Hot bowl bibimbap isn’t only the best tasting vegetarian dish there is, but it’s also one of the most aesthetically appealing ones.
Usually, I roll my eyes at any main course that doesn’t have at least a little meat in it. This however, is a wonderful exception. It’s a tad spicy, very healthy and extremely fun to both make and eat! see also : Korean Omelette recipe (오무라이스)
I was out and about having an afternoon to my self when I slipped into one of those chain restaurants and ordered a bowl of bibimbap (mixed rice). Many of my friends have told me that i needed to try this. I did. I had a regular bowl of bibimbap and left unimpressed and still a bit hungary. Then after a couple more tries I found out what was missing: The hot bowl. One day, finally, this little ajumma (아줌마) asked me if I wanted the hot bowl (돌솥) or the regular. Curiously, I asked for the dol-sot and five minutes later this sizzling bowl of mixed goodness was placed in front of me and I scarfed it down in no time.
I bought a hot bowl that day on the way home and since then have been making it at home whenever I have vegetables that need eating!
Preptime: 15 minutes (if rice is already made)
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 person
What you’ll need (필요한 것):
- one hot bowl (뚝배기)
- a trivet (뚝배기받침대)
- a clamp to grab the hot bowl (뚝배기칩게)
- one small fry pan
- one small sauce pan to boil water in (only if using certain vegetables)
This is a completely improvisational dish. You can put whatever vegetables you want in it and some people even put in a bit of beef. Honestly, just use whatever is lying around but here are the general guidelines many Koreans try to follow.
You should try to use:
- 1 leafy green
- 2 vegetables of different colors
- 1 mushroom
- 1 stringy vegetable such as bean sprouts
- 1 cup cooked rice (밥)
- 1 egg (계란)
- 2 tbl soy bean oil (콩기름)
- chili pepper paste to taste (고추장)
Process (만든 방법):
- Slice all the vegetables into tiny bits about 3/4 inch long and only a couple mm wide.
- Put 1 tbl soy bean oil in the fry pan and heat until very hot.
- Lower the heat to low and saute the mushrooms and non leafy/stringy vegetables for 5 minutes. Don’t let them turn brown.
- If using bean sprouts, spinach, or similar vegetables put about 4 cups of water in the sauce pan and bring to a boil. Blanch the sprouts, spinach, etc.
- Rinse under cold water and drain.
- After the vegetables are prepared use 1 tbl of oil to coat the inside of the hot bowl.
- Place over high heat and add the rice.
- Once the rice begins to crackle, stir.
- Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Allow the rice to turn slightly brown, but be careful not to burn it!
- Add the vegetables and the egg** and cook for one minute longer.
- Using the clamp, remove the hot bowl from the stove top, put on a trivet and move to the serving table.
- Add the chili pepper paste to your desired spiciness, mix and eat!
**There are two schools of thought regarding how the egg should be served. My personal preference is shown on the main picture but I’ll teach you both ways.
(This is the much more popular way of doing it.)
- While the rice is cooking, add just a bit of oil to the fry pan and fry the egg sunny side up.
- Add the egg LAST to the bibimbap. Mix in by cutting it with your spoon or chopsticks.
Raw egg on top:
(This is my preference. Don’t worry it’ll cook in the bowl!)
- Add the egg at the same time as the sautéed vegetables.
- Put the egg in the center and after serving be sure to mix well. The bowl will cook the egg as you mix it.
- I know this looks complicated, but it’s not. There are so many schools of thought regarding this dish that the only thing that matters is what you like. The hardest part is learning when the rice is burning. That’s the kind of mistake you only make once!
- Be sure to have your vegetables completely prepared before starting the rice in the hot bowl. You won’t have to multi-task if you suddenly remember something.
- If you absolutely can’t stand spicy food you can leave out the chili pepper paste, but I wouldn’t recommend going without.
- Your bowl of bibimbap won’t look like my picture or any other picture you see on the internet. And it shouldn’t! We make these pictures to be aesthetically pleasing. Yours will look like a tossed salad with eggs and rice. I hope you brought your clean up crew because this meal is messy!
Words to Know:
뚝배기: A “Ddook-bae-gi” is a kind of stone bowl used for soups.
뚝배기받침대: “Ddook-bae-gi Pad-chim-Dae” a plastic hot-pot or trivet with handles.
뚝배기칩게: “Ddook-bae-gi Chip-gae” is a clamp used for removing stone bowls from the stove top.