Bibimbap Bowls

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Bibimbap Bowls

Growing up in rural Long Island in the 80s, you can be sure I had never heard of kimchi, bibimbap, or gochujang. Unfortunately, Korean food and culture was not something I was exposed to. 

My kids and I shared our first bibimbap bowl together about 10 years ago, in a strip mall in West LA, with their aunt who is Korean. Auntie Mo was excited to introduce us to the traditional dish, and my kids were curious to try something totally unfamiliar and unpronounceable. Turns out, bibimbap is a bowl of things they already loved – rice, veggies, fried egg – just packaged up with new flavors and presentation. This discovery reminded us that everyone is more alike than different, and nowadays, we’re regulars at Korean BBQ and our local H-mart

Food is the great cultural unifier, don’t you think? Everyone has to eat, after all, and food brings people together, expands conversation, builds community, and strengthens relationships. Food can serve as a gateway to making friends, learning new traditions, and deeper cross-cultural understanding – especially for kids. 

If you have never had bibimbap I highly recommend giving this recipe a try! And if you have enjoyed the delicious and adaptable Korean dish, but never thought you’d make it at home, I promise it’s easier than you think. I make a version of it often and my whole family loves it – like all bowls, you can totally customize it to your tastes. You don’t need to live in a big city to introduce your family to foods from around the world – I hope you’ll give bibimbap a try! 

Prepare Korean rice bowls with flavorful veggies, marinated chicken, and a sunny-side up egg.

  • Active Kitchen Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ⅛ tsp + ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
  • toasted sesame seeds, for serving
  • 4 eggs
  • kimchi (optional)
  • 1Tbsp spicy gochujang (optional)

Supper Smarts:

  • Speed it Up: Use instant rice or already-cooked rice, buy grated carrots, or make it a meatless meal and skip cooking the chicken and use the sauce on extra veggies instead. Alternately, use any leftover protein in the bowls — just season with gochujang and soy sauce!

  • Flavor Town: Sliced cucumbers, sauteed mushrooms, and shredded cabbage all make delicious additions.

  • Leftover Love: Double the veggies, and use leftovers over salad greens for a quick lunch — the marinade makes a delicious dressing!

Steps:

1
Prepare chicken. Whisk ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp ground ginger, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, and 1 Tbsp sesame oil in medium bowl.
2
Transfer 3 Tbsp mixture to small bowl, whisk in 1 Tbsp gochujang (if using), then set sauce aside. Use remaining mixture as marinade.
3
Cut 1 lb boneless chicken breasts or thighs into ½-inch pieces. Add chicken and 1 tsp cornstarch to marinade in medium bowl. Stir well. Set aside.
4
Add 1 ½ cups long grain white rice and 3 cups water to medium pot. Bring to boil over high heat.
5
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 20 min. Fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, continue to prepare toppings.
6
Grate 2 carrots on large holes of box grater. Add to small bowl with 1 tsp sesame oil and ⅛ tsp salt. Set aside.
7
Heat skillet on medium-high. Add 6 oz baby spinach, 1 tsp sesame oil, and ⅛ tsp kosher salt. Cover, cook 2 min, then stir until wilted. Transfer to small bowl.
8
Add chicken and marinade to same skillet on medium-high. Cook until no longer pink, 5-7 min.
9
Assemble four bowls. Add rice, then top with chicken, carrots, spinach, and kimchi (if using). Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
10
Heat a clean skillet over medium-low. Coat with cooking spray. Crack 4 eggs into skillet.
11
Cover and cook until whites are firm and yolks jiggle slightly, 2-3 min.
12
Use a spatula to move one egg on top of each bowl. Drizzle with sauce.

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