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Dolsot Bibimbap (RESTAURANT-STYLE)

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Dolsot bibimbap is a traditional Korean dish composed of rice with a crunchy golden bottom, tasty marinated beef, some seasoned vegetables, one egg and a delicious sweet and spicy gochujang sauce.

Dolsot bibimbap composed of rice, marinated beef, seasoned vegetables, one egg. sauce made out of gochujang.

What is Dolsot Bibimbap?

Dolsot bibimbap is one of the most well-known Korean classics. You will most likely find it in all Korean restaurants abroad. “Dolsot” refers to the stone bowl, while “bibim” means mixing various ingredients. “bap” means rice, literally “mixed rice”.

Most of the time the rice is mixed with some marinated beef (a short version of bulgogi), seasoned and sautéd vegetables, and one egg that comes and sits on top to complete the look of the dish. It is served with some sauce made out of gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) which you can add according to your preference. Personally, I love a spicy bibimbap so most of the time when eating out, I would finish off half the gochujang bottle!

What’s the difference between bibimbap and dolsot?

Bibimbap and dolsot bibimbap both feature some rice mixed with vegetables (and meat). The main difference lies in the way it is served. Dolsot bibimbap is served in a sizzling dolsot (Korean stone bowl).

At the restaurant, I’d always get dolsot bibimbap over regular bibimbap, what I love most about it is the bottom layer of the rice which gets crispy due to being cooked in the stone bowl.

How to serve Dolsot Bibimbap?

Dolsot bibimbap is normally served with a heap of banchan (side dishes) such as most Korean meals. The side dish by excellence that you will ALWAYS find on your table is kimchi!

You will also see a lot of variations such as another favorite of mine ‘albap‘ which is basically a bibimbap with fresh fish roe. The good thing is you can pretty much customize your bowl as you wish, both in terms of quantity and ingredients (perfect to use those leftovers sitting in your fridge!).

One of the theories behind the origins of bibimbap is that it was prepared on lunar New Year’s Eve in order to clear up all fridge leftovers before the new year starts.

Dolsot bibimbap composed of rice, marinated beef, seasoned vegetables, one egg. sauce made out of gochujang.

Bibimbap is a relatively easy and inexpensive dish to make, the only constraint is its preparation time since each ingredient must be seasoned and sautéd separately. But honestly, if you’ve got a spare 1h30 to dedicate to your dinner, definitely try it at home!

The good news is by preparing ingredients in a larger quantity, you can easily refrigerate those for a day or two, and the following day, you’ll be all done in barely 10 minutes.

How to make Dolsot Bibimbap without a stone bowl?

I used to exclusively go and have a bibimbap at the restaurant however years ago I was offered some Korean hotpots and decided to make my own recipe so I could enjoy a delicious – and more filling (restaurants can sometimes be a little greedy on their portions) bibimbap anytime at home.

The Korean stone bowls are probably not a common kitchenware most people outside Korea have at home however if you love this dish such as I do, I recommend not to cook it in a regular pan or pot, the stone bowl pot helps form this crispy rice layer at the bottom making your bibimbap super crunchy. If you’ve got one, you can even make other authentic Korean dishes such as doenjang jjigae.

A good substitute if you do not own any Korean stone bowl is a cast iron skillet. They’re pretty much equal in price however you may already own a cast iron skillet and if not, you’ll be able to use it to make various other dishes especially if you don’t cook Korean that often.

Dolsot bibimbap composed of rice, marinated beef, seasoned vegetables, one egg. sauce made out of gochujang.

How to prepare Dolsot Bibimbap?

Prepare all your ingredients

  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker. Once cooked, leave the rice in the fridge for at least an hour (you can also prepare this anytime earlier during the day).
  2. Dehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms by placing them in boiling water for about 15 min.
  3. Prepare the marinade for the beef. Mix soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, sugar and pepper together. Cut the beef into strips and mix it well into the marinade. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 min so that the beef can absorb the flavors.
  4. Prepare the gochujang sauce by mixing gochujang, corn syrup and sesame oil. Set aside in the fridge.
  5. Peel the carrots and slice them in julienne.
  6. Peel the zucchini and slice it in julienne.
  7. Squeeze the water out of the shiitake mushrooms and chop them.
  8. Sauté the zucchini in a pan with 1 tbsp sesame oil for 1 min. Set it aside.
  9. Sauté the carrots in the pan with 1 tbsp sesame oil for 1 min. Set it aside.
  10. Place the shiitake mushrooms in the pan, add 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, salt and pepper. Sauté the sliced shiitake mushrooms in the pan for 2min. Set aside.
  11. Heat water in a pot, when boiling, add the spinach and blanch them for about 2-3 min. Drain the water and press the excess water out of the spinach. Set them aside, and add some salt, 1 tsp sesame oil and a pinch of garlic. Mix well.
  12. Heat water in another pot, when boiling, add the bean sprouts and cook them for about 2-3min. Set them aside, and add some salt, 1 tsp sesame oil and a pinch of garlic. Mix well.
  13. Heat up the pan (you can keep using the same as previously used) add some cooking oil and the marinated beef and cook on medium heat – that should take about 2-3 min.

Assemble the bibimbap

  1. Now that all the ingredients are ready, we are going to assemble them in the bowl. Heat your stone bowl on the stove on medium heat, add 4 tbsp of sesame oil and coat well the bottom of the pot. Add the rice. While you are assembling the rest of the ingredients, the rice at the bottom will start cooking to become crispy.
  2. Place the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, bean sprouts and beef on top of the rice. Feel free to assemble them in any order of your choice.
  3. Use a spoon to make a small gap in the middle, and add one egg yolk. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  4. Serve hot. Add as much gochujang sauce as you wish and mix well. The advantage of the Korean stone bowl is that it keeps cooking for a little while once taken out of the fire then keeps your food warm. The bottom of the rice should be golden and crispy (see below).

Is Dolsot Bibimbap vegetarian?

There are numerous versions of dolsot bibimbap. I usually go for the traditional version with beef but if you’re vegetarian, you can check on the menu if they propose a vegetarian version. If not, you can always ask them to omit the meat.

It’s always good to ask, a few months ago I went to a restaurant in Seoul and ordered a dolsot bibimbap which usually comes with meat. But surprisingly it was vegetarian (not indicated on the menu). So I ended up ordering some pork mandu (Korean dumplings). For some reason, I always need a little meat in my meals, if not I feel hungry very quickly afterwards.

The good thing when you make it home is you choose exactly the ingredients you put in. So for a vegetarian version of dolsot bibimbap, simply omit the meat in this recipe or replace it with some firm tofu 🙂 Soft tofu wouldn’t survive in bibimbap since it would literally get smashed when mixing everything together.

For more Korean Restaurant-Style recipes, try these

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Dolsot bibimbap

Dolsot bibimbap is composed of rice with a crunchy bottom, tasty marinated beef, seasoned vegetables, one egg and a delicious gochujang sauce. Just like at the restaurant!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories per serving: 1118kcal
Author: Emma Choi

Ingredients

  • 320 g / 2 rice cooker cups short-grain rice
  • 200 g beef (ribeye), thinly sliced
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms, sliced (Note 1)
  • 2 big carrots, julienne
  • ½ zucchini, julienne
  • 200 g fresh spinach
  • 180 g bean sprouts
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • sesame oil | 6 tbsp + 3 tsp
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 egg yolk
  • A pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • sesame seeds
  • cooking oil

Beef marinade:

Bibimbap sauce:

Instructions

Prepare rice, vegetables and sauce

  • Cook the rice in a rice cooker. Once cooked, leave the rice in the fridge for at least an hour (you can also prepare this anytime earlier during the day). Using cold rice will ensure your bibimbap doesn’t get mushy (Note 4).
  • Dehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms by placing them in boiling water for about 15 minutes.
  • Mix all beef marinade ingredients together. Cut the beef into strips and mix it well into the marinade. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that the beef can absorb the flavors.
  • Prepare the gochujang sauce by mixing all ingredients together. Set aside in the fridge.
  • Squeeze the water out of the shiitake mushrooms and chop them.
  • Sauté the zucchini in a pan with 1 tbsp sesame oil for 1 minute. Set it aside.
  • Sauté the carrots in the pan with 1 tbsp sesame oil for 1 minute. Set it aside.
  • In a pan, sauté the sliced shiitake mushrooms for 2 minutes with 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Boil water in a pot. Add the spinach and blanch them for about 2-3 minutes. Drain the water and press the excess water out of the spinach. Set them aside. Add some salt, 1 tsp sesame oil and a pinch of garlic. Mix well.
  • Boil water in another pot. Add the bean sprouts and cook them for about 2-3 minutes. Set them aside. Add a pinch of salt, 1 tsp sesame oil and a pinch of garlic. Mix well.
  • In a pan, add cooking oil and the marinated beef. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the beef is cooked.

Assemble the bibimbap

  • Heat your stone bowl (Note 2) on the stove on medium heat, add 4 tbsp of sesame oil and coat well the bottom of the pot. Add in the rice. While you are assembling the rest of the ingredients, the rice at the bottom will start cooking and become crispy.
  • Place the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, spinach, bean sprouts and beef on top of the rice. Feel free to assemble them in any order of your choice.
  • Use a spoon to make a small gap in the middle, and add one egg yolk (Note 3).
  • Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  • Serve hot.
  • Add as much gochujang sauce as you wish, mix well and enjoy 🙂

Notes

1. You can use fresh shiitake mushrooms, in which case there is no need to dehydrate them.
2. It is important to use a stone bowl, you won’t get the same results cooking the bibimbap in a pan, which will affect both the taste and the texture of the rice at the bottom. One alternative that provides a similar result in terms of texture is a cast iron skillet.
3. You can also fry a whole egg instead of using a raw yolk however using only the yolk gives a very nice taste to the bibimbap as the yolk will combine with the gochujang sauce and mix with all the rest.
4. It is important for the rice to rest for at least an hour in the fridge or it may become mushy once it heats up again in the bowl.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 1118kcalCarbohydrates: 174gProtein: 43gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 158mgSodium: 1262mgPotassium: 1643mgFiber: 9gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 19862IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 214mgIron: 8mg
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