17 (Wed) February 2010
-Oksu (Joongang Heights Apts), Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
Bibimbap is a Korean dish. It consists of at least 2-3, as many as 6-8, various namul (나물) (stringy/shredded vegetables usually parboiled and seasoned in sesame oil), such as spinach, zucchini, fern brake, carrot, as well as many indigenous greens. At home, whatever is on hand that day may be added. The components are carefully arranged in a large bowl around a serving of rice, topped with gochujang (고추장) (red chili paste), and then stirred into an indiscernible mishmash prior to consumption. The name means “bibim (비빔)” = “mixed” and “bap (밥)” = “rice.” Some variations also include meat and/or a fried egg. No two recipes are ever the same. In terms of worldwide recognition, bibimbap is probably Korea’s third most famous food. Only the ubiquitous kimchi and various types of grilled meats often referred to collectively as “Korean barbecue” are probably better known.