recipe: vegetarian bibimap dinner and bento lunch

Namrata Singh//korean style bento lunch

last week as i was organizing the kitchen i came across a package of gochujang sauce that p brought back for me from south korea when he was covering the g20 summit in seoul last year. then i thought wistfully back to the huge south korean spread my friend bo’s mom made for us when we visited her in philadelphia a few years ago and became inspired to create my own bibimap for dinner…and for lunch the next day! bibimap is a traditional korean dish with rice as a base and many different vegetables (and often beef) mixed in.

when i have time i like to try my hand at the japanese art (ok, i’m using the word ‘art’ loosely here) of bento. i prefer the boxes by black & blum, because it really is an all in one, with a container for sauces or dressings and a fork/knife. so i made enough to insure that i would have enough for my bento lunch.

i used a combination of recipes that i found online (herehere,here, and here). there is not much skill involved in this recipe, mostly patience as it takes a while to prepare the many different vegetables. 

to make this post less chaotic i’ll list each topping, its ingredients and how to make it separately. this was plenty for two people, a generous lunch the next day, and i still had to throw away some. 


prepare one cup of long grain rice as per the directions on the bag. i used basmati, but jasmine would also work. 

cucumber salad dressing: 

1 small cucumber, or half a large one. 

2 tablespoons gochu jang paste

1 tablespoon rice vinegar 

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon sesame seeds 

first, cut the cucumbers in to tiny pieces and let stand in a bowl with the salt mixed in. mix the other ingredients and whisk together nicely. press the cucumbers with a paper towel and take out as much moisture as possible. then, mix together the sauce and the cucumbers. place the bowl in the middle of your platter. (oh yea, the platter is not necessary, but it is so nice to see your beautiful work arranged all together at the end!). 


8 oz of spinach, washed 

garlic clove, minced 

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sesame seeds 

salt to taste

steam the spinach for one minute. if you don’t have a steamer, just put a bit of of very shallow water at the bottom of pan, boil, put the spinach in and put on the cover for one minute. rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, squeeze out the excess, mix the spinach with the sesame oil, seeds, garlic clove and salt. place it on your platter! 

carrots/shiitake or mixed mushrooms/spring onions/sprouts/broccoli

the easy thing about these is that they are all cooked in the same way. separately of course! but one after the other, and you can use the same frying pan. 

it basically goes vegetable + 

1 tablespoon veg. oil

1 garlic clove minced

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

salt and pepper to taste. 

julienne the vegetable, then saute it in the oil with the garlic. add salt and pepper to taste. mix with sesame seeds and place on your platter. 

i used: one carrot, a small bunch of brocoli, 4 oz of spring onions, two bunches of sprouts, and about 4 oz of mushrooms. 



fry an egg sunny side up for each person on the same frying pan.

after all of your ingredients are arranged on your platter, fill a bowl with rice for each person. dress your rice with your veggies and cucumber gochu jang sauce, with your fried egg on top. pause to take in the lovely arrangement, mix together and devour. 

after you are nice and full it is time to make your bento lunch. fill your bento box with rice and vegetables with separators in between each. try and do it in a way that is pleasing to the eye since that is half the fun- bright oranges next to bright greens, etc. the black & blum boxes come with one separator, but you can buy additional accessories. put the cucumber gochu jang dressing in the sauce container. if you are using the black & blum box, replace you’re the fork/knife with chopsticks. put it in the fridge and enjoy the next day for lunch, cold. et voila! 

18th October, 2011

One thought on “recipe: vegetarian bibimap dinner and bento lunch

  1. Pingback: Pork Carnitas « land of nams

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