Delicious, easy and packed full of vegetables, this is a a simple version of Korean beef bibimbap with spicy gochujang sauce. Perfect for an easy but tasty weeknight dinner, or make it for a fun, casual meal with friends! Marinate your meat while you prepare your ingredients and then cook everything separately in the same pan for easy washing up!
What is a Bibimbap?
Bibimbap (“mixed rice”) is a Korean rice dish traditionally topped with sautéed vegetables, meat and egg, together with gochujang (a Korean chilli paste) and/or kimchi. There are many different regional variations of this dish, and every Korean restaurant I’ve been to does it slightly differently, so it’s a dish that is very easy to vary to your own tastes. I always find myself with too many carrots and a bag of baby spinach I can never quite finish, so if you’re like me, this is a great dish to help use them all up!
Ingredients for Beef Bibimbap Bowls
- Beef: I use shaved beef belly from the Korean grocery store that is usually sold for Korean barbecue. I keep a bag in the freezer for emergency bibimbap bowls because it’s cheap, makes for easy prep and cooks super quick. I usually just marinade it still frozen, and it defrosts by the time I’ve prepared the rest of my ingredients and I’m ready to cook. I add corn flour to the marinade as it helps to keep the meat tender- otherwise it can become a bit tough. Alternatively, you could use beef mince, or for a vegetarian option, use firm tofu.
- Gochujang: This is a Korean chilli paste that has a complex sweet, savoury and spicy flavour which is just amazing. Gochujung is very thick and sticky so mixing it with some other ingredients helps to give it a better sauce consistency.
- Vegetables: My favourites – zucchini, carrots and baby spinach – are included in the recipe below, but you could use almost any vegetable you like- other suggestions include cucumber, sliced snow peas and/or sliced shiitake mushrooms. You could also use kimchi as a super delicious, quick addition as well.
- Egg: An oozy yolk adds a creamy addition to this rice bowl. Best fried sunny side up, but if I’m making extra to take for lunch I will hard boil a few eggs to take with me instead for convenience.
How to Make Beef Bibimbap Bowls
These beef bibimbap bowls take only a few simple steps to make, but the order you do them in will make it all the difference in getting dinner together quickly (and with minimal washing up!):
- If you are preparing rice in a rice cooker, wash the rice and turn this on first.
- Marinate the beef with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and corn flour and set this aside while you prepare your other ingredients.
- Prepare your gochujang chilli sauce by mixing together gochujang, sesame oil, sugar, water, vinegar and minced garlic and also set aside.
- Wash and julienne your vegetables (except for the baby spinach leaves which we will just wilt) and sauté each vegetable in individual batches in a non-stick pan until just cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Use the same pan (no need to wash) to cook your marinated meat, remove, and then fry your eggs. Alternatively, boil some eggs in a pot of water to the side.
- Arrange all your ingredients atop a bed of rice in a bowl and serve!
How to Serve Beef Bibimbap Bowls
If it’s for dinner at home, I will often just pop everything atop a bowl of rice and mix it all together. If I’m taking left overs for lunch, I’ll boil some eggs to take with me instead of having a fried egg (just because I don’t love the texture of a reheated fried egg). Make sure to either keep the eggs separate from the rest of the bowl as you reheat it, or cut it open after peeling and prior to reheating in a microwave, otherwise you may have a very messy egg explosion to clean up after (this may or may not have happened to me once in the microwave at work and well, I don’t think it made me the most popular person in the lunch room that day…).
If you’re making this for guests, I would place all the separate ingredients in different bowls on the table and have everyone put together their own bowls so they can customise them to how they like!
If you make this recipe and have any other suggestions for different toppings let me know in the comments below!
Beef Bibimbap Bowls
- 150 g thinly sliced beef (see note 1)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp corn flour (corn starch)
Gochujang Chilli Sauce
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp water
- 1 clove garlic minced
Rice Bowl Toppings
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 carrot julienned (see note 2)
- 1 zucchini julienned
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups steamed rice equates to 1 cup of dried rice prior to cooking
- If you are preparing rice in a rice cooker, make sure to do this first so that the rice is done by the time we have finished making the rest of the ingredients. Wash the rice and cook according to the instructions for your rice cooker.
- In a large bowl, place the beef and the marinade ingredients and combine. Cover and set aside to marinade for 30 minutes while you prepare your remaining ingredients.
- Combine the gochujang chilli sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until a smooth paste forms. Cover and set aside.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the carrots for a few minutes until just softened. Season with salt and remove from the pan. Repeat with the zucchini. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables or they may become mushy.
- Wilt the baby spinach in the same pan, season and also remove and set aside.
- Using the same saucepan, fry two eggs sunny side up. Remove the eggs once the white has set and cook the marinated beef until well browned and cooked through.
- Divide steamed rice between bowls and top with cooked vegetables, beef and a fried egg. Add gochujang sauce and serve.
- I use shaved beef belly from the Korean grocery store which is usually found in the frozen section and is usually used for Korean barbecue. I like this as it’s convenient and defrosts and cooks really quickly. As an alternative, you could use beef mince, or make your own thin slices from a frozen steak.
- I use a mandoline for this which makes it super quick, but if you don’t have one, chop the vegetables to thin matchsticks- the thinner they are the quicker they will cook.
- Nutritional information is an estimation only and has been calculated without any substitutions.