Vegan bibimbap: mixed rice and vegetables, a popular, traditional, and nutritious Korean meal. Be aware though: You do need to specify very clearly when you order it that you want it without the egg on top, and check that it does not include minced meat, as one variety does, and sometimes it can be added in for free, “service.” And, if you don’t eat spicy food, you can also ask them to leave out the very large dollop of spicy sauce they’ll otherwise plant right in the center of the bowl of fresh veggies, for you to then enjoy stirring in the mix.
산채 비빔밥 = “Sanchae bibimbap” is fresh mountain vegetables mixed with rice.
Not every restaurant offers this; usually only slightly higher class, nicer restaurants, and you might pay another couple of thousand won, perhaps w6,000 – w8,000, or more if the side dishes are also plentiful and higher quality.
비빔밥 = “Bibimbap,” or mixed rice and vegetables is a wonderfully healthy, quick meal, and a standard go-to for those late-night emergency meals or any time during the day. It usually comes in a plastic or stainless steel bowl, with a bed of cooked rice on the bottom, and vegetables nicely arranged around the sides on top.
전주 비빔밥 = “Jeonju bibimbap” is named after the city of origin, the capital city of the North Jeolla province in the south west of the country. It is essentially the same as regular bibimbap, except with a portion of minced meat added into the mix.
돌솥 비빔밥 = “Dolsot (Stone bowl) bibimbap” is very similar to standard bibimbap, but watch out for your fingers! It is served in a stone bowl which has just been placed directly on top of the gas fire so it is exceedingly hot. Do NOT touch the bowl; use the plastic dish underneath to turn it if necessary. The heat on the bottom will caramelize the rice, and sometimes will burn it if you are not quick enough to stir it all around.
A meal of any given bibimbap usually costs about w4-5,000 at a cheaper restaurant, and w7-10,000 at a higher quality place, which usually provides nicer decor and more fresh vegetable side dishes.
So if you have nothing in your fridge or cupboard but you have a Kimbap Nara or Kimbap Chungook just down the road, wander on in and say:
야채 비빔밥 주세요! = “Yahchae bibimbap, jusaeyoh!” Mixed vegetables and rice, please!
고기 빼고, = “Kogi behgoh,” No meat,
계란 빼고 요! = “Kaeran behgoh, yoh!” no egg, thanks!
Note: 두부 = “Dubu” (tofu) is not usually included within the bowl.
It might be included as a side dish in more expensive restaurants.