poor man’s bibimbap

There are a few things that you will almost always find if our fridge:

  • Sriracha
  • soy sauce
  • diet coke
  • a head of cabbage (seriously, it’s like the most useful vegetable)
  • a bunch of carrots (second most useful)
  • a jar of Better Than Bouillon (not a vegetable, but very useful)
  • …and a dozen eggs.

Eggs are one of my favorite ways to add protein and substance to a meal. One of our go-to recipes is this take on Bibimbap, the Korean rice-and-fixins dish. It calls for asparagus but we’ve also used gai lan successfully. The original recipe (linked below) is quite fussy – I’ve streamlined it and made it cheaper and easier.

Here’s a shot from a few months ago, with gai lan instead of asparagus. I love how the egg yolk breaks open, making a bonus sauce for the whole bowl.
Rice bowl with steak and egg

I’ve found that the best cut to use is top round, which is cheap and fairly tender when sliced thin. The key is freezing the meat for about 30 minutes and using a sharp knife so you can cut super thin slices. This way they take in a bunch of flavor from the marinade and they cook quickly. Also, you can eat quite a few pieces of steak and still not have that much meat. With enough vegetables, you can easily serve each person 2-3 ounces of meat.

Korean Rice Bowl with Asparagus and Egg

adapted from Bon Appetit


  • 12 ounces top round steak, flank steak, or other relatively tender beef
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other chili sauce (I like to use the Sriracha chili-garlic sauce for this recipe
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry, rice wine, or dry white wine
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds asparagus spears or gai lan (Chinese broccoli), cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable, possibly more as needed
  • 4 large eggs
  • about 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • more Sriracha, for serving
  • freshly cooked rice (brown rice works well, if that’s how you roll)


Freeze the meat for about 30 minutes so it will be easier to cut, then slice as thin as possible against the grain. Toss with the soy sauce, green onions, brown sugar, wine, and garlic clove and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat your broiler to high place a rack in the highest position possible. You’ll want the meat to be very close to the element.

Drain the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and broil until very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes depending on how thin the meat is (there is no need to flip; they should be cooked through). Remove to a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of sesame seeds and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat with 1 tablespoon oil. Stir fry the asparagus until barely tender, about 4-5 minutes (it will take about the same amount of time with gai lan). Remove to a bowl and wipe out the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, add another teaspoon of oil, and fry the eggs until they’re done to your liking (alternately, you can poach the eggs).

To assemble, place a scoop of rice in each bowl. Top with some asparagus, steak, and one fried egg. Serve with extra chili sauce!


2 thoughts on “poor man’s bibimbap

  1. A couple of ounces of “meat” when combined with Rice converts the whole pile into “whole protein” … something about the amino acids being potentiated and rounded out…. Diet For a Small Planet from the late sixties or early 70s taught us this…. and for those of us that are committed carnivores it satisfies our needs with a lower step on the food chain ladder. Gus

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