Homemade Dolsot Bibimbap

Wondering how to make bibimbap? This vegetarian dolsot bibimbap is as good as restaurant style, using a cast iron skillet instead of a dolsot pan.

  dolsot bibimbap | dolsot pan | how to make bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

This recipe was reprinted with permission from A Common Table by Cynthia Chen McTernan.

“If I ever had to choose one meal to eat for the rest of my life, bibimbap would be it.” That’s Cynthia Chen McTernan in her new book A Common Table. And we couldn’t agree more. Dolsot bibimbap is one of those recipes I’d choose for my last meal. Alex and I first had dolsot bibimbap at a Korean restaurant here in Indianapolis, in steaming hot stone bowls. The combination of savory veggies, dippy egg and crispy rice was out of this world, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Want to learn how to make bibimbap at home? Here’s Cynthia’s recipe: it’s was a huge hit at our house!

dolsot bibimbap | dolsot pan | how to make bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

A Q&A with the author

Cynthia is the author behind the food blog Two Red Bowls, where she shares recipes and life as a lawyer and mama of a toddler boy (and another little one on the way!). Cynthia’s recipes and food photography are some of the most beautiful out there, so we were stoked to hear she’d be writing a book! And the book? Well, the book, A Common Tableis incredible. Her photos elegantly capture the inventive food, and her recipes? Well, let’s just say this dolsot bibimbap quickly rose to a fan favorite in our house! Here’s an exclusive Q&A with Cynthia about the book!

Your book is called A Common Table: can you explain what this means?

Cynthia: At its heart the book is a representation of my little family and the things that make us who we are–so the “Common Table” is an intersection between my Chinese background and my childhood in the South, my husband’s Korean-Irish heritage and his childhood in Hawaii, and the places we’ve been since we met and began a family together. I wanted to put together a collection of our staples and favorite dishes from each of these cuisines, but also something that shows how they have more in common than first appears, and how experimenting with the flavors of each of them can also create something new, too.

A description of your book says that “the food we make and eat is rarely the product of one culture or moment, but is richly interwoven.” What’s an example of this?

Cynthia: One dish that I find that has a really complex and interesting background is shakshuka. Not only are there are iterations all across the Middle East, there’s its Italian cousin, eggs in purgatory (which I play with a bit in the book!) and the same basic combination crops up in other places, too, like in huevos rancheros and even in Chinese scrambled eggs and tomatoes. It is crazy to think that when I sit down at a restaurant and order a dish like shakshuka, what arrives before me is something that often has such a storied history that I can’t begin to comprehend and that is so much wider than even the country I’m in–but that it also has something in common with other cultures it didn’t even come from.

You mention if you could eat one food forever it would be dolsot bibimbap. What makes dolsot bibimbap so special to you?

Cynthia: I have really fond memories of bibimbap because it’s one of the first dishes my mother-in-law taught me how to make when I met my husband. But really I just love that I can never be bored with it. It’s so balanced–it has all sorts of veggies, a grain, a protein, but all kinds of textures and flavors, too. There’s sweetness from the carrots and onions and the bulgogi marinade, savoriness from the beef and egg and nori, that smoky-sweet spice from the gochujang and the crunch if you make it dolsot-style. (Plus, I love that it’s pretty much made for a party where you can mix and match what you put in!)

Thank you Cynthia, for sharing the recipes from your shared cultures with the world!

dolsot bibimbap | dolsot pan | how to make bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

What is dolsot bibimbap?

Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish: it’s a bowl of warm white rice topped seasoned vegetables and gochujang, Korean chili pepper paste. Often it’s topped with a fried egg. The dish is stirred together just before eating it, so that you can enjoy all the flavors together with the sauce of the runny egg yolk. So what’s dolsot bibimbap? If you order bibimbap “dolsot” style, the dolsot refers to a hot stone bowl that the bibimbap is served it. The dolsot makes the rice crispy, and elevates the entire dish to a whole new level. If I order bibimbap and dolsot bibimbap is an option, I always order the dolsot version!

How to make bibimbap

Alex and I assumed we’d have to have a dolsot pan to make dolsot bibimbap at home. Wrong! With Cynthia’s recipe from A Common Table, you can use a cast iron skillet to make the rice crispy! This was game changing for us. This recipe is incredible! It was so delicious that we immediately made it again for a dinner party. And as Cynthia noted above, it’s perfect for a dinner party since it’s so customizable. We made this recipe as a vegetarian bibimbap, since we mainly eat vegetarian. The recipe in her book also includes her beef bulgogi.

It takes a bit of time to sautee all the vegetables and crisp up the rice in this dolsot bibimbap recipe, but everything is pretty simple to whip up. One item of note: make sure to find gochujang at your grocery! It’s absolutely necessary to get that signature flavor. We’ve added the recipe for Cynthia’s gochujang sauce below: using gochujang, honey, soy, and toasted sesame seeds. Making the gochujang sauce makes it easier to drizzle over the entire bowl, but to shortcut some time you can simply add a dollop of gochujang itself (it’s just a little spicier that way!).

dolsot bibimbap | dolsot pan | how to make bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

Get the book

Order A Common Table by Cynthia Chen McTernan here!
*Note: This book is not 100% vegetarian or vegan, though it includes these types of recipes.

Looking for dinner party recipes?

This dolsot bibimbap a delicious vegetarian recipe that’s perfect for a dinner party! Here are a few more dinner party recipes on A Couple Cooks:

dolsot bibimbap | dolsot pan | how to make bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

This recipe is…

This dolsot bibimbap recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.

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dolsot bibimbap | dolsot pan | how to make bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

Homemade Dolsot Bibimbap


1 Star (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Korean

Description

Wondering how to make bibimbap? This vegetarian dolsot bibimbap is as good as restaurant style, using a cast iron skillet instead of a dolsot pan.


Ingredients

For the dolso bibimbap

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used grapeseed)
  • 2 cups julienned carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
  • 2 cups julienned zucchini (2 to 4 zucchini)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions (1 to 2 onions)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, divided
  • 5 to 6 cups packed torn spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic 2 to 3 cloves)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 8 to 10 cups cooked rice
  • 4 to 6 large eggs (1 per person)
  • Shredded roasted seaweed (nori), for serving
  • Gochujang or gochujang sauce, for serving

For the gochujang sauce (optional)

  • 1/2 cup gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. To cook the vegetables, saute each type separately: In a large nonstick skillet, heat a tablespoon or so vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the vegetable, then season generously with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until tender. Carrots will take about 3 to 4 minutes, zucchini 1 to 2 minutes, onions 5 to 7 minutes, and mushrooms 5 to 7 minutes. You can add a touch of soy sauce to the mushrooms, if you like. When each vegetable is done, remove and sprinkle with 1 to teaspoons sesame seeds, then set aside.
  2. Boil water in a teapot. Place the spinach in a colander and pour the water over the spinach until bright green and soft. Immediately drain and rinse to stop the cooking, then toss the spinach with 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  3. Finally, in a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame oil over low. When the oil is hot, add the rice to the skillet and spread gently into an even layer. Cook, without stirring, for about 15 minutes, letting the rice crackle very gently, until the bottom layer of rice form a golden, crisp crust.
  4. If desired, mix together the gochujang sauce (you can also serve with just gochujang, but we enjoyed it with the sauce!). If necessary, thin out the sauce with a bit of water (our gochujang was pretty thin, so we didn’t need to do this step).
  5. Fry the eggs: in a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium low heat. Crack the eggs gently into the skillet and cook, without moving them, until the whites are set and opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Divide the rice between 6 large, shallow bowls, followed by the vegetables, eggs, and a handful of roasted seaweed on top. Serve with gochujang sauce (or gochujang) on top or on the side.

Keywords: Dolsot Bibimbap, Bibimbap Recipe, Korean, Vegetarian Bibimbap, Dolsot Pan, How to Make Bibimbap, Vegetarian, Gluten Free

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
    November 26, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    The crispy rice is so intriguing to me! Love learning about new foods and dishes I’ve never heard of before! :)

    • Reply
      Sonja
      November 27, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      It’s SO good. You must try it!

  • Reply
    Katie
    November 27, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Could you tell me the name of the Korean restaurant in Indy? I’d like to go. Thanks! Happy Holidays!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      November 27, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      Great question! It was Cafe Korea in Fishers. Let us know if you make it there!

  • Reply
    cynthia
    December 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    This is unreal. And I LOVE that it can be made veggie so easily!! Thank you so much for the wonderful Q&A and for this beautiful post, Sonja and Alex. It means the world!

    • Reply
      Sonja
      December 3, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      Absolutely! Your book is one of our new faves. Thank you for sharing your story and food!

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