Make easy bibimbap with ground beef. This Korean mixed rice bowl recipe includes all the authentic elements with ground beef bulgogi and a homemade bibimbap sauce—all in under 1 hour.

A bowl of Korean bibimbap on a wooden tray served with gochujang sauce on the side.

Bibimbap is one of the most well-known Korean dishes in Korean cuisine. This hearty Korean rice bowl is very satisfying and perfect for feeding a crowd.

Making traditional beef bibimbap from scratch can take some time. However, you can simplify it by making ground beef bibimbap. This easy recipe lets you enjoy authentic flavors in under an hour from start to finish. Give it a try and share it with your loved ones!

A bibimbap vegetables and ground beef arranged in a serving bowl.

What is bibimbap?

Bibimbap literally means “mixed rice”—“bibim” means to mix, and “bap” means cooked rice. You can pronounce it as Bi-Bim-Bap.

This Korean rice bowl features warm rice topped with seasoned vegetables, meat (usually beef), and a sunny side-up fried egg. These elements add color and texture, making it a unique and delicious dish.

Bibimbap is served with a sweet and spicy red sauce made with gochujang (Korean chili paste). The fun part is mixing the rice, veggies, meat, and sauce in the bowl with chopsticks or a spoon before eating. It’s so tasty that once you try it, you’ll be hooked!

Bibimbap Ingredients

Ingredients for making bibimbap.

Meat

Many Korean beef bibimbap recipes use marinated beef bulgogi, but preparing it takes hours. An easier option is ground beef bulgogi, which takes less than 15 minutes and is just as tasty. Plus, ground beef mixes better with rice and vegetables than chunks of beef bulgogi.

For a vegetarian or vegan version, omit the beef or use a plant-based protein. You can also try chicken bulgogi, pork bulgogi or spicy squid stir-fry for variety. These options make it easy to customize your dish.

Vegetables

While the options for vegetables are endless and you can use any number of them, the vegetables used in bibimbap are collectively called namul (나물). On their own, they are Korean vegetable side dishes.

When choosing vegetables, strive for a color contrast to make the dish look more appetizing. Most commonly used vegetables are:

  • Soybean sprouts or mung bean sprouts – These add a crunchy texture to the dish wiht a hint of yellow color.
  • Spinach – This leafy green vegetable is a classic ingredient.
  • Watercress – If you prefer a more robust flavor than spinach, watercress is a great alternative. The best part is you can skip the blanching process.
  • Carrot – Adds a nice crunch texture and color contrast.
  • Zucchini – A common ingredient. You can use fresh or dried zucchini.
  • Swiss chard – A nutritious addition to the dish.
  • Radish – The mellow taste of Koran radish balances out the other flavors. I love the addition of white color it adds.
  • Eggplant – This soft and tender vegetable adds a great texture to the dish.
  • Bracken (gosari) – Needs some work to prep beforehand (see my Yukgaejang recipe for the idea)
  • Mushroom – Although not one of the traditional “namul” vegetables, but mushrooms are always included in bibimbap. Shiitake mushrooms are the most common, but other types are fine as well.
A bibimbap bowl assembled with ground beef bulgogi and colorful Korean vegetables.

Bibimbap Sauce

While meat and vegetables are important component, the red bibimbap sauce is essential for creating the dish’s signature flavor. Here’s an easy recipe to make your own sauce:

Ingredients for making bibimbap sauce.
  • Gochujang (Korean chili paste): This spicy, savory paste is a staple in Korean cuisine and adds heat and depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Korean plum extract (optional, but recommended): This sweet and tangy extract adds a unique twist to the sauce and complements the spicy gochujang.
  • Corn syrup or sugar: These sweeteners balance out the spiciness of the gochujang and add a touch of sweetness to the sauce.
  • Sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds: They add a nutty flavor texture to the sauce and helps to bring all the ingredients together.

I also have a recipe for homemade gochujang sauce that includes vinegar, adding a tangy flavor to the dish. Some people really enjoy this twist.

How to make bibimbap

Make the sauce

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside while you prepare meat and veggies.

For ground beef topping

The meat part of this recipe is very simple. Cook ground beef with onion and garlic until fully cooked. Pour the bulgogi sauce over the mixture and simmer until the sauce reduces. Check recipe video at my Korean ground beef bulgogi post for an idea.

Prepare the vegetables

Pro Tip: To ensure that each vegetable retains its natural color, it’s best to start by cooking the lightest-colored vegetable (such as radish) first and then progress to the darker-colored vegetables. This method also allows you to use just one skillet, making cleanup easier.

For Soy bean sprouts: Blanch sprouts in boiling water, then drain. Season with savory ingredients as shown in my Korean soybean sprout recipe.

For radish and zucchini: Stir-fry radish strips with the seasoning listed in the recipe, then remove from the skillet. Continue cooking the zucchini in the same manner.

For watercress and mushroom: Stir-fry spinach in oil with garlic in the same skillet, then remove. See my Korean spinach side dish to compare. Proceed with mushrooms, cooking them with savory seasonings.

For carrot and egg: Cook the carrots with seasoning in the skillet until soft, then remove. Fry the eggs sunny-side-up or to your preference.

Assemble Bibimbap Bowl

Colorful Korean vegetables, beef, and bibimbap sauce are ready to assemble.
  1. Put a desired amount of warm rice on the bottom of a large individual serving bowl.
  2. Arrange the vegetables on top of the rice in alternating colors for a good visual presentation. Put bulgogi meat in the center.
  3. Place a fried sunny side-up egg on top.
  4. You can either drizzle the sauce (about 2 tablespoon) directly over the rice bowl, or you can put the sauce in a small sauce bowl on the side next to the rice bowl so that your guest can add the sauce directly to the bowl in their desired amount.
Top view of Korean rice bowl mixed with a spoon.

Serving Tips

Eating Korean mixed rice with vegetables is fun and interactive. Here’s how to enjoy it:

Mixing:

Break the egg yolk and white with chopsticks. Mix the rice, vegetables, and sauce with chopsticks. Use a spoon to coat everything evenly. Watch my tutorial video for a visual guide.

Serving:

Take a big spoonful and enjoy the mix of rice, meat, and vegetables in savory gochujang sauce. Korean mixed rice bowl doesn’t need many side dishes since it includes many veggies, but kimchi and a light soup like soybean paste soup or kimchi soup can round out the meal.

Dolsot Bibimbap vs Bibimbap

Bibimbap comes in two variations: regular and dolsot.

The regular version is served at room temperature in a large bowl. In contrast, dolsot bibimbap is served hot in a heated stone pot.

Dolsot version is often preferred in colder weather because it stays warm longer. The stone pot is placed directly on a heat source, keeping the rice and toppings hot until the last bite.

How to make dolsot bibimbap

Instead of using a stone pot, heat a heavy-duty cast iron or carbon steel skillet on the stovetop to create the signature crispy rice crust at the bottom of the bowl.

The skillet method also allows for greater control over the cooking process and makes it easy to customize the ingredients to your liking. Enjoy this tasty and satisfying meal any time of year. It will surely become a new favorite!

Check my recipe video below to see how it is made in a skillet (at 4:09).

Watch bibimbap recipe video

A bowl of Korean bibimbap drizzled with red sauce.

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A bowl of Korean bibimbap is on a wooden tray with gochujang sauce on the side

Easy Ground Beef Bibimbap (Korean Mixed Rice)

Make easy bibimbap with ground beef. This Korean mixed rice bowl recipe includes all the authentic elements with ground beef bulgogi and a homemade bibimbap sauce—all in under 1 hour.
5 from 7 ratings

Recipe Video

Ingredients

Bibimbap sauce

For bibimbap

  • 6 cup freshly cooked white rice
  • 6 egg
  • 1 lb ground beef bulgogi, see not below for vegetarian or vegan option

Bibimbap vegetables

  • 1 lb soybean sprouts
  • 1 lb Korean radish, sliced into very thin matchsticks
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress, sliced
  • 6 oz shiitake mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin matchsticks (see note)

Vegetable seasonings

Instructions 

To make bibimbap sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well; set aside.

To make bibimbap vegetables

  • For the soybean sprouts, blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain. Season with a a mixture of 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 teaspoons Korean soup soy sauce, pinch salt, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, and 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions. Toss well.
  • For the radish, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add radish slices and a couple pinches of salt, and toss well. Cover with a lid and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Drizzle 2 teaspoon of sesame oil. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • For zucchini, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons garlic, zucchini slices, and salt. Stir fry until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Toss well.
  • For watercress, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and watercress; stir fry for 1 minute. Drizzle 2 teaspoon Korean soup soy sauce and cook until wilted.
  • For mushrooms, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the 2 teaspoons minced garlic and the mushrooms; stir fry for 1 minute. Drizzle 2 teaspoon Korean soup soy sauce and cook until soft. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds at the end and toss.
  • For carrots, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrot and salt and toss together for 30 seconds. Pour in 2 tablespoons water to create steam and cover with a lid immediately. Cook for 1-2 minutes until soft. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds at the end and toss.

For ground beef and egg

  • Cook ground beef bulgogi according to the recipe direction.
  • For eggs, fry eggs to sunny-side up or over easy in hot oil.

Assembling Bibimbap

  • Put a desired amount of rice on the bottom of a large serving bowl. Arrange the vegetables on top of the rice in alternating colors for a good visual presentation. Put bulgogi meat in the center. Place an sunny-side up egg on top.
  • You can either drizzle the bibimbap sauce (about 2 tablespoon) directly over the rice bowl, or you can put the sauce in a small sauce bowl on the side next to the bibimbap so that your guest can add the sauce directly to the bowl in their desired amount.

Notes

For carrot: I use package pre-shreded carrot matchsticks. It’s a time savor and makes prep time shorter.
For vegetarian or vegan bibimbap: You can either omit the beef and egg, or replace with tofu and other plant based protein.
For ultimate bibimbap sauce: try my all-purpose homemade gochujang sauce to replace the easy bibimbap sauce.
Calories: 659kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 217mg, Sodium: 1278mg, Potassium: 1049mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 3956IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 166mg, Iron: 5mg
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