Low Budget Recipe: Freezer-friendly Bibimbap – less than $2/serving (recipe in comments)

Freezer-friendly Bibimbap - less than $2/serving (recipe in comments)

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  1. I’ve loved lurking on this sub and have found so many wonderful recipes to use as a no-income grad student and I wanted to share one of my own: bibimbap (Korean spicy mixed rice) that is freezer-friendly and uses US-friendly ingredients!

    As with many Asian recipes, the “budget” aspect of this recipe is highly dependent on having some key pantry items: this recipe requires **sesame oil**, **gochujang** (red pepper paste), **gochugaru** (red pepper flakes), **rice vinegar**, **soy sauce**, and **mirin** **or rice wine**. The sauce can be made by mixing 3 tbsp gochujang, 1 tbsp sugar or honey, 1/2 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tsp rice vinegar. Alternatively, **”bibim sauce”** can be found in the Asian food section of many grocery stores for $4~6.

    Ingredients (and prices, I’m in medium-sized town in the Midwest):

    * 1 lb bean sprouts, $2.00
    * 2 bunches spinach, $3.00
    * 2 large (approx 1.5 lb) zucchini, $2.50
    * 4 carrots, $0.50
    * 3/4 lb ground beef, $2.25
    * 5 gō (3/4 cup uncooked) short grain rice
    * minced garlic
    * sesame oil

    Bulgogi marinade:

    * 6 tbsp soy sauce
    * 4 tbsp sugar
    * 1 tbsp rice wine (or mirin)
    * 1 tbsp mirin (or rice wine)
    * *Note: I use both as rice wine helps tenderize the meat while mirin has a more pleasing flavor. You can use either, but if you only want to buy one, I recommend mirin.*
    * 2 tbsp minced garlic
    * 2 tbsp sesame oil
    * Ground black pepper


    1. Combine ingredients of bulgogi marinade. Mix with ground beef and let sit to marinate while cooking rest of the components.
    2. Boil bean sprouts in water until limp. Drain, run under cold water, and squeeze out excess moisture. Mix with 1/2 tbsp sesame oil, dash of gochugaru, and dash of salt. Set aside. *Note: Gochugaru is optional and may be omitted. I do not recommend using other spices such as cayenne pepper or chili powder.*
    3. Blanch spinach in hot water. Drain, run under cold water, and squeeze out excess moisture. Mix with 1/2 tbsp sesame oil and dash of salt. Set aside.
    4. Slice and quarter zucchini. Heat neutral oil on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp minced garlic and heat until fragrant. Add zucchini and cook at medium-high until golden. Set aside.
    5. In same pan, heat neutral oil. Add carrots and stir fry on medium-high heat with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce. Set aside.
    6. In same pan, add ground beef in marinade. Heat at medium-high until moisture mostly cooks off, leaving meat dark brown but not charred. Set aside.
    7. Assemble in large bowl with cooked rice on bottom and cooked vegetables and meat on top. Add sauce to taste. *Optional: add a fried egg with runny yolk on top*.


    Based on these quantities, I made 10, 2.5-cup servings of bibimbap for a total of $10.25 for fresh ingredients, or **$1.03 per serving**. If you need to buy additional sauce ingredients, this may increase your total price per serving to $2~3 per serving.

  2. This looks pretty easy and its cheap. I have some of those ingredients already because I occasionally try my hand at Asian cooking. I am not very good at it in general but I think I could do this.

  3. Thanks for the recipe! May i ask how do i reheat should i store them in the fridge or the freezer?

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t wait to make it. ?

  5. Thanks for this! I looks delicious and I can’t wait to try making it. 🙂

  6. This is great! I usually use tuna in mine (just plain canned tuna) and add an egg on top (boiled or fried). Pickled onion and carrot, and spicy cucumber salad put this over the edge!

    And thank you for the sauce recipe! I usually just use plain gauchujang, the store bought sauce is too sweet for me

  7. I just wanna say – I tried it and it was really good! I have everything in the pantry except gochujang so had to find one in the grocery. 🙂 My partner loves it as well. ❤️


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