The basics are of course white rice, sauteed or pickled vegetables, meat, and a raw or over easy egg along with a gochujang-based sauce. The most common meat choice is beef, and popular vegetable toppings include: carrots, spinach, mushrooms, sprouts, cucumber, radish. Sesame seeds are pretty common too, but it’s easy to see how this meal can include really whatever toppings you want.
A variation on bibimbap is the dolsot bibimbap, named for the thick stone dolsot pot in which the bibimbap is served. The base is then coated in sesame oil, which together with the scorching heat makes the bottom layer of rice crunchy. Dolsot bibimbap will come to your table absolutely sizzling — don’t touch it!
As you can imagine, this combination of carbohydrates, protein, a bit of fat, and loads of vegetables makes bibimbap a pretty complete meal. It’s packed with nutrients, and is wholesome and comforting, no wonder it’s so popular.