This is a product that came out about a year or so ago. Convenience store food has been leaning towards fresher, healthier, and more filling options. And they’ve been getting more Korean. You may be wondering how a Korean convenience store can get more Korean. Yet I remember reading when this bibmbap and celebrity chef branded dosirak (bento boxes) entered the market. It was a new awareness and respect for Hansik, Korea’s homegrown cuisine. The bibimbaps are not really everywhere yet. When I do see them I’m usually not in the market for them. But since I have the office in Yeouido, and Yeouido continually proves to be a culinary wasteland, this was a perfect opportunity to try this out.

This bibimbap is of the sanchae variety, meaning “mountain vegetables.”

Here are the components. Rice in the big paper bowl. The plastic tray has all the little trimmings, including some sauteed carrots, zucchini, bean sprouds, mushrooms, mountain herbs, and shredded egg. Included are a packet of seasoned gochujang, a little packet of sesame oil, and a spoon to mix and eat with.

According to the instructions, you add everything but the sesame oil to the rice. Then heat it in the microwave for 90 seconds.

Add the sesame oil. To me, bibimbap is empty without the sesame oil.

Then mix, mix, mix thoroughly.

Let me just say that this may be the best and freshest food I’ve ever had in my long around-the-world career of convenience store dining. Even better than Osaka 7-Eleven sushi. The gochujang was much spicier than I was expecting. It was a little sweet and had sesame seeds in it.

The bibimbap sells for W3,000. Not bad for a filling, tasty, and (OMG) healthy lunch.

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