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bibimbap

Pronunciation: [bee-BIHM-bahp; bee-BEEM-bahp]

Korean for "mixed rice," bibimbap is an everyday dish commonly made to use leftovers. Rice is served with a variety of foods that can include just about anything; vegetables (such as cucumbers, daikon and shiitake mushrooms), fried egg, kimchi, mung bean sprouts, sesame seed and oil, seaweed strands and kochujang (see chile bean paste). Though traditionally meatless, today's bibimbap will more often contain a small amount of meat (beef, pork, chicken or seafood). To serve this dish, the rice is placed in a large bowl and topped with the additions, most of which have been seasoned and sautéed. In the United States, bibimbap is becoming increasingly popular as imaginative restaurant chefs stretch traditional limits by adding as many colors, flavors and textures as possible. Dolsot bibimbap (dolsot means "stone pot") is served in a stone bowl so hot that the layer of rice touching it turns crunchy and golden brown—indeed, anything touching the bowl will cook immediately. This dish is also called pibimbap.