As a kid, bibimbap was a household staple. I ate it like once a week with whatever banchan (side dishes) were left over in the refrigerator! I hadn't made it in a really long time and one day when I did make it for my husband for the first time (after four years of marriage), his response was "You've been holding out on me! Why haven't you made this for me before?!?!" I didn't realize the reason why my husband (who is Chinese) didn't like to order bibimbap at restaurants was because it is always DRY. I just thought he didn't like it! The key to smooth and creamy bibimbap is the raw egg that you mix in with the HOT (just cooked) rice to make the bibimbap oh so deliciously creamy. The egg will slowly cook as you mix the egg into the hot and steamy rice. Remember, you HAVE to use rice that just finished cooking, otherwise, the egg won't cook as you're mixing it in the rice (and most likely not safe to eat). Cooking tip - make the spinach, squash, and mung bean sprout banchan ahead of time! I usually make it a day or two before and just microwave it for about a minute before mixing it with the rice and bulgogi. You can also add small pieces of GOOD kimchi (it has to be good) and some of it's juice to add some extra spice! Hope you enjoy! —Sarah D
Italian squash (Koreans usually use grey squash, but Italian squash is cheaper)
mung bean sprouts
green onion, chopped and divided equally into 3 parts
fish sauce (use three crab brand)
sesame seeds, divided equally into two parts
salt, divided equally into two parts
Bulgogi and mixing the bibimbap!
rice (make sure it's finished cooking when you're ready to assemble the bibimbap). This should be about 8 cups of COOKED rice.
Spinach Banchan - clean and rinse the spinach thoroughly, cutting off any dirty ends. I rinse the spinach about three times to remove the dirt.
Boil a pot of water and when the water is boiling, blanch the spinach for about 30 seconds.
Remove the spinach quickly and rinse under cold water about three times. Gently squeeze the water out of the spinach (make it into a ball, to easily remove the water) and place in a bowl. Cut up the spinach to make it easier to eat using scissors.
Spinach marinade - mix 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds, and 1/4 cup of green onions in a small bowl.
Mix the spinach marinade with the spinach by hand and set aside.
Mung Bean Sprout Banchan - clean and rinse the mung bean sprouts.
Boil 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of salt with the sprouts for 7 to 8 minutes over MEDIUM heat. While cooking the sprouts, prepare the marinade. Drain the sprouts and set aside.
Mung Bean Sprout Marinade - mix 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1.5 tablespoons of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, and 1/4 cup of green onion all in a small bowl. Then add to the sprouts and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
Squash Banchan - cut up Italian squash at about 1/4 inch slices and mix 1 teaspoon of salt to the squash. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Squeeze out any moisture from the squash using a paper towel. Then heat about 5 tablespoons sesame oil in a pot for about a minute on medium heat.
Add the squash into the pot and cook on medium heat for a minute. Add 2 tablespoons of garlic, 1/4 cup of green onion and cooked until the squash is soft. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds.
Bulgogi and mixing the bibimbap!
Cook bulgogi for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat. Remove the bulgogi from the excess liquid in the pan and set aside in a bowl. Cut the bulgogi into small pieces to make it easier to eat using scissors.
Take the rice that just finished cooking and mix it with one RAW egg. The egg will cook and make the rice really smooth and creamy. The raw egg is what makes all the difference!
Add cooked bulgogi, sesame oil, and gochujang to the rice and mix thoroughly. If you like your bibimbap spicy, then add MORE gochujang. I usually add about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of gochujang because my family has a high tolerance for spicy foods.
If you've pre-made the spinach, mung bean sprouts, and squash banchan, heat in the microwave for about a minute each. REMOVE any excess liquid from the banchans and then mix with the rice and bulgogi thoroughly.
Divide into 8 bowls and fry the eggs (with yolk still runny) and place on top of each bibimbap bowl. Sprinkle salt over the egg and serve. Optional - Garnish with thinly sliced dried seaweed and some minced green onions.