Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

This Korean Beef Bibimbap recipe will show you how to make the laborious, but totally worth it, beef bibimbap and the spicy, salty, slightly sweet sauce that makes it pop.

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Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce
Easy Korean Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

Introduction

I have a soft spot for Korean food. I feel like it’s an often overlooked form of Asian cuisine. And a particularly interesting and tasty one as well.

Indian food is known for its richness, spice and depth of flavour. Thai for its freshness, vibrancy and explosive flavours. Chinese food, as well, at least as we perceive it in this country, is known for its sweet and sour easy-going accessibility.

So what about Korean food? Why, at least here in the UK, aren’t we paying attention? Why don’t we know this fantastic cuisine as well as we know those of some of its neighbouring countries?

I genuinely don’t know the answer to that question. In my opinion Korean food has it all. It’s meaty, salty, spicy and still somehow surprisingly fresh. Even when everything is fried, the dishes are usually largely comprised of wonderful fresh vegetables.

I mean, how could anyone deny a love for and even fascination with the cuisine behind Kimchi? The wonderful fermented, spiced cabbage dish. And gojuchang? A complex combination of fermented soy, rice and red chilli?

How indeed.

I'm sure there are neater and tidier ways to crisp up the edges of the egg, but that is the style you're going for!
I’m sure there are neater and tidier ways to crisp up the edges of the egg, but that is the style you’re going for!

About the dish

A Bibimbap is a Korean dish made with rice, vegetables, a protein and a sauce made from gochujang and other Korean flavours.

Sometimes made with leftovers and sometimes made fresh, the dish is comprised of multiple separate components, all laid out distinctly atop a bed of rice. As such, the dish tends to be an especially beautiful one, as I hope my pictures illustrate!

The rice tends to be topped with a mix of vegetables and a protein. Most commonly beef, but vegetarian and vegan versions are increasingly common. If not in Korea, then certainly amongst the world’s growing vegan community.

The sauce is made with gochujang, a puree of fermented soy and chilli. Sugar can be added to bring out more sweetness, soy to enhance the saltiness. Sesame oil, a huge part of Korean cuisine, is usually in there somewhere as well.

Oh, and as you can probably tell, the dish is customarily topped with an egg.

Beautiful, colourful and fun, this Korean dish is really wonderful.

About this dish | Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

In this Korean beef bibimbap recipe, we’re going to cook everything from scratch. Although, if you do have any leftover bits and pieces you want to throw in, go ahead!

I won’t claim to be an expert on Korean food, but I think the general gist of this dish is using up what you have in a tasty, filling way. So if you have any leftovers hanging around, feel free to make any substitutions you desire.

In this version, the sauce will be made with gochujang, mirin, ginger paste and sesame oil. And a little brown sugar to sweeten. I’m not sure that’s strictly tradition. But I don’t think it flies in the face of tradition so much that it doesn’t fit.

Vibrant in both colour and flavour, Korean food is an often overlooked cuisine.

A quick guide | Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

Prep

Putting this dish together is a very linear process. It is, in essence, a combination of lots of disparate pieces, all cooked to serve at the same time. The dish isn’t complicated as such, but it is complex, and as such it isn’t necessarily served piping hot. So if it takes you a little while to get everything up and ready and on the plate, that’s ok, just serve it warm. And it will take you a little while!

The first thing to do is soak any dried mushrooms you might need to rehydrate. And to rinse and soak 3/4 cup of rice.

Then we’ll portion out the mangetouts, beansprouts and spinach. Those ingredients require no preparation, so as long as they’re measured out and ready to go, you’re sorted.

Next, we’ll dice up the beef and the mushrooms. They can be cooked together, so they can go into a single container at this stage.

Now we’ll peel and Julienne our carrots. Slicing them into long matchsticks.

You can even pre-crack your eggs if you like. Plating the dish is a bit of a marathon, so you might be grateful to have one less tiny thing to think about, but that’s for you to decide.

Finally, we’ll make our sauce, which is a simple matter of adding the gochujang, sugar, mirin, sesame oil and soy sauce together and heating them in a pan until the sugar has dissolved, then setting it aside.

Cook

And then we cook! The cook is a very simple, but very layered process.

Drain the rice and add it to a small pan. Submerge the rice with boiling water and then the same amount again. Simmer until the water has all evaporated, then season the rice and fluff it up a little.

While the rice is cooking, we’ll start frying off our ingredients, one by one, unless you’re using a couple of pans. I tend to advise stir frying everything except the spinach But you could boil or even steam pretty much everything but the meat and mushrooms, if you preferred. You could probably even boil or steam those, but I’d never advise it!

So, I find it best to start by cooking the things that take longest and that hold their heat for the longest time. That means the meat and mushrooms. We’ll cook them in an oiled pan with a little salt and then we’ll layer our rice across our bowl and top it with the meat, all confined to a single fifth of the bowl.

Next, it’s the carrots, which should take 5 minutes or so on a medium-high heat, followed by the mangtouts, which take 3 – 4.

Finally, we’ll cook the beansprouts in a pan in some oil, as we have everything else thus far, while we wilt the spinach in just a tiny bit of water in a second, smaller pan.

Once all the main components are done, we’ll pour a whole load of oil into the pan and drop the temperature just a little to fry our eggs. That’s how we’ll avoid the frayed edges you can see in the pictures I’ve posted. You absolutely want them to be brown and crisp, but not quite so beaten up.

The eggs will go on top of the bowl, kind of like a crown, followed by a scattering of sesame seeds and as much sauce as you fancy!

Korean Style
Korean Style

A few final things to remember

  • Use what you have. If you don’t have these exact ingredients, but you have something else that might fit, go ahead and use it. The ingredients aren’t strictly set in stone.
  • If you don’t have and can’t find gochujang, a combination of red chillies and miso paste can be used. Or even a combination of red chillies and shrimp paste. Anything with strong umami depth, lots of salt and some body, coupled with some chilli. And a bit of fermentation flavour doesn’t go a miss either!
  • Tweak the sauce as you like. The level of spice, sweetness and saltiness are there to be played with to reach your personal preference.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

Pork Satay with Carrots & Homemade Egg Noodles

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Perfect Thai Pad Prik King

Prawn Pad Thai Noodles


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Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

Easy Korean Style Beef Bibimbap with Soy & Sesame Sauce

This Korean Beef Bibimbap recipe will show you how to make the laborious, but totally worth it, beef bibimbap and the spicy, salty, slightly sweet sauce that makes it pop.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2 People

Ingredients
  

  • 200 – 300 g Beef any quick frying cut
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 cup Mangetouts
  • 1 cup Beansprouts
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup Dried Shittakke Mushrooms
  • 1 cup White Rice
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ginger Paste optional
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Oil

Instructions
 

Prep

  • Soak any dried mushrooms you might need to rehydrate for about an hour prior to cooking.
  • Rinse 3/4 cup rice until the water runs clear, then leave submerged in water to soak.
  • Portion out the mangetouts, beansprouts and spinach, all in separate bowls.
  • Dice up the beef and the mushrooms. You want them in thin strips/slices. They can be cooked together, so they can go into a single container at this stage.
  • Peel and Julienne the carrots.
  • Mix together the gochujang, sugar, mirin, sesame oil, ginger paste and soy sauce in a small pan, then heat until the sugar dissolves and set aside.

Cook

  • Drain the rice and add it to a small pan. Submerge the rice with boiling water and then the same amount again. Add salt and simmer until the water has all evaporated, then season the rice and fluff it up a little.
  • In a hot, oiled pan, fry the meat and mushrooms until cooked through, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Layer your rice around the bottom of a bowl and then layer the meat and mushrooms on top, squeezed into about a fifth of the available space!
  • Next, it’s the carrots, which should take 5 minutes or so on a medium-high heat, followed by the mangetouts, which take 3 – 4. Top up the oil each time if needs be and again, plate up atop the rice, with each component taking up about a fifth of the available space. Again, season as you cook.
  • Finally, cook the beansprouts in a pan in some oil. This will only take a couple of minutes.
  • At the same time, in a small pan with a splash of water, wilt the spinach, then plate up both atop the rice, again using about a fifth of the space each.
  • Now, add a lot of oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium, then crack your two eggs in and fry them until the edges are crisp and the tops fully cooked.
  • Layer the eggs on top and add any extra seasoning you wish, then garnish with sesame seeds and either sauce as appropriate or offer the sauce as a side to be used at the eater’s discretion!
Keyword beef, beef bibimbap, bibimbap, gochujang, korean, korean beef

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