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Best korean bibimbap ingredients/toppings

what are the best (or most interesting) ingredients you had or would like to try in bibimbap? I want to experiment different combinations! Thanks!

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  1. i like the usual bulgogi, egg, spinach, carrots, onions, zucchini, etc. my other fav is the sashimi one with sashimi cuts and shredded lettuce... yummmers!!

    1. you mean in a restaurant or at home? you might want to cross post in Home Cooking. I read an LA Times article that suggested topping bibimbap with Alaskan salmon and crumbled seaweed... definitely pushing the definition of bibimbap, but it does sound kinda tasty.


      1. Raw beef (yukhwe) is AWESOME.

        I think on of the most important, but most basic, components of a good bibimbap is plenty of sesame oil.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Humbucker

          I've been afraid to try the yuk hwe version, although I love yuk hwe & used to beg my mom for it when I was little. Something about not trusting a restaurant w/ raw beef...although, I'm funny & will trust them w/ raw fish.

          My favorite is Hwe Dup Bab - sashimi (usually tuna & salmon), asian pear (or sometimes w/ fuji apples) and a bunch of other vegetables w/ a spicy, sweet, vinegary gochuchang sauce.

          1. re: smlee

            Oh yes, hwe dup bap is great. I like it even more than chirashi. However, I don't really consider it bibimbap. It's more of a sashimi salad that happens to have rice in it.

        2. I always like a little dried shitake mushroom saute on my bi bim bab for umami.

          I also like kong na mul (soy bean spouts), and consider spinach (seasoned of course) a must.

          1. Oh how could I forget Kosari? Dried fiddleheads (not the large type seen in North American markets in the spring, but a much longer, thinner type). My parents go out every spring into the wilds of Manitoba to harvest wild kosari. They then air dry it on gigantic sheets in the sun. It smells terrible, somewhat vegetal. I always felt a little bad for our postman on those days. But then we'd have this great side dish all year long. My Mom would rehydrate it in water, boil it, then season it with what she calls the basics (sesame seed, sesame oil, soya sauce, pepper, sugar, accent if you want it.) Add in some shitake, green onion/pepper (she makes it with green pepper instead of green onion for me because I am a strange green-onion hating korean) onions, simmer and stir for a few minutes, then put on top on bibimbap or eat as a banchan (side dish). I love this dish! Although they are getting older, they still go out on their yearly trek, and so I still get care packages with the dried product. You can also buy kosari in the dried section of grocery stores. I am fortunate to say I have never have anything but handpicked, homemade kosari, so I can't tell you how the commercial product compares, but my mum said it's not bad. Anyway, it adds a lovely earthy umami to your bibimbap, and if you are making veggie bibimbap, it is a nice replacement for the flavour of the beef.

            1 Reply
            1. re: moh

              Oh yeah, one point, after soaking kosari overnight, and boiling it, you rinse and drain it before seasoning it. This is a dry dish, not a soup. but when you season it and add a bit of soya, it gets a tiny bit of liquid.

            2. Seasoned spinach
              Doragi (Broad bellflower root)
              Sauteed sweet potato stems
              Seasoned soy bean sprouts with shredded carrot
              Mung bean sprouts
              Shredded daikon radish (sweetened and soured with a touch of chili powder)
              Beef flank steak, seared, boiled, and shredded
              egg sunny side up

              1. My wife adds aged kim chee. She slices/chops in size similar to the carrots. Yummy....

                1. i use leftover namul which is usually:

                  some bitter sauteed leaf (dont know the name but I LOVE it)
                  and other random veggies I dont know the english names for.

                  I never cook carrots, zuchini, or mushrooms for it bc I never cook namul for bibimbap...i just use whatever is handy. I also definitely need my sunny side up egg, healthy dose of gochujang, and drizzle of sesame oil

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: bitsubeats

                    Ooooh -- what is that name of the bitter leaf? I know what you're talking about -- there's an astringent quality on your tongue when you eat it. Does anybody know its name?

                    It's probably not traditional, but I always add seaweed in some form to my bi bim bap for extra minerals.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      I think you are referring to chrysanthemum leaf ("tong ho" in Cantonese").


                      1. re: Humbucker

                        Perhaps it's that -- I'm not sure. I've definitely had fresh chrysanthemum leaves in casseroles. My mom used to use dried leaves and reconstitute them for the bi bim bap. So I'm not sure if it's tong ho.

                      2. re: Miss Needle

                        i have no idea what its called...but it looks like pumpkin leaves...kinda

                        yeah i love shredded kim in my bibimbap.