Bibimbap – Korean Fried Rice (paleo, grain free, AIP options)

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Bibimbap - Paleo Korean Fried Rice


{I love finding new easy dinner recipes to get me out of our dinner “rut”.  Now, we still love my ground beef curry and this Homemade Hamburger Helper, but I'm thankful for this latest addition to our repertiore.  Please welcome Naomi from Almost Bananas as she brings us a recipe I have been sooo wanting to make:  Bibimbap.  Korean Fried Rice.  She has a lovely blog of whole food and has beautiful documentation of her life in Slovakia.  Be sure to visit.}

This summer, while visiting back home, I reconnected with a dear friend.

Her husband is Korean and when he made us bibimbap, our family had a new favourite food.

Bibimbap means ‘mixed rice' and is one of those dishes that has much room for variation.

I shouldn't really title this bibimbap though- any Korean person would look at this and declare

“THAT is not bibimbap.”

– There is no guchujung, red chili paste; the bought paste is full of not-real ingredients and the fermented homemade version requires more dedication than I have.
– The vegetables should be julienned; I have neither a julienner nor extra time to cut vegetables so finely so I grated them.
– Sesame seed oil is not really available where I live, so I used sesame seeds.

I wanted people to be able to make this without having to run to a specialty store. Technically this is bibimbap inspired, but that makes for a rather unwieldy title.

Traditionally bibimbap is made with short grain rice but I've also made it with cauliflower to make it grain free.

Truth be told, it's better with rice – in fact, it's downright addictive. But it's also very good with cauliflower ‘rice', and that's what I used for the photos.

Bibimbap - Paleo Korean Fried Rice

Notes: Besides the vegetables that I listed below, I've also added chopped lettuce, radish, and bean sprouts.

The meat can be substituted with a fried egg or two per person for a vegetarian version.

Any ground meat will work, I used beef but pork or even chicken will fit. If you need to be soy free, feel free to substitute coconut aminos + salt for the tamari. The best fat to use is butter, for that nutty flavour, however if you can't eat dairy, olive oil or baking coconut oil will do.

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Have you heard of or eaten bibimbap before?

Naomi Huzovicova - Writer at Whole New MomNaomi is originally from Canada but is now a wife and mom in Slovakia. She tries to live each day as a follower of Christ in the chaos of caring for children. Using real food and creating an environmentally-friendly surrounding for her family is a priority. She dreams of a little farm while living in an apartment, enjoys handmade creations, and still doesn't like brussels sprouts. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on PinterestGoogle+, and Facebook.


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    The comments below do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.
  1. Beth Nydick says:

    I am always ordering BimBop at restaurants. I love doing it with cauliflower plus it has a great flavor .

  2. I would probably re-title this “bokkeumbap” because that’s what Korean fried rice is called, and it looks like that’s what this is. Except, you know, cauliflower instead of rice.. “Bap” means rice. And “bokkeum” means fried. As you said, bibimbap is mixed rice. I know it sounds like a small distinction but these are two very different (but equally delicious) dishes. I was actually on google hunting for a low carb way to eat bibimbap since the the red pepper paste is so high in sugar when I stumbled across your blog. In any case, it looks delicious and I’m glad I stumbled across your blog!

    • How interesting – thanks!!! I have personally never had the red pepper paste. Welcome and hope to see you around again!

    • One difference, I think, is that none of the vegetables are fried, they are all raw like in bibimbap. At least, my Korean friend said that this was an approximation to bibimbap.

  3. Yum! This looks so awesome that I just put it in my family’s menu plan for next week!

    Thank you!

  4. Jennifer K says:

    You’re right in your description. This is not even close to being anything like bibimbab!! I lived in Korea for many years, and my husband is Korean – and I wouldn’t call this bibimbab when I cook it for him, he would be like, “what on Earth are you talking about!?” haha It is definitely a fried rice – and there is actually nothing ‘fried’ about bibimbab. It’s actually – traditionally – loads of fresh veggies and rice (and like you said, with gochujang and sesame oil, all “mixed” up!) …
    If it were to be more like bibimbab, the veggies would all be fresh, topped on the rice, and then mixed up!!

    That aside – it looks delicious and I’ve been dying to try cauliflower “rice.” Thanks for the inspiration I need to make cauliflower rice this week!!

    • The veggies are fresh, only the cauliflower is sauteed to substitute for the rice. Some recipes for cauliflower ‘rice’ call for steaming, but I found that it made it more mushy.
      I hope you enjoy the western-style-grain-free-bibimbap-substitute!

  5. Susan Alexander says:

    How do you think this would come out without the sesame? I have a daughter who is highly allergic. I suppose I could toast the seeds separately and just add them to the rest of our plates….

    • It wouldn’t be the same without sesame but it would still be good. If she can have butter or ghee, that would be give some nuttiness, and you can sprinkle toasted sesame on individual plates. I wonder if a nut oil would work? Even olive oil and no nuts or sesame it would still be tasty. Let me know what you try!

  6. Found your site through Fat Tuesday. Just signed up for your blog and shared on Facebook. Have never heard of Bibimbap before, but it’s going to be our dinner tonight. Love trying new things.

  7. This looks amazing! I have been wanting to try cauliflower rice and this looks like something the whole family would enjoy. Putting this one on the menu.

  8. Mmm…looks delicious! I’ve got some cauliflower rice in the freezer to use up! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Rhoda Edwards says:

    Never heard of Bibimbap before but it looks so yummy I am going to try some! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  10. I LOVE bibimbap! When we lived in Japan we would frequent our favorite Korean spot for some delish fried rice. I’m excited to try this out.

    • I never had it even when I was in Japan. I lived in a pretty remote area so I don’t even recall a Korean spot there. I can’t wait either!

    • Even though my dad is Japanese, bibimbap was new to me this summer. I hope you enjoy it!

      • How fun – your dad is Japanese. Did you know I lived there? Does he speak Japanese?

        • Yes, I remember you lived there. It was on my to-do list but life happened and I never did. He immigrated to Canada in his 20s, so all his family is back over there. A major regret of mine is that I don’t speak Japanese, and it has made it so important to me that my own kids are bilingual. We did eat what Japanese food we could, though, living far from the ocean!

  11. Looks and sounds great!