The History of Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a Korean rice dish that has been considered a portion of comfort food for many generations. The term “bibim” refers to mixing, and “bap” means rice, as the dish is a bowl of rice mixed with an assortment of vegetables and spices and topped with a fried egg. Bibimbap’s origins are very diverse. In some cases, the leftover side dishes were mixed with rice after a memorial service. For laborers, all the side dishes were mixed up altogether and eaten at once to quickly settle their meals so that they could go back to work as quickly as possible. 

Various herbs and seasonings in bibimbap are the best foods that not only supplement the nutrients lacking in rice but also complement the shortcomings and advantages of each food ingredient. Some say that the secret of long-living seniors over the age of 100 is bibimbap, and in-flight bibimbap has been selected as the best diet. 

There are many kinds of bibimbap. For example, Jeonju Bibimbap is the most famous bibimbap in the country and is the most favored traditional Korean dish by foreigners. Unlike other regional styles of the dish, Jeonju Bibimbap is unique. That is why all other bibimbap costs are usually between $6 and $8 while the cost for a bowl of Jeonju Bibimbap exceeds $10.

In addition, celebrities from many countries enjoyed having bibimbap very much. As one example, Michael Jackson encountered bibimbap when he performed in Korea in 1997, and he fell in love with the health dish, eating bibimbap for every meal while he was performing in the country. Before returning to the United States, he asked for the recipe for bibimbap and had the dish prepared for him at home. 

As South Korean culture has started to spread worldwide, the country’s food has received recognition for its healthiness and taste. Leading the way has been bibimbap as it is not only a staple of the Korean diet but also gaining popularity throughout the world. The dish was even added to the Oxford English Dictionary in December of 2011 as, “In Korean cookery: a dish consisting of rice topped with other ingredients, typically including sautéed vegetables, meat (especially beef), and chili paste, often with the addition of a raw or fried egg.” 

By: Yoong Kim