Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Making Bibimbap (Even) Healthier

Bibimbap (비빔밥) is one of the healthiest Korean dishes.  Or, at least, it can be.

Translated literally, it means mixed rice or mixed meal ("bap" or "pap" means both rice and meal).  Traditionally, it's glutinous white rice topped with namul (seasoned sauteed veggies including spinach, bell flower root, sea tangle, and other stalks), some raw veggies (carrots and cucumber) and a fried egg.  The whole thing is eaten with a dollup (or a gallon, depending on your tastes) of gochujang (red pepper paste) and a little sesame oil.  It's pretty common to add beef to it, too.

It's not actually a difficult dish to make, but the presentation can make it time consuming.  The veggies are served on top of the rice, each one opposite it's compliment in color.

As a refresher, this is the bibimbap we had our second week here when Chun wha and her husband took us all around Jecheon.  Unfortunately, I was more interested in the bachan when I took this photo, but you can see my bowl with the veggies and the egg on top.  Very pretty, very nutritious.

Ian and I are having bibimbap for dinner tonight.  We're making it with brown rice and I'm having egg whites instead of the whole fried egg.  I'm not a big fan of egg yolk and it tends to pack on the calories.  I'll also be reducing the amount of gochujang and cutting it with soy sauce.  So, it's a bit Westernized (or Casey-ized, I suppose), but it's still bibimbap at it's heart.

Ian's plate with the gochujang.  We mixed it with a little water and soy sauce.  It's supposed to be served in a big bowl, but we don't have the right dishes.

My plate pre gochujang and sesame seeds.  Those veggies are lightly fried bell flower root (the white in back), raw julienned carrots, steamed spinach, and fern stems.  To eat it properly, you break up the egg, scrample everything together until it's a mess, and wolf it down with metal chopsticks.

Go make your self some!  It's good for breakfast, too.

Good night!


  1. that looks delicious. I will make some soon. You two are becoming very Asian in regards to breakfast. Great photos

  2. Not really. We like bibimbap for breakfast (or anything, really), but we usually eat VERY low calorie breakfasts before our run. Like a 1/2 cup of cereal, for example.