsot (stone bowl).

Which is served in a piping hot stone bowl that will continue to cook the rice and a raw egg once you mix it in.

However, this version is just using cooked ingredients.

Korean bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl

It does what it says on the can.

A Korean bibimbap mixed rice bowl which you load up with lovely veggies and in this case marinated beef.

Korean bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl

Korean bibimbap mixed rice bowl elements

Three traditional components for bibimbap include:

  1. Rice – White rice 
  2. A sunny-side up egg – Break the yolk and mix it into the bowl to create a sauce-like coating for the rice and veggies. You can skip the egg, or replace it with tofu 
  3. Gochujang sauce –Spicy, sweet gochujang paste – a fermented red pepper paste that is worth tracking down easily online or major supermarkets often have it.


A number of ideas to play with but it’s up to you and your fridge.

  • Cucumber –sliced thinly and marinate it with rice vinegar and sesame oil
  • Bean sprouts – Lightly blanched, they add a delicious crunch to this bowl – or check out a little recipe below, for a bit more flavour.
  • Julienne carrots –(cut into thin batons) sauté them in sesame oil for a nutty flavour but make sure to keep the crunch.
  • Shiitake mushrooms – sauté them in a little tamari (soy sauce) and rice vinegar.
  • Spinach – sauté in a little sesame oil and tamari for a nutty, toasty flavour. (*squeeze the excess liquid out of the spinach after you cook it so that your bibimbap isn’t watery). Or check out a recipe below for another version.

Building your Korean bibimbap bowl

Start by cooking the rice.

Then you can crack on with the sauce and prep the veggies.

  1. cut then cucumber and marinate.
  2. blanch the bean sprouts
  3. sauté the carrots, mushrooms, and spinach.
  4. cook the eggs.

Now assemble each bowl:

  1. Load the base with cooked rice, and top it with the egg.
  2. Place the vegetables in sections around the perimeter of the bowl, surrounding the egg, and drizzle with the gochujang sauce.
  3. Then, you break the egg yolk and mix everything together. The runny egg yolk and sauce will combine to coat the rice and veggies, making it really flavourful.


I love kimchi (find a fab recipe, here for a simple kimchi broth) so add that alongside. With sliced green onions and more spicy gochujang sauce.

Korean bibimbap extra recipes

I discovered a couple of extra recipes from My Korean Kitchen which I thought were nice to add to the bibimbap.

But also could be used on a separate occasion for some fresh, tasty sides.

1. Korean style bean sprout salad

  • Cook time: 10 mins
  • Serves: 4


  • 350 g fresh mung bean sprouts (0.8 pounds)
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt – to add to the water
  • 6 cups of water to boil

Seasoning sauce

  • 1 tsp finely chopped spring onion/scallion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt , you can adjust the amount of salt per your requirement
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


  1. Rinse the mung bean sprouts in cold water.
  2. Boil the water in a pot and add the salt. Once the water starts to boil, plunge the mung bean sprouts into the pot and leave them for 1-2 mins.
  3. Drain the water and run cold water on the sprouts for 1-2 mins.
  4. Squeeze the mung bean sprouts with your hands to remove excess water. Put the mung bean sprouts into a mixing bowl and add the seasoning sauce and mix well.
  5. Serve.

2. Korean spinach salad

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins


  • 250 g English spinach or baby spinach
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, to add to the water
  • Water to boil

Seasoning sauce

  • 1 tsp green onion , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil


  1. Trim the spinach roots (if any) and wash the spinach.
  2. Boil the water in a sauce pan for 5 to 7 mins. Add the salt (1 tsp). Once the water starts to boil, plunge the spinach into the pot and leave it for 30 secs.
  3. Drain the boiled water away and run cold water on the spinach for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Squeeze the spinach to remove excess water.
  5. Cut the spinach into 2-3 pieces with a knife. (If you are using baby spinach, you can skip this step.)
  6. Add the seasoning sauce and mix well.
  7. Serve

Korean Bibimbap. Mixed rice bowl

Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Keyword Asian, bibimbap, hearty meal, Korean, Rice bowl
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinade beef 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people
Cost £


For the beef marinade

  • 300 g beef mince (Veggie version; switch for tofu)
  • 21/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp roasted sesame seed oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 3 spring onions, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 400 g short-grain white rice

For the gochujang sauce

  • 3 tbsp gochujang chilli paste (buy in Asian section at supermarket or online)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sugar or maple syrup

For the toppings

  • 150 g carrots, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cucumber halved lengthways, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 150 g bean sprouts
  • roasted sesame seed oil to season
  • soy sauce to season
  • sunflower or vegetable oil to fry
  • 200 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 300 g spinach
  • dried seaweed Optional
  • 4 eggs
  • toasted sesame seeds to serve


Gochujang sauce

  • Start by making the gochujang sauce in a bowl, then set aside.

Beef marinade

  • In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the beef marinade, then add the beef, cover and set aside for 30-60 mins.


  • Cook the rice according to the packet instructions, then set aside and keep warm.


  • In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil and blanch (cook for approx 1min) your sliced carrots, cucumber and bean sprouts. Keep them separate each time.
    When you remove each vegetable (using a slotted spoon) drain fully and season each with ½ a tsp of roasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil and stir-fry the mushrooms for 4 mins until softened. Remove from the pan and season with ½ a tsp of roasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce.
    Using the same pan, add the spinach and sprinkle over 2 tsp of water and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring, until it's wilted.
    Then remove the spinach, squeeze out any excess water and season as before with ½ teaspoon of roasted sesame seed oil and soy sauce. Set aside with the other veggies.


  • In the same pan again, add the marinated beef.
    Stir-fry over high heat for 3-5 mins, until the sauce has reduced and the meat is cooked.

Egg (optional)

  • In a clean frying pan, fry the eggs.

Assemble your bibimbap

  • To serve:
    Add the rice as the base.
    Place 1 egg onto the centre of the rice.
    Arrange the vegetables and meat around it.
    Sprinkle some sesame seeds.
    Add a couple of spoonfuls of gochujang sauce.
    And to eat, mix everything together including breaking the yolk.
    Add more gochujang sauce to taste.


recipe inspired by: The Guardian