A-wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-BIBIMBAP: Mixed Rice Bowl and Korean Barbecue, or Galbi

I just realized I’m super behind on Korea posts! Stupid, because I’ve eaten almost all the Korean food. How did that happen?

There’s no time! There’s never any time! I’m so excited! I’m so excited!

Sorry- Jessie Spano moment. You know you watched Saved by the Bell, and got the reference immediately.

I won’t judge if you won’t.  Because of my slackering, two recipes for today!

We’re coming up on the new year and those pesky resolutions. If you’re planning on starting a diet and are reading to “eat the rainbow,” today’s plate would be the way to start.


Bibimbap, literally translated to mixed rice with vegetables, is Korea’s signature dish. I had not even heard of it until I started doing research for this week. Shame on me and my so-called “diversified palate.”  Somehow in these 32 years I have been excluding this Asian culinary powerhouse and my taste buds are the poorer for it.

Anyway, bibimbap is warm rice topped with sautéed vegetables, chili flakes and a fried egg or beef on top. I know I made promises to not make eggs for a while, but apparently that was a piecrust promise. Easily made, easily broken.  What can I say, the egg is incredible and edible and also coming at you next week as well. I promise you won’t hate.

I found a few recipes for bibimbap and combined the elements I liked the best from all.  One of the elements that I thought was key to giving those potentially bland sautéed vegetables tons of flavor is a Korean Saute Sauce compliments of Global Table Adventure. It was so good that I think I’m going to keep some stove side to use in all my stir frys and sautés.  So let’s start with that.

Korean Saute Sauce adapted from Global Table Adventure

½ cup sesame oil

2 TB soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 inch ginger, grated

1 scallion, finely chopped

2 TB sugar

½ tsp black pepper

Salt, to taste


1.  Put all the ingredients in a bowl and shake, rattle and roll. Done.

For the Bibimbap


(This served two girls. Girls that eat a lot, but maybe not as much as guys. How’s that for vague?)

2 cups rice, cooked (I used sticky)

1 egg per person  (fried or poached, but make sure it’s still a bit easy in the middle)

2 carrots, cut into matchsticks

2 cups bean sprouts

1 zucchini, diced

1 cup maitake mushrooms, chopped (shitakes work as well)

1 bunch kale

Kimchi, to serve, homemade or store-bought

Korean hot pepper paste, available at Korean markets


1.  Prep all the veggies and get them ready to cook.

2.  In a medium pot of boiling water, add the bean sprouts. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Scoop out and add a bit of the sauté sauce to taste. Set aside.

3.  In the same pot of water, add the carrots until just tender, 1-3 minutes. Toss with the sauce and set aside.

4.  In a large skillet, add about 1 TB of the sauté sauce.  Add the mushrooms and cook until browned.  Remove and set aside.



Check out these maitake mushrooms! I thought they were pretty cool. A find at the H-mart.

5.  Cook the zucchini and kale as directed for the ‘shrooms above in step 4.

6.  Assuming that while 2-5 was happening your rice was cooking and your eggs got a last minute fry, you’re ready to paint your plate.

7.  In a large shallow bowl or a large dinner plate, add the rice to the middle.  Then, in a clock-like pattern, lay out the mushrooms, zucchini, sprouts and carrots around the edge of the bowl.  Top with the egg. Serve with red pepper paste to taste. When ready to eat, break the yolk and twirl around the contents until everything is well mixed.


See- not your ordinary egg, right?

The second “dish” of this dish is Korean barbecue, or Galbi. It’s a simple marinate-then-broil ordeal.   It’s usually made with short ribs, but I used pre-thin-sliced beef that was on sale.   To me, this was not so much about the method or the cut of meat. Just the flavor. Lots of flavor.  Like the Beef Rendang, it was definitely a surprise, and definitely a favorite.

Recipe from Trifood



8 ribs, or about ½ pound of beef of choice (something that would cook quickly), sliced into thin strips.

½ cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup water

½ Asian pear, chopped

½ onion, chopped

1 TB minced garlic

2 TB sesame oil

½ TB ground pepper

½ TB grated ginger


1.  In a food processor or blender, add the onions, pear and ginger. Puree finely. Pour into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir.

2.  Marinate the beef for 8-10 hours or overnight.

3.  Preheat the broiler. Lay the beef strips on your broiler (or grill) in a single layer, Cook 2-3 minutes per side until cooked.

raw beef

I loved this dish, but will admit that I had trouble timing everything to be warm, so I ended up reheating a lot of the veggies right before serving. I will also say that it was a lot of steps, and if it were just me, I’m not sure it’d be worth the trouble. But I can be lazy like that.  Thank you, Fava, for saving me from myself and coming over for the feast.

That being said, I think this would be a really easy make-ahead meal to just reheat and eat later. If you do a once a week food prep like I tend to do, then this would be perfect for that.


That’s a lot of commentary on how I think this should be eaten. Time to shut up and just eat.

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