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Beginner's Bibim Bap

Beginner's Bibim Bap
Los Angeles Times

Two years ago, Marc Urwand, the executive chef of the Standard hotel, added a promising item to his menu. It was bibim bap, a dish known to every Korean but very few others. Urwand thought that introducing it was worth ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours | Serves 2


  • 4 slices (1/8 pound) bulgogi beef
  • 2 tablespoons bottled bulgogi marinade
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Step 1Place the beef in a bowl, add the bulgogi marinade, cover and refrigerate, 1 hour.

Step 2Remove the beef from the marinade and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry until cooked through, 1 minute.


  • 4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon bottled bulgogi marinade
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 carrots, cut into very thin, long strips
  • 1 1/2 cups soy bean sprouts
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into very thin slices

Step 1Cook the mushrooms in the oil and the marinade in a skillet over high heat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2The spinach, carrots and soy bean sprouts need to be blanched in separate pots of boiling water. Blanch the spinach 30 seconds. Drain and squeeze dry. Blanch the carrots, 1 minute; the soybean sprouts, 30 seconds.

Step 3Cook the zucchini in boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes.


  • 2 cups short-grain rice

Step 1Wash the rice several times in cold water until the water is clear, rubbing the rice well. Drain. Place the rice in a heavy pot; add 3 cups of cold water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and steam, covered, until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.


  • 1/4 cup red pepper paste (kochujang)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Step 1Combine the red pepper paste, sesame seeds, honey, oil and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.


  • 1/2 cup bottled kimchi, cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 sheet (8-inch-square) nori seaweed, sliced into fine, thin strips
  • 1 fried egg

Step 1To assemble the bibim bap, place the hot cooked rice in a large serving bowl. The vegetables can be at room temperature. Arrange them on top of the rice in separate groups, along with the kimchi. Sprinkle with the sesame oil and sesame seeds. Arrange the beef on top and a small pile of nori strips at one side. Place the egg in the center.

Step 2Pass the sauce in a separate bowl. Add this to taste and stir it into the mixture, preferably with a long-handled Korean spoon.

Note: This is a beginner's recipe because it takes several shortcuts, such as using bottled marinade. Cook the beef just before assembling the dish. Bulgogi beef, bottled bulgogi marinade and red pepper paste are found at Korean markets. Bottled kimchi can be found in the Asian aisle of well-stocked supermarkets and at Asian markets. Nori may be labeled dried laver in Korean markets.


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