How to eat Bibim Bop

Korean Bibim Bop may seem like just another mixing bowl where you simply mix everything together and eat, but there is an art to enjoying it to its full potential. All it takes is some trial and error to figure out your own way. Keep in mind there is no singular correct way to eat Bibim Bop and that's what makes it such a diverse and universal food. Below are some helpful techniques and insider tips that we've learned through many years of making and eating Bibim Bop.

 

Here at Loopy's the fried egg is our favorite part. So much so that we eat Bibim Bop with two fried eggs. Then what we do is put the fried egg to the side, mix everything else in the bowl, add the Korean chilli sauce to taste, and then put the egg back on top (see pictures below). With this method you can get a piece of fried egg with every bite, you can taste the egg more distinctly, and lastly the egg flavor nicely balances out the spicy flavor profile from the already mixed ingredients.

 

Bibim Bop bowl with fried egg removed.
Mixed rest of ingridients & chilli sauce, then put the egg back on top.
Scoop a piece of egg with each bite.

 

More helpful tips to enhance your Bibim Bop experience:

  • Mix thoroughly. When mixing the ingredients use a spoon and fork or a spoon and chopsticks to mix everything. The fork/chopsticks work great to separate ingredients like spinach and bean sprouts. Eating a large clump of one vegetable/ingredient does not make for an enjoyable Bibim Bop IMHO.
  • Add the chilli sauce in increments. Everyone prefers a different spice level so its best to add chilli sauce in small amounts while mixing. Once you add the chillie sauce it's virtually impossible to take it out. The chilli sauce should ultimately bring out the flavor of all the ingredients, not overwhelm them.
  • Put your favorite ingredient to the side. Just like putting the fried egg to the side, you can keep an element like the Beef/Spicy Pork Bullgogi/Chicken on the side and mix everything else. With this method you can taste the Bullgogi more distinctly and it's like having two dishes in one. Bullgogi and vegetable Bibim Bop.
  • Leftovers are good. We have found that Bibim Bop makes for a great leftover dish. Stir fry leftover Bibim Bop in a wok at high heat with some vegetable/canola oil till it gets a slight char. This technique produces a flavor similar to Dol Sot (stone pot) Bibim Bop. If you do not like charred rice just stir fry at medium/low heat. If you enjoy cooking you can experiment and add new vegetables as desired.  
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