Bibimbap Makes Me Happy

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Every couple of months, I get a serious craving for bibimbap, a traditional Korean dish. White rice is stuffed into a shockingly hot, thick bowl, then piled with a lovely assortment of mixed vegetables, sliced or chopped meat and an egg. I love the picturesque presentation, but only allow myself to admire it for a second. To eat bibimbap, you need to dig a spoon into the dish and mix it thoroughly and briskly with a generous amount of an earthy, pungent chili pepper paste called gochujang (I have found that if you stare at your bibimbap for too long, a waiter will rush over to the table and begin stirring it for you). The best part about the mixing is that it scrapes up the rice from the bottom, which has become deliciously crusty and chewy from the molten heat of the bowl. My favorite place in town to enjoy bibimbap is at tiny, friendly Pine Tree House on Folsom Boulevard.

Pine Tree House: 9205-D Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento; (916) 366-3323