The first time that I had a bibimbap was on a 15-hour Korean Air flight. It was microwaved and I couldn’t tell the kind of meat or if it was meat at all. The vegetables were soggy and the rice was a little dry. It was airplane food. I wasn’t expecting much. The best part of the dish was the sauce. It came with a red sauce. It wasn’t ketchup and it didn’t taste like ketchup – or anything I had eaten before. That’s what hooked me. If the airplane sauce has half the flavour of the stuff they serve on the ground…

I was just flying through Seoul so I didn’t sample some authentic stuff, but I did eventually. Now I make it at home. It’s like a stir-fry where the stirring comes after you’ve cooked everything. Oh, and it comes with a fried egg. You in? You’re in.

Serves 4



200g Ground beef (You can use any kind of ground meat. Chicken, pork or turkey will work just as well.)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon minced garlic


4 cups uncooked spinach

2 cups mushrooms (whichever kind you can find)

3 cups julienned carrots

Bibimbap Sauce

2 tablespoons gochujang

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon minced garlic



  1. Prepare the bibimbap sauce by combining the ingredients in a small bowl and giving it a good stir. Set it aside and let the flavours mingle.

This is a kid-friendly step. I measure out the ingredients and let my daughter stir it about in a bowl. She loves to feel involved.

  1. Mix the ground beef with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and garlic. Cook the beef on medium-high heat until it’s cooked through.

It takes a little muscle to break up the meat. Preoccupy your toddler with another task.

  1. Cook 2 cups of rice.
  1. Saute the spinach, carrots and mushrooms one at a time. You can use the same pan if you want. It takes a little more time than if you have two pans of vegetables going simultaneously. It’s also fewer dishes, so your call.

You can use a medium heat to cook the vegetables and ask your toddler to push the vegetables about on the pan. You might have to watch out for a little crackle if there’s water residue on your vegetables.

  1. Fry an egg sunny side up.
  1. Assemble your bibimbap in a deep bowl. Put the rice on the bottom and place your meat, vegetables and sauce on top in little compartments.
  1. Top it with the fried egg.
  1. Take an appropriate amount of time to admire your handy work then break that egg, mix up that bowl and dig in!


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1 Comment

  1. Carolyn says

    My first experience with bibimbap was also on a Korean Air flight. That tube of gochujang was a game changer. That’s still the most exciting airline meal I’ve ever had.

    My next trip to Asia I stopped over in Seoul just to eat.

    I love bibimbap but the best ones are the dolsot version in the stone bowls, sizzling hot on a winter’s day. Crunchy rice…mmmm. Will give this recipe a try, thanks!

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