Once during an elementary Korean class, the instructor-cum-pastor said bibimbap is one of the most traditional (read: every impoverished farmer loved it) and healthy national dishes of Korea.
Obviously he never had the yuk hwe bi bim bap at Oo-kook (Cow Country) in Korea Town.
Next to a small mound of white rice lays over a quarter pound of raw shredded beef, tartared up with sesame oil and some soy sauce. The server, if gazing at pale skin instead of tanned skin, will ask: do you know how to eat the egg? To which the answer is: “yes, I love yuk hwe!”. After completion the awkward exchange, you shall crack open the accompanying factory farmed egg of unknown origin onto the pile of source-undetermined raw meat, and toss. Now is a good time to worry about the DHS ratings hung out front.
This ain’t Jar, and definitely not Rustic Canyon, so eat your yuk hwe with a heavy dose of caveat emptor. If you’re unemployed with no health insurance, stick to the “premium” AYCE KBBQ with “Kobe” at $25 per person. Lest you thought I’m some kind of deep-end diner, the yuk hwe bi bim bap was ordered because it was the only affordable item on the menu that had a healthy (raw) protein to carb ratio, ie, the choices are far and few in between if you don’t want beef that isn’t served on a grill. Then again, this is a gui (grill) house so…
A few of the high end KBBQ joints in Ktown are still serving Korean beef tartare, but after Food Inc, after mad cow disease, it takes a certain bit of gall to prominently feature a raw beef dish on restaurant wall posters and table placards. To balance the unhealthy prospects of yuk hwe, this bowl of non-dolsot (stone pot) bibimbap is served with 10 “royal” types of veggies/panchan dished in a separate plate. It’s all quite kitschy, but the end result is a bibimbap that’s finally worth the $10 price tag. It was possibly the best bowl of bibimbap ever, due to the heavy dose of moo, no doubt.
To best eat this frantic bowl of tossed rice, the vegetables/mix-in’s should be tossed with the rice on one side of the bowl, with the beef tartare remained marooned on the other. Some like their yuk hwe with only a tint of soy and sesame, others go heavy-handed and drench everything with gochujang. If there are other acceptable versions of this elsewhere, please let us know below in the comments.