This recipe low-key might be my favorite of all time. So, if you’re reading this, please make it!!

I had my first bibimbap bowl at a Korean restaurant in Portland and was blown away by how amazing and balanced it was. I knew I had to recreate it! Bibimbap is a korean rice dish that literally translates to “mixing rice”. The authentic way to eat it is to mix everything together in your bowl with chopsticks so that every bite has a little bit of every component and gets coated with the egg yolk.

The ground beef gets cooked, then spiked with ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and maple syrup for the ultimate sweet, salty, savory bite. It gets accompanied by crunchy, tangy cucumbers, sesame spinach, kimchi (optional but recommended), and a runny fried egg. So many perfect bites!

Be sure to watch the video!

Ingredient highlight

Kimchi! is a traditional fermented Korean food composed of various vegetables and seasonings. It often contains napa cabbage, chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings. It varies in taste and spice level, but has a distinct funky, spicy flavor that cannot be replicated!

Like other fermented products, it is a great source of probiotics (good bacteria) to promote gut-health. Fermentation increases the bioavailability and absorption of many nutrients, so by fermenting cabbage, you’re getting an extra high dose of vitamin A and C.

Look for it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store where you would find other fermented products like sauerkraut. Or order my favorite local brand Choi’s Kimchi online!

Servings 4 People
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

For the bowls:

  • 1 cup jasmine white rice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 -inch knob ginger ,peeled, grated (1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes optional, for spice
  • 1 bunch scallions green and white parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 4 eggs fried
  • Kimchi optional (or use sriracha for spice)
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

For the cucumbers:

  • 1 large or 2 small cucumbers peeled, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

For the sesame spinach:

  • 1 (16 oz) bag frozen spinach
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  • Add the rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse, using your hands to agitate the grains, until the water runs clear. This gets rid of the extra starch so your rice isn’t mushy. Add rice to a medium pot along with 1 ½ cups water over high heat. Once the water starts to simmer rapidly, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, covered, for about 12-15 minutes, or until the water is evaporated and rice is cooked.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cucumber, vinegar, water and salt. Set aside.
  • Thaw the spinach. Let cool (if using microwave) and then squeeze out the water either in a colander or wring it out in a kitchen towel. Toss with sesame oil and salt. Set aside. This is best room temp or cold so don’t worry about keeping it warm.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce or tamari, sesame oil, ginger, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Once hot, add white parts of the scallions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the ground beef, break it up into chunks and spread it out into one even layer. Let cook undisturbed for 5 minutes (to let the beef get browned), stirring halfway through. Continue to break it up into chunks and cook until cooked through. Tilt the pan and spoon/drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the soy sauce mixture and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in half of the green parts of the scallions.
  • Serve beef with rice, spinach, and cucumber, and a spoonful of kimchi (if using) and top with a fried egg, remaining green scallions, sesame seeds, and sriracha (if using).

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Cook 1 cup jasmine white rice
  • Make soy ginger mixture
  • Cook beef (scallions, beef, soy ginger mixture)
  • Pickle cucumbers
  • Make sesame spinach

Substitutions:

  • To make vegan/vegetarian: substitute crumbled tofu (drained and pressed) for the beef. To make vegan, skip the fried egg.
  • Substitute ground chicken for beef.
  • I love cucumber, but you could use radish, carrot, cabbage or any raw crunchy veg (about 2 cups)

Storage:

  • Store leftovers separately in an airtight container:
    • Rice: up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer
    • Beef: up to 5 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer
    • Cucumbers: up to 5 days in the fridge
    • Sesame spinach: up to 5 days in the fridge

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Warm up the rice and beef and serve with all of the other cold components. Top with a freshly fried egg, herbs, and sesame seeds.

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