One of my son’s favorite children’s stories is “Bee-bim Bop” by Linda Sue Park. It is a story about a family making bibimbap (비빔밥) for dinner. It’s a fun and catchy book that I highly recommend. I think it also helps my children’s love for that book that bibimbap is one of our family’s favorite dishes. My young daughter refers to the dish simply as “bap”. We make it at home on occasion and almost always get it when we go out for Korean food. On the rare occasion when we have leftovers, we like to make twice-fried bibimbap and serve it with a side of scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Here is a link to an animated version of the book on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbAC4dThggA&feature=share
Bibimbap is often described as a “signature” Korean dish. “Bibim” means “mixed” in Korean, and “bap” means “rice”, so “bibimbap” simply means “mixed rice”. Basically the dish is it a bowl of warm white rice topped with a variety of colorful seasoned vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini, daikon radish, mushrooms neatly arranged on the top of the rice and topped with an egg. The vegetables are typically julienned or thinly sliced. Sometimes it also has meat such as bulgogi meat (marinated ribeye) on it. The traditional seasoning for bibimbap is gojuchang (red pepper sauce) and soy sauce. If you are in Korea, the dish may have the gochujang already mixed in when they serve it to you, and it can be super spicy! Often times in the United States, the gojuchang and soy sauce are served on the side so people can add it to taste and control the spice level. Prior to eating the dish, all the rice and vegetables are mixed together. Bibimbap may be served in a hot stone pot (aka dolsot bimbimbap).