(Octopus Bibimbap).




I must confess, as much as I love Bibimbap, the main motivation for me making this was this great cast iron pot I recently bought. I got it at Pot + Pantry, a small kitchenware shop in San Francisco. Although they can be a little pricey at times, I think that it’s a great store – they have lots of new, used, and really cool vintage stuff. This particular pot I just picked up is maybe 10 inches in diameter (I’m not the best at estimating anything so for all I know it could be 7, 8, 9 inches) with no lid but a wire handle. The woman who I assume owns the store called it a cauldron. And it was only 12 dollars ! A great find in my opinion. And, as my mom pointed out, very nice for making Bibimbap.

So, as my favorite Bibimbap is this Seafood Bibimbap from a place on the Peninsula, I decided to give that a try. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really remember what seafood went into it other than the octopus so I’ve had to modify it to just Octopus Bibimbap. Bibimbap is traditionally rice mixed in with leftover New Years dishes, so you can really put whatever you want on top. And, while I was researching recipes, I found out that there are tons of different kinds of Bibimbap! So many variations that I think anything that you decide to do with it will be okay.

Yum yum yum yum yum.

Nakji Bibimbap

Several Cups Cooked Rice

1 to 2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

1 Recipe Cucumber Salad (see below)

1 Recipe Carrot Salad (see below)

1 Recipe Kosari (see below)

1 Recipe Spinach (see below)

1 Recipe Bean Sprouts (see below)

1 Recipe Shiitake Mushrooms (see below)

1 Recipe Nakji Bokum (see below)

1 Egg


Have your Rice and Toppings all ready in separate bowls.

Heat a cast iron skillet or pot over medium heat. Coat with the Sesame Oil and heat for one minute. Add the rice to the pot and spread out evenly on the bottom, pushing it against the bottom and sides. Cook the rice for several minutes to allow the rice to brown on the bottom (I like mine really crispy, and although I let the rice cook in the pot for 10 to 15 minutes, I think it could have been in for another 10 or 15).

Arrange each of the prepared toppings on the rice like spokes of a wheel (I only used a portion of each topping and set aside the rest if people wanted more, as I felt the recipes yielded a little much). For the Egg, you can either fry it and place it in the middle, on top of all the other toppings, or crack it raw straight into the middle.

To serve, you may want to transfer the pot to a heatproof pad on your table so that all can see your beautiful Bibimbap. Fold together all of the toppings and rice, making sure to scrape the crispy bits of rice from the sides into the rest of the mix. Transfer to individual bowls to eat.


Cucumber Salad

From Rasamalaysia.com

2 Tablespoons Red Chili Pepper Paste

1 Tablespoon Rice or Cider Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Apple Juice or Water

2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil

1 Medium-Sized Cucumber

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds


For the dressing : Whisk together the Red Chili Pepper Paste, Vinegar, Honey, Apple Juice or Water, and Sesame Oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

Slice the Cucumbers in 1/4 inch rounds (or peel and cut them into chunks, as I did) and toss them in a large bowl with the Salt. Set aside for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the liquid from the cucumbers and transfer to a serving bowl.

Combine the dressing with the cucumbers and sprinkle with the Sesame Seeds.


Carrot Salad

From Rasamalaysia.com

1 Carrot

About 1 Teaspoon Dark Sesame Oil

Sea Salt to taste


Peel and slice the Carrot into matchstick strips (I do this by slicing the carot on diagonal into thin disks and then cutting them into strips).

In a pan over medium heat, heat the Sesame Oil. Add the carrot and Sea Salt and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.



From Maangchi.com

1 to 2 Handfuls of Kosari (Fernbrake), soaked and cooked

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon Sugar

Sesame Seed Oil


Cut the Kosari into 5 to 7 centimeter long pieces. Sauté with vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the Soy Sauce and Sugar and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the Sesame Seed Oil and transfer to a serving bowl.



From Maangchi.com

1 to 2 Handfuls of Spinach

1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce

1 Clove of Garlic, minced

Pinch of Salt

1 to 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil


Add the Spinach to a pot of boiling water and cook, stirring, for a minute. Remove and rinse it in cold water, then squeeze lightly to remove excess water. In a bowl, mix it with the Soy Sauce, Salt, Garlic, and Sesame Oil. Set aside.


Bean Sprouts

From Maangchi.com

1 to 2 Large Handfuls of Bean Sprouts

1 Teaspoon Salt, plus a Pinch

1 Clove of Garlic, Minced

1 to 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil


Rinse the Bean Sprouts three times in cold water. Add the sprouts and the Teaspoon of Salt to a pot of boiling water and cook for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how done you like them). Drain the sprouts and transfer to a serving bowl. Mix with the Pinch of Salt, Garlic, and Sesame Oil.


Shiitake Mushrooms

From Maangchi.com

5 to 7 Shiitake Mushrooms, either fresh or if dry, soaked several hours

2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce

1 to 2 Teaspoons Sugar

1 to 2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil


Slice the Shiitake Mushrooms thinly. Sauté in a pan with vegetable oil. Mix in the Soy Sauce and Sugar and stir for another two minutes. Add the Sesame Oil and transfer to a serving bowl.


Nakji Bokum

From Trifood.com

2& 1/2 Tablespoons Red Chili Pepper Paste

2 Tablespoons Red Chili Pepper Flakes

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

1 Pound Octopus (Squid can be substituted)

1/2 Onion, sliced in rings

2 Green Onions, sliced

1/4 Carrot, thinly sliced

2 Red or Green Chili Peppers, sliced


To make the sauce, combine the Red Chili Pepper Paste, Chili Pepper Flakes, Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, and Garlic in a large bowl. Set aside.

Wash the Octopus and cut the legs into 2 to 3 inch lengths. Open the head, take out and discard the inside. Quarter the head and drain well. Add the octopus legs and head to the sauce and marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat a pan on medium high heat. Add the marinated octopus and sauce, sliced Onion, Green Onions, Carrot, and Chili Peppers, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done (for me, the octopus was a little overcooked at 8 minutes. I would say 5 to 6 minutes was fine for the small octopus I had).