Primal Korean Bibimbap

PrimalBibimbap, a dish made up of white rice mixed with vegetables, meat, egg and a fermented condiment or two, is Korean comfort food. A quick Primal change (switching out white rice for cauliflower rice and modifying the beef marinade) turns Bibimbap into comfort food that’s also quite healthy.

The crowning glory of this flavorful one bowl meal is gochujang, a fermented paste made of chili peppers, soybeans, rice, and salt. The flavor is salty, slightly sweet and spicy. If you like your food spicy, there are infinite ways to use gochujang. Serve it with meat and vegetables, scrambled eggs, or stirred into soup and stews.

Usually, the ingredients for Bibimbap are cooked in quick succession in the same skillet. In this lazier version, the cauliflower rice, carrots and mushrooms are roasted in the oven while the meat marinates. The meat and spinach are quickly sautéed, then everything is thrown together for a meal overflowing with salty, sweet, and spicy umami flavors.


Time in the Kitchen:
1 hour 15 minutes, plus 2 hours to marinate


Primal aviary edited

  • 1 pound thinly sliced (1/8-inch) boneless beef rib-eye steak, boneless short ribs or hangar steak (453 g)
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Asian pear, or ½ apple, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1-inch/25 mm piece peeled ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos (80 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar (30 ml)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch/6 mm wide slices
  • 10 ounces Shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (284 g)
  • 10 ounces baby spinach (284 g)
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (divided) (45 ml, 60 ml)
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 eggs
  • Korean Gochujang Sauce


Cooking Tip: The easiest way to slice meat very thinly is to first wrap the meat in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for 1 to 1 ½ hours so the meat becomes firm but not frozen. 

In a blender or food processor, combine kiwi, pear/apple, scallions, garlic, ginger, coconut aminos and vinegar until smooth.

Cover the meat with the marinade. Chill 1 to 2 hours–no longer, or the meat will get mushy. Take the meat out of the refrigerator and let it come up to room temperature while you prep the veggies.

Heat oven to 400 °F/204 °C.

In a large bowl, toss mushrooms and carrots in 3 tablespoons oil. Lightly salt and pepper. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and process until the cauliflower is broken up into tiny pieces the size of rice. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with ¼ cup oil. Season lightly with salt. Spread the cauliflower out evenly in a thin layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Roast the carrots, mushrooms and cauliflower for 20 minutes, then stir each pan. Roast 10 minutes more, until the carrots and mushrooms are soft and the cauliflower is nicely browned. (The cauliflower rice can be left in even longer, for a crunchier texture.)

When the vegetables come out of the oven, heat a drizzle of oil (avocado oil works well) in a large skillet. Shake the marinade off the meat and cook the meat in three batches, so the skillet isn’t too crowded. Add more oil to the skillet between batches as needed. Cook each batch of meat 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside.

When the meat is done, drizzle a little more oil in the pan and add the spinach. Saute in the oil and meat juices left in the skillet just until the spinach is wilted.

Wrapping Caul

Divide the cauliflower rice between 4 servings bowls. Top with the carrots, mushrooms, spinach and meat.

Fry an egg for each bowl. Top each bowl with a fried egg and gochujang sauce.


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