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Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:18 a.m.

Bi Bim Bop - you can create this classic Korean dish at home

By Peggy Lampman


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Bi Bim Bop is not only a popular Ann Arbor dish, it's an Ann Arbor state of mind. There are many, many differing opinions as to what constitutes the best Bi Bim Bop, which establishment in town makes it best, and even how to spell it.

Since this is a recipe blog, I undertook the challenge of making it from scratch. Well, almost. Hyundai Market, a Korean market on Platt and Ellsworth, stocks everything you need; I usually get my thin-sliced beef, vegetables (spinach and sprouts being the most important to me) and seasoned red pepper paste to make the sauce from there. Pick up some kim chee while you're there — they make it in-house, and it's delicious.

To make the recipe below, you'll need to have bulgogi (Korean cooked beef) at the ready. Certainly tofu (my personal favorite) or chicken may be substituted. When I undertake making a Bop, I have bulgogi the night before the bop, insuring that I have leftovers.

If you've no time to cook, I've enjoyed Bop at Bell's Diner, Kosmo Deli, Bewon, Arirang and Tianchu. I'll bet there are other Bop cafes around town I haven't tried. Once again, I'm amazed a town our size has such a plethora of authentic Korean eateries.

Active Time: 50 minutes (including time to make the pepper sauce)
Marinate Time for Beef: 3-48 hours
Number of servings (yield): 4-6 servings


Steamed white rice

Assorted vegetables such as sprouts, shredded daikon and/or carrot, blanched spinach and julienned zucchini, and sautéed mushrooms

Fried eggs seasoned with kosher salt and sprinkled with sesame seeds


Korean Pepper Sauce (recipe below)


1. Divide steamed rice into serving bowls.

2. Arrange vegetables and proteins on rice; top with the fried egg. Mix together and enjoy, passing the Korean Pepper Sauce (recipe below).

* I purchased seasoned shredded vegetables, sprouts and spinach ready-to-go at Hyundai Asian Market.

Note: I froze the meat, then allowed it to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours. This allowed me to slice the beef in paper-thin slices against the grain, partially frozen, with ease.

Korean Red Pepper Sauce


2 tablespoons Korean-styled Seasoned Red Pepper Paste
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar


Whisk together pepper paste, sesame oil, sugar and 1 tablespoon of water.

Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Grocery section of You may also e-mail her at


Renee S.

Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

Oh, and I forgot to mention Seoul Garden; they make a hot stone pot Bi Bim Bop- if you've never had it that way, you're truely missing out.

Renee S.

Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.

I love Eastern Accents just off Liberty for my BBB. And then you can get a read bean bun for dessert, or maybe a green tea milkshake!

Camilo Quetglas Rais

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

I think the Best BBB is from Broadway Cafe.

Peggy Lampman

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

Very cool; another bop to add to the list. We may as well be living in Seoul!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

YUM! I lalalalalove BBB! I like to briefly saute the spinach/carrotts in sesame oil, to add a little extra flavor.

Peggy Lampman

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Great tip and perfect for Bop! Thanks for that, Ellen.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

The best BY FAR...I mean no competition...not even a question.... Is Panda. They are on Packard by Platt in that little strip mall. They are inarguably the BEST in the area. They even offer the dolsot which is a must if you want traditional bibimbap. service in a restaurant in this city. Not even kidding. I've been going to this restaurant for nearly 30 years now and it feels like family.

Peggy Lampman

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Thanks for that tip, Billy. I am definitely going to put Panda at the top of the list and try their dolsot. Thanks! Peggy