Features of Jeonju Bibimbap
It was written, “Bibimbap was not served except for a governor in a provincial office or during performances by farmers’ bands because it was a luxurious dish” during the Joseon period. This indicates that Bibimbap was a valuable dish enjoyed by high officers and the rich long ago.
In accordance with the description of Bibimbap as the favorite food in Feb., Mar., and Apr. in “Jeonjubuseong Hyangtosesigi (Local seasonal customs of Jeonju)”, citizens in Jeonju had Bibimbap frequently from about 200 years ago.
About 30 ingredients for Bibimbap
Jeonju Bibimbap is made with about 30 kinds of ingredients. Of those ingredients, what significantly influence the flavor of Jeonju Bibimbap are bean sprouts, yellow mung bean jelly, red pepper paste, fresh beef slices, and soybean paste mixed with soy sauce.
- Bean sprouts The bean sprouts of Jeonju, one of the Top 10 Delicacies of Jeonju, are black beans from Imsil. These black beans have white circle embryo buds. They look like the eye of a rat. So, they’re called Rat’s Eye Beans in Korean.
- Yellow Mung Bean Jelly As one of the Top 10 Delicacies of Jeonju, Yellow Mung Bean Jelly is made with water from the Nokdupo Spring gushing from Omokdae. It is dyed yellow with gardenia seeds for the superb flavor.
- Red Pepper Paste Bibimbap uses sweet rice red pepper paste from Sunchang, mixes it with sweet rice and red pepper powder, and ferments the malt using the traditional method. The true taste comes from red pepper paste fermented for 3 years.
- Fresh Meat Fresh rump slices or stir-fried minced rump are added to Bibimbap. The Encyclopedia of Women’s Daily Life described that the steamed rump in a lotus leaf from Korea was the most famous of all materials produced in Korea.
- Soybean Paste mixed with Soybean Sauce Soybean paste mixed with soybean sauce ripened for over 5 years. The protein in beans is decomposed into amino acids, and the sauce has a savory taste. The more the protein is decomposed, the savorier the sauce becomes. Soybean paste of over 3 years is used to season the edible greens.
The harmony of five colors and five tastes
Bibimbap's ingredients complete the harmony of taste and elegance with the five colors and five tastes of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements Theory.
Green (water parsley, zucchini, gingko, cucumber) / Red (fresh meat slices, carrot, red pepper paste, jujube) / Yellow (pine nut, egg, yellow mung bean jelly, walnut) / White (white radish, balloon flower root, rice, bean sprout) / Black (shiitake mushroom, bracken, kelp)
Walnut, chestnut, pine nut, jujube, gingko
Rice (sweet) / soybean paste with soybean sauce (salty) / sesame oil (savory) / red pepper paste (spicy) / bean sprout (astringent)