The Symbolism of Bi Bim Bap

Bi bim rice, commonly known in Korea as bibimbap, is more than just a great meal. Traditionally, you can expect such dishes to be prepared with a sense of balance that is both pleasing to the eye aesthetically and rich in symbolism. When done properly, bi bim rice will make use of all five of the traditional colors, each one with its own symbolic significance:

  • Black: Dark food, like certain mushrooms or nori seaweed, are representative of North and the kidneys.
  • Red: Red or orange food, like Korea’s iconic gochujang pepper paste, represent South and the heart.
  • Green: Green foods, like cucumber or leafy vegetables, stand for East and the liver.
  • White: Steamed rice and other similarly white ingredients represent West and the lungs.
  • Yellow: Yellow foods, including the yolk of the egg used in many forms of hot pot bi bim rice, stand for the Center and the stomach.

You can enjoy bi bim rice in eight different forms at our Bellevue Korean restaurant. Come and experience the taste and balance of Korean dining today!