Easy 45-minute bibimbap (Korean mixed rice bowl)
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Easy 45-minute bibimbap (Korean mixed rice bowl)


Susan says

Bibimbap - a Korean rice bowl topped with vegetables, some type of protein and a spicy sauce - is wonderfully versatile.

If you have a Korean market near you, you can buy the vegetable toppings - whatever you like, because there's no rule as to which ones you need for the dish, although they should be a good mix of colours and textures.

The protein can be meat, seafood, mushrooms or tofu, or even just a fried or poached egg, cooked so the yolk is still runny. The only constants are the rice (it should be Korean or Japanese short-grained rice) and the seasoned sauce, which is made with gochujang (Korean chilli paste).

Korean zucchini has a smoother skin and more delicate texture than Italian zucchini. If you can't find it, substitute yellow-skinned summer squash.


600-800g (21oz to 28oz)
cooked Japanese or Korean rice
100g (3½oz)
bean sprouts
Korean zucchini
200g (7oz)
spinach leaves
150g (5⅓oz)
carrot, peeled
200g (7oz)
flank steak or another cut of tender boneless beef
25ml (5tsp)
cooking oil, divided
garlic clove, peeled, divided
15ml (1tbsp)
soy sauce, divided
granulated sugar
salt, as necessary
sesame oil, divided
toasted sesame seeds
For the sauce
80g (2⅔oz)
gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
10ml (2tsp)
sesame oil
5ml (1tsp)
soy sauce
garlic clove, minced

Cut the beef across the grain into strips about 5cm (2in) long and 5mm (¼in) thick. Season with 2 tsp soy sauce,  ¼tsp sugar, ½tsp of sesame oil and a little salt, and leave to marinate while preparing the other ingredients.


Thoroughly rinse the spinach leaves.


Bring a medium-size pan of water to the boil, add the bean sprouts and cook for about one minute, or until they start to wilt. Use a shallow sieve to scoop the bean sprouts from the water then drain them thoroughly and squeeze out as much water as possible. Bring the same pan of water to the boil, add the spinach leaves and cook for about 10 seconds, or just until the leaves wilt. Scoop the spinach from the pan, rinse with cold water and drain again. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach.


Julienne the carrot. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into halves or quarters (depending on the diameter) then slice about 3mm (⅛in) thick. Finely mince the garlic clove.


Heat a skillet, add 1tsp of cooking oil and half a clove of minced garlic. Add the bean sprouts, sprinkle lightly with salt and stir-fry for a few minutes before transferring to a shallow bowl.


Use the same skillet (no need to wash it) to heat 1 tsp of oil. Add the spinach and season with 1 tsp of soy sauce and a little salt. Stir-fry for a few minutes then stir in ½tsp of sesame oil and ¼tsp of toasted sesame seeds. Transfer to a shallow bowl.


Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 1tsp of cooking oil, then add half a clove of minced garlic and the zucchini. Sprinkle lightly with salt and stir-fry until the zucchini is tender. Transfer to a bowl.


Heat 1tsp of cooking oil in the skillet then the carrot and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrot is crisp-tender, then stir in  ¼ tsp sesame seeds before transferring it to a bowl.


Heat 1tsp cooking oil, add the beef and stir-fry until it loses its pink colour. Transfer to a bowl.


Make the sauce by mixing the gochujang with the sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and garlic. The sauce should be slightly runny; if necessary, stir in some warm water.


Wash the skillet and dry it before placing it over a medium flame. Lightly coat the pan with oil then fry the eggs sunny-side up so the yolk is still runny.


Scoop the hot, cooked rice into two large individual-portion bowls. Arrange the vegetables and meat over the rice then top each portion with a fried egg. Add a spoonful of the sauce, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and let each diner mix all the ingredients before eating.


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