Bibimbap is one of my absolute favorite takeout foods. Bibimbap translates to "mixed rice" and started out as a way to use up leftovers. Now it's the dish most people think of when they think Korean food. The variety of flavors, textures, and colors are what make it special to me. While I love supporting our local Korean restaurant, I also wanted to make my own version with some of the wild game in our freezer. This version veers a little bit off the traditional path but I still think it's pretty delicious.
I chose a pronghorn top round roast for the meat but any piece of red meat will do. The key is to slice it really thin, then cut it pieces that are small enough to make a perfect bite mixed with the other goodies in your bibimbap bowl. I used my venison bulgogi lettuce wrap recipe for the marinade and added some ginger for a little extra flavor. This delicious concoction is also great for grilled elk steak with Asian marinade. The meat cooks fairly quickly since the pieces are so small.
Bibimbap can be overwhelming to prepare everything at once. Dinnertime is always a little chaotic at my house so I like to take a few shortcuts. Traditionally, the vegetables are steamed just before serving. I like to "lightly pickle" the vegetables because 1 - I really like pickles and 2 - having them prepared ahead of time makes this dish so much easier to pull off. I julienne the vegetables with my mandoline slicer. Then, I use my usual refrigerator pickle recipe but I use less vinegar. This helps give the vegetables a light pickle flavor without overpowering the rest of the dish. I also drain them after a few hours of marinating so they don't get too pickled.
The rice is a very important part of bibimbap. Traditionally, cooked sticky rice is added to a hot stone bowl which cooks the rice on the bottom to a perfect crispiness. I don't know about you, but I don't have many stone bowls lying around. Not to worry, you can still get crispy rice by cooking the rice in some oil in a hot cast iron pan. Those crispy rice bites are the trademark of bibimbap so don't skip this step!
Eggs/Putting it All Together:
Cooking the eggs is the last step before digging into that bowl of deliciousness. You'll want to have everything arranged in the bowls before your eggs are ready. I like to cook my eggs sunny side up or over easy to get a runny yolk. Bites of crispy rice with that runny yolk and a bit of gochujang are my absolute favorite part about bibimbap. I always make sure it's my last bite!
More Recipes You'll Love:
Pronghorn Bibimbap with Pickled Vegetables
- 1 daikon radish, julienned
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and julienned
- 2 ½ cup water
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 cups cooked sticky rice
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup bean sprouts, warmed (fresh or canned)
- kimchi, to taste
- gochujang, to taste
- Slice meat very thin, then cut slices into small chunks, about ½" squares. This is much easier to do if the meat is still slightly frozen.
- Combine all other ingredients in a medium bowl. Add meat to marinade. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat to skillet. Cook until meat is browned. Continue to cook until the sauce reduces a bit. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Combine water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat until boiling and sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Place julienned vegetables into separate glass containers. Add 1 cup of vinegar mixture to each container. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then pour the vinegar mixture out. This will leave the vegetables "lightly pickled." Refrigerate until ready to serve. These won't keep in the fridge as well as other pickles so make sure to use them within a few days.
- Combine all ingredients except spinach and canola oil in a small bowl.
- Heat oil over medium heat in medium skillet. Add spinach and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in soy sauce mixture.
- Cook eggs just before assembly. Make sure bowls are completely assembled before the eggs are cooked so you can add the eggs as the last component. Melt butter in a medium skillet. Keep the heat around medium-low. Gently crack eggs into the pan. Cook until whites are mostly set, about 3-4 minutes for sunny side up eggs. You can also flip the eggs after 2 minutes, then cook an additional 30 seconds - 1 minute for over easy eggs.
- Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven/coated cast iron pan. Add cooked rice to pan and cook until crispy on the bottom, about 5 minutes.
- Spread rice on bottom of bowl. Top with meat. Arrange pickled vegetables, kimchi, spinach, and bean sprouts around the rice and meat. Top with fried egg and serve gochujang on the side.