Bi Bim Bap is a national pride of Korea and one of the oldest traditional Korean dishes. Historically speaking, the dish was made for Kings as well as ghosts. The dish represents the best of the best ingredients. Historical texts show that this dish was presented to the king as a representation of the best that Korea has to offer.
Bi Bim Bap has many variations. The name means mixed rice, so anytime ingredients are mixed along with rice, technically speaking it's all Bi Bim Bap.
Korea has a long history of respecting our elders. Even after they pass away we prepare a meal for the dead each year. It keeps our respect of our elders even after their passing and allows the family to get together and remember them. Lots of food is prepared and the deceased don’t really eat much so the ‘leftovers’ are shared among family. The offerings are usually some premo stuff so it’s usually a great family feast. The vegetables are usually mixed with rice along with some hot sauce and voila! Bi Bim Bap.
In Korea women like to get together at one of their friend’s homes and talk all night. Late at night when they get hungry they raid the fridge and put any ingredients they can find in a big bowl. Kim Chi, Rice and Hot Sauce is usually available along with leftovers and once again a very traditional way Bi Bim Bap is consumed!
The dish we offer is closer to the one offered to the King so not much chance of ghosts showing up at the store. Mind you, we do get many groups of women coming in to enjoy Bi Bim Bap.
So this is how we do it. The stone bowl is custom made from a Master Mason in Korea. This guy is famous in Korea for cutting these bowls by hand and the bowls as well for having healthy properties as the soapstone contains many minerals that they say adds to the nutrition of the food. White or Brown rice is then place at the bottom of the bowl. On top are 8 different vegetables that are individually prepared to bring out their maximum flavor profile. On top of all this is your choice of egg, beef, chicken, mushroom, tofu etc.. We don’t add egg to all the dishes because the yolk will interfere with the flavors of some of the ingredients but as it is a traditional part of the dish it’s always an option.
The dish was traditionally served at room temperature with a small amount of Seasoned GoChuJang (Korean Hot Sauce). They didn’t have stonebowls when they presented the dish to the Kings so you guys have better than our kings. The sauce should be mild enough so that Korean children can enjoy the dish. The sauce is important as it carries the sweet, hot, sour and savory to the bowl. We offer 6 different sauces so that you can enjoy the dish many different ways. There should be more toppings than there is rice so that most of the rice is covered and not too large in quantity. Usually served with a side of KimChi.
Our extra hot sauce has developed over the years. We use seasonal hot peppers so the heat varies from Habanero hot to Trinidad Moruga Scorpion hot. I know there are many out there that love heat and can handle more than most Koreans can but I believe it is important to be accurate as possible to the traditional way Bi Bim Bap was served decades ago so the heat is always mixed with traditional Korean seasoning. We use the best stone bowl that we could find from Korea so that your Bi Bim Bap is served sizzling at your table and keep the food warm right until the end of the meal. The Stone Bowls will toast the rice on the bottom to give the rice a crunchy nutty flavour.
If you have any questions abour Bi Bim Bap, please feel free to come in and ask.