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Jinmyo, I've noticed you've started using a photograph of bibimbap as your avatar. I read about this dish in a recent story in the LA Times' online food section. I'm wondering if bibimbap is a favourite of yours? If so, could you please explain how to make a vegetarian version?

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Certainly. To "bibim" is to "stir together" vegetable or meat toppings with boiled calrose rice ("bap"). There are innumberable varities of bibimbap but the most popular are perhaps those that use a dolsot or stone bowl which is heated on the burner until a few grains of rice dropped into it crackle. Fill the bowl about two thirds full of rice. Add kimchee, chopped scallion, deep fried tofu, some steamed greens or perhaps microgreens, some red chile powder or threads. Crack an egg on top or lay a very lightly fried egg atop. A sprinkle of gomasio is nice. You can mix gochujang chile paste into the vegetables or serve it on the side.

Carefully lift the very hot bowl and put it on the tray it was purchased with.

Now, bibim your bap.

Panchan or side dishes such as manduk (gyoza), japchae (vegetables with cellophane noodles), kimbap (maki of various kinds), and a few other kinds of kimchee such as kkakdugi (diced daikon kimchee) go nicely.

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The stone bowl or "gopdol" bibimbap is definitely my favorite. I also occassionally like the raw beef or "yookhwe" bibimbap when I'm feeling particularly klingonesque. We have no shortage of good Korean restaurants in Northern New Jersey and Queens.

For the most part, bibimbap is considered to be a homestyle Korean dish, and is usually made with leftover banchans and kimchees of various types. Its not really a dish that is made the same way each time.

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Thanks for your bibimbap guidance. I'll give it a shot. Can I make it in a regular bowl? I'd like to see how much I like bibimbap, before making the trek out to the Korean precinct to buy the proper stone bowl. Although, it's hard to imagine not liking it. With the stone bowl, does the rice on the bottom go crunchy? And do you put hot rice into the bowl, or cold? And are you supposed to leave it on the burner for long enough to heat the toppings through?

Also--sorry to have so many questions, but I've decided to go out to Korea land and do some shopping--do the bowls come only in individual serving sizes, or can you buy double-portion bowls for two? If so, which is the better option?

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Most kinds of bibimbap use regular, wide bowls.

With the dolsot, the rice goes in hot and crisps up nicely through contact with the hot stone.

You can get huge stone bowls and serve from them. That way you can pick up the bowl that you're eating from.

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Jason, do you like tteokbokgi? There seems to be no standard transliteration system for Korean, so I'll describe: Cut strings of rice cake in a chile sauce with beef or fish cake.

Wonderful stuff. Common street food sold from covered wagons.

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heather, i'm not sure where you live, but for anyone reading this---best vegetarian bibimbop in chicago metro area is at blind faith cafe in evanston. ooooh.....fried egg and all. bean sprouts, julienne carrot, steamed spinach, and sauteed seitan among other things.....ooooh. awbrig--you're in chicago. got to try it.

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Thanks for your bibimbap guidance. I'll give it a shot. Can I make it in a regular bowl? I'd like to see how much I like bibimbap, before making the trek out to the Korean precinct to buy the proper stone bowl. Although, it's hard to imagine not liking it. With the stone bowl, does the rice on the bottom go crunchy? And do you put hot rice into the bowl, or cold? And are you supposed to leave it on the burner for long enough to heat the toppings through?

Also--sorry to have so many questions, but I've decided to go out to Korea land and do some shopping--do the bowls come only in individual serving sizes, or can you buy double-portion bowls for two? If so, which is the better option?

You can do it in a regular bowl. In which case its regular bibimbap.

The hot stone bowl variant definitely makes the rice crispy at the bottom, I'm not sure if they are using room temp or hot rice in it though to make that effect. In korean homes regular bibimbap can be made with leftover reheated rice, its that kind of dish.

Basically with bibimbap, its rice on the bottom, with ground or minced beef and other condiments on the top. Go into any good korean grocery and they will have all the "banchan" or condiment/side dishes (kimchees being a sub variant of banchan) pre-prepared in small plastic containers.

banchan-1.gif

banchan-2.gif

They've probably got at least 200 varieties of banchan, ranging from hot and spicy pickled vegetables of all kinds, to mountain vegetables that are sauteed and spiced in various ways, to pickled fish and different kinds of seaweed, marinated and spicy tofus of different consistencies, you name it. Banchan is the DNA of a Korean meal. Place these in little piles on top of the rice with the beef, and presto, You Got Bibimbap. The egg yolk is optional.

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Nesita, do you know any other places in the Chicago area that serve it. I would really like to try it. No offence but, my previous experiences at The Blind Faith have been less than stellar. Maybe it has changed since I haven't been there in a long time.

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Jinmyo,

I was recently in Korea and had "bulgogi" I don't know if the spelling is correct. Is this a variation of bibimbap? Whatever it was it was I rather liked it, and can say it never tasted the same way twice.

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Jinmyo,

I was recently in Korea and had "bulgogi" I don't know if the spelling is correct.  Is this a variation of bibimbap?  Whatever it was it was I rather liked it, and can say it never tasted the same way twice.

Don't want to still Jinmyo's thunder, but she seems to be out of the building.

Bulgogi is really just Barbequed Beef. Bibimbap is a boiled rice special, mixed with vegetables, and sometimes meat.

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Jinmyo,

I was recently in Korea and had "bulgogi" I don't know if the spelling is correct.

All of the spellings you see in English are approximations of the sound of the Korean word. So, you'll see it spelled every which way, from bulgogi, to pol koki. There simply ain't no "wrong" way.

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Bibimbap, now we are talking some really good food here. I have been making bibimbap a couple times a month for years now and I don't think I ever made exactly the same thing twice.

If using meat I usually use either ground beef or thin strips of beef with a bulgogi marinade I have perfected over the years.

I also love to use sashimi style fish, especially salmaon, tuna, squid and other white fishes.

For the veggies close to anything goes,usually some type of greens, bean sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, daikon, shiitake, zucchini, broccoli rabe, burdock root, lotus root, and one of my favorites, fiddle head fern.

The veggies are always much better if they are seasoned first, most can just be blanched and then seasoned with sesame oil, salt and sesame seeds, others you can saute in sesame oils with soy sauce and sesame seeds, adding scallions and garlic if you like.

Any of the kimchis make a great addition as well.

I like it spicy so kochujang is an absolute must and I always top it with either a raw egg yolk or a fried egg with a very runny yolk.

My most recent bibimbap was with sashimi style king salmon, arugula, and julienned carrots., It is just as versatile as pasta.

I don't own the stone dishes for serving, so I serve it in just regular ceramic bowls, I use hot rice (either fresh or re heated) and let it sit for a couple minutes in the bowls to let it cool down a little.

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The first time I had it was some twenty years ago. I remember asking the waitress what "bibimbap" meant. She said, "Oh...it just means 'this and that and whatever.'" May not mean that literally, but what a great word.

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When I've made bibimbop it is the next day "use up the leftovers" meal after I've made bulgogi. When I make bulgogi at home I do take the easy way out. The asian markets around here sell the meat, usually rib-eye steak already sliced and frozen. You only need to defrost the meat to the point where you can separate the slices. I buy the bottled bulgogi marinade. After very briefly cooking the slices of meat somewhat individually in a very hot cast iron skillet, I mix all the barely cooked slices with some marinade and reheat & finish cooking in the skillet. This is served with red leaf lettuce (whole, used to wrap meat and condiments) and fermented bean paste, garlic (raw or barely cooked), and various pan chan, including: pickled daikon, beansprouts, kim chee, marinated spinach, fish cake, seaweed, etc. These are usually purchased prepared from the market, although I like to make my own spinach (mix with a little tahini and soy sauce, yum). Oh, and make A LOT of rice - I use sushi rice, but prepare it like western rice (no soaking & washing). It is just slightly sticky when prepared this way.

So, you've had this elaborate meal with lots of side dishes and you have all these bits and pieces of the meal left over. A few ounces of the meat, a variety of the veggies, I may have to make more spinach - that's usually not left over. :wink: Take one big, or several smaller soup bowls and heat them in the oven (empty). Even if you don't have the stone bowl, if you have nice thick ceramic soup bowls some of the rice will get a little crunchy. Reheat the rice in the microwave or steamer. Rub a few drops of peanut oil in the bowls (use a paper towel, they should be hot) and fill half way with rice. Then, arrange all the leftovers individually on top of the rice. They don't all have to be hot, but room temperature is preferable to cold. I heat the meat and cooked veggies, but leave the pickled & raw things cool. Top with an egg and some hot sauce serve and allow the diners to stir it themselves.

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If using meat I usually use either ground beef or thin strips of beef with a bulgogi marinade I have perfected over the years.

torakris-

Would you be willing to share your marinade recipe? I am excited to make bibimbap at home--I'd like to do the beef strip version. What cut of meat do you use? Also, do you go the raw beef method, or do you cook it?

Thanks! :rolleyes:

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If using meat I usually use either ground beef or thin strips of beef with a bulgogi marinade I have perfected over the years.

torakris-

Would you be willing to share your marinade recipe? I am excited to make bibimbap at home--I'd like to do the beef strip version. What cut of meat do you use? Also, do you go the raw beef method, or do you cook it?

Thanks! :rolleyes:

I would love to share my recipe.

Bulggogi and bukalbi marinade

makes enough for 2lbs of meat

1/2 cup soy sauce (preferably Japanese, NOT the American Kikkoman)

3 Tablespoons sugar (white granulated)

3 Tablespoons apple or nashi, grated preferably on a daikon or ginger grater

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, grated (same way as the apple)

4 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

4 Tablespoons dark sesame oil

1 Tablespoon black pepper

Mix everyhting together and add to meat, use right away or marinate a couple of hours.

I use this on any type of beef.

For ground beef use is it in bibimbap, or try wrapping it in lettuce leaves with either rice or julienned veggies such as cucmber or daikon, don't forget to add a dollop of kojuchang to the leaf as well.

If you can buy strips of meat already cut that is fine (the last time I was in the US I noticed a stirfry cut in the meat department), you can also cut your own.

If you have access to an Asian market that sells meat, look for the thinly (paper thin) cut slices. This is what I usually use.

It is also great on steaks, but my favorite is with short ribs or the ribs (I don't know what they are called in English) that are about 6 inches long, 1/2 an inch thick and have 3 half circle shaped bones. I always had a hard time finding them in Cleveland, but every store in Hawaii sells them.

These cuts are especially good on a grill, and I would definitely marinate them a couple of hours.

Enjoy!

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Wow! I am so excited I finally figured out how to use the quote function and it actually worked.

Sorry, us computer illiterates getting excited over stupid things.

Okay back to bibimbap!

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torakris, I do something much the same but use mirin and no sugar, sake or Shaoxing, and about two and a half times the black pepper.

For the fruit, I find that Fuji apples and pears work well.

Sometimes I chile it up as well.

I marinate for about four hours.

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torakris, I do something much the same but use mirin and no sugar, sake or Shaoxing, and about two and a half times the black pepper.

For the fruit, I find that Fuji apples and pears work well.

Sometimes I chile it up as well.

Thanks for pointing out the apples, Fuji is definitely my first choice, I wouldn't recommend either red delicious( too bland and mushy) or granny smith (too tart). Find a good eating apple with a nice balance of sweet and tart.

I always add chillies when making it with chicken breast, I hate bland food!

I usually double the amount of pepper myself, but i find that even 1 tablespoon freaks most people out and they end up using only about a teaspoon. It is really the black pepper that makes the dish, don't be afraid of it folks! Even at 2 Tablespoons there is only a hint of it!

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i find that even 1 tablespoon freaks most people out

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

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there is a nice sized article re Bibimbap in this months Chicago Social magazine...

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torakris & Jinmyo-

Thanks for the recipes! I will try for sure. I adore black pepper!

I have to ask--What is nashi?

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