5 typical cases when Korean eat Bibimbap

Bibimbap is one of the Korean traditional food and still lots of Korean enjoy eating it.

The Bibimbap has been a representative Korean dish for a long time and many people eat the Bibimbap often. Today I will introduce about the Korean habit when people usually eat Bibimbap.

1. When there are nothing special to eat in a home.

->In above picture, the ingredient in the bibimbap is the remain side dishes in home.

One of the characteristics of the Korean food is that always there are side dishes which is called Banchan(반찬). Kimchi is one of the main side dishes and almost every Korean dish the Kimchi is in it. Usually, Korean make plenty of side dishes which can eat for 3-10 days that when you visit the typical Korean house even they didn’t cook on that day, there are side dishes in the refrigerator.

So if there is nothing special thing to eat in a home, usually people but diverse kinds of the side dishes which are in the refrigerator and put together in the bowl with the rice. This is also what I usually do. In my home normally seasoned beans, stir-fried anchovies(멸치볶음) and Kimchi are in the refrigerator that I mixed it with some veggies, egg, and rice. It is really easy to make the Bibimbap as the ingredients are prepared as the side dishes in a refrigerator in a home that much Korean easily and frequently make the Bibimbap at home. The taste and the ingredients of the Bibimbap are changed depends on each home’s remain side dishes.

2. When failed in diet

->One of the scene from Korea ‘Smile you’ drama from SBS broadcast.

If you watch the Korea drama, you could see the women were doing a diet but suddenly at night they got hungry that bring the stuff to eat in the refrigerator and mix in a big bowl. “Eating the big amount of the bibimbap at night in a home” is the typical symbol of the scene that means the person failed in a diet which you can easily see in Korea drama.

The below picture is the Google search picture when I just typed “Bibimbab Drama(=비빔밥 드라마)” in Korean.

You could see in a quite lot of pictures, the women are eating the bibimbap in a big bowl.

3. Korean women who are the stress eater

->One of the scene from Korea ‘Marry Me, Mary!’ drama from KBS broadcast.

This also appears in Korea drama a lot. when the women got a lot of stress because of heartbreak, in a relationship or got angry…etc, many of them make the bibimbap in the home and eat.
I assume the main reasons why they eat bibimbap when got stress is first it is easy to make. When the person got stressed normally they don’t want to cook food and want to find the easy way to eat. Second, during mixing the rice with other ingredients, the people could take out stress. Korean express this action as mixing everything like a fight, hate, sad thing with mixing the bibimbap and this help for making feel better.

4. Eating together with a large family

->One of the scene from Korea ‘Goddess of Marriage’ drama from SBS broadcast.

Now days there are only few people who eat together the bibimbap in one bowl as the above picture, but until 70s or 80s eating the bibimbap with whole family was quite common. This is also scean could easily see in Korea dreama.

The below pictures are from Korea drama ‘Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon’ from JTVC broadcast.

Even the Bibimbap sceans were appeared twice in drama.

5. After the ancestor worship ceremonies

->The above picture is the prepared food for ancenstral rites table.

In Korea still, many families do the ancestor worship ceremonies in a special day such as the ancestor birthday or in special Korea holiday ‘Seollal(설날)’ and in ‘Chuseok(추석)’.

One of the characteristics of the ancestor worship ceremonies in Korea is in making so many foods! As you can check in below picture, the foods are cooked for the ancestor and are placed on the table. After the ceremonies are all finished, the family needs to eat all the food which they made for the ceremonies. Usually, the most remain food is the diverse kinds of seasoned vegetables and the best way to eat those foods are the bibimbap as we can just put the remain ceremonies food and mix it. That’s why much Korean eat bibimbap a lot after the ancestor worship ceremonies.

There is no limit for the Bibimbap ingredient that Bibimbap’ingredients can be changed depends on the area and the weather. Normally the foods in season and the local foods are usually used for the Bibimbap ingredients and the Korea bibimbap is different from the region.

There is no rule or limit in making the Bibimbap. You could make your own bibimbap with the ingredient you like or the leftover food.

Thanks for reading.:)

6 Types of Korean Popular Bibimbap

As you might already know the Bibimbap is one of the popular Korean dish and Korean eat the Bibimbap often. But did you know there are diverse types of Bibimbap that Korean commonly eat in daily life?

In fact, there are so many types of Bibimbap depends on the ingredients inside but today I will introduce the most popular 5 types of Korean Bibimbap.

The Bibimbap word could be divided to Bibim(비빔) and Bap(밥). The Bibim means mix and the Bap means rice. So the Bibimbap means ‘Mixed Rice’. When we eat the Bibimbap first we have to mix the rice and the other ingredients that this meaning make sense.

1. Jeonju Bibimbap(전주비빔밥)

Jeonju is the region in Korea where located in South. There are many other Korea region’s Bibimbab, but the Jeonju Bibimbap is the most popular regional Bibimbap.

You can check the Jeonju location in below map. Jeonju is located in south of Korea.

The taste of the Jeonju Bibimbap could be different from the restaurant and the season. There are about 30 kinds of Jeonju Bibimbap’s ingredients and the ingredients in the bibimbap can be changed depends on the season. The main ingredients are rice,bean sprouts, gochujang(Korean red pepper paste), stir-fried beef, egg and sesame oil. These are the basic ingredients that it is like the fixed ingredient. But the minor ingredients are spinach, bracken, Songi muchroom,green pumpkin…etc. and these could be changed depend of the restaurant.

The two main characteristics for the Jeonju Bibimbap are in below.

1) The way of making rice

The most common way of making rice is boil rice just with water, but the Jeonju Bibimbbap’s rice is quite special. They use the meat broth water for making rice. The adventage of using the meat broth water is the gain of rice does not stick together that it is good to mix the rice with the other ingredients.

2) Bean sprouts soup

One of the Korean food’s characteristics is the side dish, rice, soup comes together. For the Jeonju Bibimbap, usually bean sprouts soup is served with the bibimbap.

3) Use the raw egg

Many kinds of Bibimbap use the fried eggs but the Jeonju Bibimbap use the raw egg.

2. Dolsot-Bibimbap(돌솥비빔밥)

Dolsot(돌솥) means the stone pot. Dolsot-Bibimbap is served in a very hot stone pot that the food is still getting cooked when you are eating. When you are eating you need to be careful as the Dolsot-Bibimbap is usually really hot!

One of the Dolsot-Bibimbap’s characters is in the Nurungji(누룽지). Nurugji is the crust of overcooked rice as you can see in below picture.

Dolsot-Bibimbap is keep cooked in hot stone pot even when you are eating that the Nurungji(=crust of overcooked rice) is naturally made. The Nurungji’s taste is crispy that many people like it including me.:)

Usually the Dolsot-Bibimbap’s price is little expensive than the normal bibimbap.

3. Yukhoe Bibimbap(육회 비빔밥)

Yukhoe Bibimbap means the raw meat Bibimbap. The origin of the raw meat Bibimbap is in the Japanese invasions of Korea war on 1592~1598. During the war women made the food and carried to the soldier but there were no time to prepare the side dish and the soup in separately that the women gave the lean meat and the seasoned vegetables with the rice. This is how the raw meat Bibimbap is made.

4. Sliced Raw Fish Bibmbap(회비빔밥)

Raw fish Bibimbap is the Sashimi Bibimbap. In Korean it is called Hoe-Bibimbap(회비빔밥) as the Hoe(회) means the raw fish. It is also the popular food in Korea. Korea is on the peninsula that the fish is a major part of Korean cuisine and the Raw fish Bibimbap is the common food.

You can see the raw fish, veggies and rice are mixed in a spoon. Sometimes when people are eating the raw fish just with dipping in red chili-pepper paste and felt the amount of the raw fish is lack they mixed the remain raw fish, veggies, rice and mix it. Then the people could not feel the raw fish is shortage.

5. Bean Sprouts Bibimbap(콩나물 비빔밥)

The characteristic of the Bean Sprouts Bibimbap is in the seasoning. Most of the Bibimbap use the Goghujang(=red pepper paste) but the Bean Sprouts Bibimbap uses the soy sauce as you can see in below.

The people who like the spicy food put the dried red pepper powder in the soy sauce.

6. Sanchae Bibimbap(산채비빔밥)

Sanche Bibimbap means the mountain Vegetable Bibimbap. It does not have the meat for the ingredient. One of the origin of the Sanche Bibimbap is in the Buddhist monk. When the monks live in the mountain they made the Sanche Bibimbap with using the wild greens ingredients.

One of the popular temple foods in Korea is the Sanche Bibimbap as this food does not use the meat in ingredients. You can check the mixed Sanche Bibimbap in below.

The sesame oil makes the rice tastes more aromatic and soft.

Thanks for reading.:)

If you have any questions, please leave the comment.

Gwangjang Market-Explore the Korean food-Part 1

My home is quite far from the Gwangjang market, but I had a chance to visit the north part of the Seoul to buy clothes, and on a way home I visited the Gwangjang Market.

This is the Seoul map and the Gwangjang market is in the red part. The arrow in the picture says Gwangjang market Korean pancake, raw beef, drug Kimbab(광장시장 전&육회&마약김밥).

After I entered the market I could see lots of people are in there.

After I passed the other market I finally went in the food market part! In Gwangjang market the below three foods are famous.

1. Drug Kimbab(마약김밥)

The reason why the drug is in the name is not it has the drug inside but it means the Kimbab is really tasty and is easy to be addicted to the drug. The size of Drug kimbab is smaller than other normal Korean Kimbab.

2. Bindaetteok(빈대떡)

Bindaetteok(빈대떡)is the mung-bean pancake and it is one of the famous traditional Korean pancakes.

3. Korean Style Raw Beef(육회)

The way of eating the Raw beef is first mix the raw beef with the egg and then eat! You can check the pictures of the step is in below.

Many people also eat the Raw Tartare Bibimbap(육회 비빔밥).

The difference of Raw tartare Bibimbap and the normal Korean Bibimbap is just the Raw Beef was added in ingredient.

-Gwangjang Market address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88 (예지동)
-Gwangjang Market open hour: General stores: 08:30-18:00
Restaurants: 08:30-23:00
Clothing stores: 21:00-10:00 (Next day)

You can check the more Korean foods and the clothes shopping tips in Gwangjang Market-Explore the Korean food and clothes-Part 2 article which I will post in next week.

Thanks for reading:)

Why Pickles are always with western meal in Korea?

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My American friend asked me “Why there are pickles with every western meal in Korea? Pickles with pizza or with spaghetti is weird”. So I thought about the reason why Korean eat pickles with western food and today I will explain about it.:)

When you visit the western restaurant in Korea, you can easily see the pickles for the side dish. Korean usually eat pizza, spaghetti and other western food with pickles and I also like to eat with pickles. Even in the Mexican food, there is the side dish which is similar with pickles. The below picture is the Quesadilla what I ordered in Mexican restaurant located in Korea. The right side of the small bowls is the mix of chopped pickles, carrot and white radish.


I visited the Costa Rica before, in fact  I never saw the pickles in any restaurant. When I was there, I thought the side dishes like pickles are common for the food, because I was grown in Korea where the pickles are always coming with the western food. Accordingly, at the first time when I ordered the food in Costa Rica, it was strange for me that there was no pickle or other side dishes with main dish. I asked to the waiter “Is there any pickles or something like that?” ,and he looked at me strangely. So I noticed it is not common for giving the side dishes such as pickles with main dishes.

In my opinion, the main reason why Korean eat pickles with western food is in the Korean food style; Korean food always has the side dishes.

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 9.58.16 PM

In typical Korean food, the side dishes should be with rice and soup and Kimchi is always included. 5-6 kinds of side dishes in one meal is normal for Korean, but I assume it will be uncommon for other countries’ people.

Korean doesn’t eat just side dishes by itself . We always eat the side dishes with other food such as rice. Few months ago, I had a chance for eating dinner with Indian person, but I was surprised because first he only ate Kimchi by itself without other dishes. I think eating the foods together was not common for him. Meanwhile, Korean eat the food together such as Kimchi with rice, soup with rice. Accordingly, Korean also like to eat the western food with this habit that we eat the western food with pickles. I assume that for the other countries people the pickles are just an appetizer, but for Korean the pickles are one of the side dishes which should be eaten with the main dish. I even saw the Korean who eat the piece of steak, one spoon of soup and pickles all together in one mouth in the western restaurant.

In Korean dish, it is common to have the specific combination of food. The most common combinations are in below.

1. Chicken with white radish

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This is the delivered fried chicken and always the white radish is coming with it. I really like to eat chicken with white radish!!



2. Jajangmyeon with yellow pickled radish

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Jajangmyeon is the black-bean-sauce noodles, and it always comes with yellow pickled radish. The yellow pickled is made from the white radish, but yellow food coloring was used during pickling it.

3. Bulgogi with lettuce 

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.01.07 AM



Bulgogi is the Korean barbequed beef and we eat the bulgogi wrapped in lettuce. Also many people prefer to put red pepper paste, garlic, onion in the lettuce additionally and eat together.



4. Boiled pork with kimchi 

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 6.10.43 AM

Eating the boiled pork with white kimchi or the normal red kimchi is common. Korean usually wrap the meat with kimchi and eat together as the barbequed beef.

The perfect combination of Korean foods like these examples are more than dozen.

Also the interesting thing is when I asked to the Korean as “What is your favorite Korean food?” then many of them answered as “I like Back-ban(meal with bowl of rice,soup, and side dishes)” or “I like the all kinds of Korean stew”. However, Korean always eat stew with rice and other side dishes that this answer includes they like to eat the combination of stew, rice and side dishes. Thus, many Korean prefer to eat the western food with this Korean food style that we are eating the western food with pickles. 🙂

This is my opinion of the question. If you have different idea or question please leave the comment. Thanks for reading.:)