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This authentic dolsot bibimbap is just as good as restaurant style! For a homemade version, use a cast iron skillet instead of a dolsot pan.

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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. 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! We’ve been hooked ever since. Want to learn how to make bibimbap at home? Keep on reading.

What is bibimbap?

Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish: it’s a bowl of warm white rice topped seasoned vegetables. Sounds basic, until you add the spicy gochujang, Korean chili pepper paste, and a fried egg. The best part: you stir the dish together just before eating it! This melds together all the zingy pickled and fermented flavors from the vegetables with the creamy egg yolk. It’s truly one of the most magical experiences. Once you’ve had it once, you’ll be singing its praises.

Then, what’s dolsot bibimbap?

So, what’s dolsot bibimbap? If you order bibimbap “dolsot” style, the dolsot is a hot stone bowl that the bibimbap is served it. The dolsot makes the rice crispy, and takes the entire dish to a whole new level. Our tip for you: if dolsot bibimbap is an option, always order the dolsot version! You won’t be disappointed.

How to make bibimbap

How to make bibimbap: some tips

Bibimbap is the ultimate bowl meal! Because there are so many components, it takes a bit of time to prepare. Make sure to allow at least 1 hour to make bibimbap. You’ll find the time is absolutely worth it, though, because the meld of textures and flavors is simply mind blowing. Here are the major components to make for bibimbap:

  • Make the rice. White short grain rice is most traditional. Start it and get to work on the rest of the meal.
  • Saute each veggie separately. In the recipe below, you’ll find Cynthia’s simple method for seasoning each with salt and sesame seeds. You can use lots of different veggies, but we prefer the mix she chose. Spinach, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and onion are perfection.
  • Make the gochujang sauce. The sauce here is what takes it over the top! It takes just a few minutes to whip up.
  • Fry the rice (optional). Cooking the rice in a cast iron skillet crisps up the bottom and makes it into dolsot bibimbap!
  • Fry the eggs. Right before serving, fry the eggs.

This recipe is incredible! It was so delicious that we immediately made it again for a dinner party. It’s great for entertaining since it’s so customizable. We made this recipe as a vegetarian bibimbap, but the recipe in the book also includes beef bulgogi.

dolsot bibimbap | vegetarian bibimbap

Make dolsot bibimbap: with a cast iron skillet!

Now, if you’re looking to take your bibimbap over the top…make it as dolsot 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. It takes about 15 minutes to make the bottom golden and crispy, but it’s absolutely worth it.

Gochujang is a must.

Make sure to find gochujang at your grocery! It’s absolutely necessary to get that signature flavor in the gochujang sauce, which is used to flavor the entire dish. Cynthia’s recipe for gochujang sauce includes gochujang, honey, soy, and toasted sesame seeds. Making the gochujang sauce makes it easier to drizzle over the entire bowl. To shortcut some time you could simply add a dollop of gochujang itself: but that way it’s mostly spicy and misses the savory and sweet components.

A Common Table cookbook

Q&A with the author: A Common Table

Cynthia Chen is the author behind the food blog Two Red Bowls, where she shares recipes and life as a lawyer and mama. Her new cookbook, A Common Tableis a work of art. 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: what does that mean?

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.

A description of your book says that “the food we 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 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!). 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 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?

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!

best bibimbap

Get the book

Order A Common Table by Cynthia Chen McTernan here!

This dolsot bibimbap recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free.

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

BEST Bibimbap


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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This authentic dolsot bibimbap is just as good as restaurant style! For a homemade version, use a cast iron skillet instead of a dolsot pan.


Ingredients

Scale

For the dolsot 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 white short-grain rice (try our Instant Pot method or Stovetop Method)
  • 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)

  • ½ 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.

Notes

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

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Korean

More 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:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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10 Comments

  1. Hélène says:

    8-10 CUPS of rice between 4 ppl? What am I missing here? That’s 2 cups rice, AT LEAST, per person?
    If I piled 10 cups of cooked rice into my 12” skillet, very little of it would crisp; it would be a thick layer.
    Is this measurement a typo?
    I make 1c of raw (brown) rice for 4 ppl at a meal. Generally some is left. It cooks up to about 3 cups rice…

    1. Alex says:

      Hi! This recipe is for 6 people and yes, it makes quite a bit!

  2. Teresa T says:

    I made this tonight and it was so good! Thank you for a great recipe!!

    1. Sonja says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! All the credit goes to Cynthia at Two Red Bowls for the recipe!

  3. cynthia says:

    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!

    1. Sonja says:

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

  4. Katie says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

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

  5. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite says:

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

    1. Sonja says:

      It’s SO good. You must try it!