Fake out Dolsot Bipimbap – My Take on a Korean Classic

Bipimbap is a classic Korean dish that is almost as fun to say as it is to eat! Seriously. I challenge you to say bipimbap aloud without even a hint of smile. I maintain that it is impossible. Bipimbap, b-bop, whatever you want to call it, is absolutely delicious and quite simple to prepare at home. Dolsot bipimbap is traditionally served in a very hot stone bowl. That’s the dolsot to your b-bop. It’s screaming hot! The dolsot is brushed with sesame oil, before the rice is added in, and it sizzles, bubbles and makes a super delicious crispy rice layer at the bottom. Top that with an over easy egg, some classic Korean ingredients and you’re good to go. Break that yolk and it covers your rice in a silky, creamy and dreamy coating that is indescribably delicious. Crispy rice bits, covered in silky egg, mixed with flavorful Asian inspired veg. It’s a textural experience that’s out of this world.

The main stays are rice, egg and meat, that’s all! The variations are as endless as our individual tastes. It’s a fun, casual meal to make for a group, and a great way to use up the end of the week stuff in the vegetable drawer. It’s a serious convenience food that you don’t have to feel bad about eating.

I don’t own a dolsot, and I’m assuming your average American home cook doesn’t either. This is where the fake out part comes in. I managed to closely replicate the texture with my little coquettes, and you can do the same thing with a medium sized ramekin or cast iron skillet. It doesn’t sizzle quite a furiously as a dolsot, but it sings for you, and makes a nice amount of crispy rice. Of course, you could just warm the ingredients, arrange them in a bowl, top with a fried egg and avoid this whole sizzling business all together. If you’re brave though, food that cooks and sizzles at your table is pretty darn fun.

This is my third recipe in the week of pulled pork follow-ups. There really is an endless variation to what you can do with lemongrass pulled pork.

The traditional bipimbap condiments: Sesame Seeds, Sesame Oil, and Korean Red Pepper Paste. (I subbed Thai red chili, garlic paste because it’s what I had on hand)

Ingredients: (recipe serves 2)

A traditional bipimbap bowl will have some kind of meat (usually beef), rice, carrot, daikon, spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts, sesame oil + seeds, sometimes roasted seaweed, and Korean chile paste.  I had only 4 items from this list, improvised the rest, and it was an out-of-this-world meal. See how versatile that is?

Here’s a list of what I used:

  • 2 cups prepared white rice (divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • Baby bok choy (chopped and par cooked)
  • Red cabbage (shredded)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Roasted seaweed (cut into thin strips)
  • Lemongrass pulled pork (recipe here)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seed (divided)
  • Red pepper paste and soy sauce to taste

Directions:

The directions here are for 2 small coquettes. If you use a cast iron skillet, simply combine all of the ingredients into one pan that serves 2 instead.

  • Begin by cooking your rice, and prepping your vegetables.
      • If you’re using hearty, crunchy veg like carrots or broccoli you will need to steam them a bit (or microwave) before they go into your bipimbap bowl.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 450-500 degrees F (as high as your vessel will allow) and heat your vessel for at least 20 minutes in the hot oven.
      • If you’re using cast iron, you can take this all the way up to 500 
  • You’re going to need to work quickly, so neatly organized, prepped ingredients or mise en place are key.
  • Carefully remove your very hot vessle from the oven, and quickly brush with sesame oil
  • Add rice and return to oven for 5 minutes to allow the bottom to crisp
      • If you’re using cast iron, you can skip this as it will retain enough heat to cook the rice and egg. Simple arrange the veggies on the rice, and allow to sit for 5 minutes before cracking a raw egg on top. The hot skillet will crisp the rice, and cook the egg when you mix it all together
  • Remove from oven, and arrange vegetables on top of rice
  • Crack a raw egg on top and return to oven for just long enough to cook the white of the egg (about 3-4 minutes)
  • At the table, top with red pepper paste, sesame seeds and soy. Break the yolk of your egg and mix thoroughly to combine ingredients.

Yummy broken yolk coats your bipimbap

Condiments sitting pretty for the camera

I bought pretty paper for this shoot, and promptly spilled sriacha (hot sauce) all over it. Darn it! That’s what I get for shooting saucy food on non-washable surfaces I suppose. Common sense alludes me when I see pretty paper sometimes. Only washable fabric from now on, self. Tsk tsk.

I’ve been experimenting new techniques with my food photography. Some shoots are more successful than others, but I really like this one! I broke down and used a tri-pod, and some reflectors (white board.)

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16 comments

  1. MessCreator

    Wow, this dish looks awesome, and beautiful in color too! Great photography too! I met a Korean family a few years ago and they welcomed me into their tradition of food and style of cooking. I learned a lot and came to love Korean food. Thanks for this post. Can I reblog it? Check me out at myblessedmess.wordpress.com. Keep up the great blogging!

    1. Julie @ happygoodtime

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Feel free to re-blog, I just ask for a link back =)

      I absolutely love Korean food! That’s amazing that you had a first-hand experience with Korean food and cooking.

      I’ll be sure to check out your site as well.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      -Julie

  2. raquel@eRecipe.com

    I used to bond with my sister and cousin in the mall and order this bipimbap in the foodcourt. Thanks for sharing. Now I can prepare a homemade bipimbap =) for them. It never fails to make my stomach full … yummy!

    1. Julie @ happygoodtime

      So much bonding has been done is food courts. What a lovely memory! I only wish we had bipimbap in our food courts here. The typical stuff is more like burgers, fries, hot dogs and really badly done “Chinese” food.

      Though if a shopping mall food court had bipimbap, I may never leave =)

  3. bellacorea

    how lovely! This is one of my favorite korean food, too! sometimes I try to have this with some steamde barley. It’s very different texture! Thank you for sharing your recipe with awesome pictures.

    1. Julie @ happygoodtime

      Thank you! I had lots of fun with this one.

      Steamed barley sounds like it would be lovely in a bipimbap! Quite filling too I’m sure. Barley fills you up so quickly, and it’s great for you. Now you have me thinking about a “fried rice” dish with barley….hmmmm ideas =)

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