While you're at the Korean supermarket, you can pick up an Asian pear, or if you prefer, hit the deli and get all the necessary toppings for your bibimbap.

Serves 4

While you’re at the Korean supermarket, you can pick up an Asian pear, or if you prefer, hit the deli and get all the necessary toppings for your bibimbap. Other popular toppings include carrots, spinach, zucchini, mushrooms and daikon. And by all means try a vegetarian version, with tofu or without.

This recipe requires a gas stove, but if you don’t have one, skip the stone bowls and make bibimbap in any large bowls, substituting a fried egg for the raw egg.

The marinade recipe comes from my friend Kristin Yamaguchi in Yokohama, Japan.

Bulgogi marinade

¼ cup soy sauce

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 ½ tablespoons finely grated Asian pear or Granny Smith apple

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 medium clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons sesame oil

½ tablespoon ground black pepper

1 pound thinly sliced tender beef (such as for sukiyaki), cut into half-inch strips

8 ounces bean sprouts

Sesame oil

10 cups hot cooked medium-grain (Calrose) rice (from about 3 ½ cups uncooked rice)

8 ounces cabbage kimchi

4 eggs

Kochujang (Korean hot sauce), thinned to pourable texture with rice wine vinegar or water

1. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, pear, scallions, garlic, sesame seeds, oil and pepper in a bowl. Add the meat and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 24 hours. Put the meat and the marinade in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook just until no trace of pink remains in the meat. Set aside.

2. Blanch the bean sprouts in boiling salted water for 2 minutes.

3. Oil four stone bowls with a light coating of sesame oil. Place 2 ½ cups of rice in each bowl. Top each bowl with one quarter of the beef, bean sprouts and kimchi, and crack an egg into the middle.

4. Place each bowl on the burner grate of a gas stove and turn the flame to high. Heat 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice is sizzling loudly and you can begin to smell browned rice. Your instinct will be to pull the bowls off the flame too early. Patience.

5. Add kochujang to taste and stir well. Eat with a spoon, peeling off strips of crunchy rice as you go.