Korean cuisine is famous for its beautiful and intricately prepared bibimbap, but in the hot summer months, when bingsu variations reign supreme, a new combination has gained popularity: Bibimbingsu.
This dish mimics the appearance of actual bibimbap with the sweet ingredients common to summer bingsus and is surely a next-level Korean food experience.
At 납작한슬리퍼 (“Flat Slipper”), a cafe next to Jeonju’s renowned Sambaekjib restaurant downtown, patrons can find what is likely the most visually masterful bibimbingsu in Korea.
Here, the dessert starts with shaved ice in place of rice. Chopped fruits, nuts, and corn flakes simulate what would normally be bibimbap’s vegetable portions, and on top, where a partially cooked egg traditionally rests, an egg-shaped orange and yogurt jelly caps things off.
At this particular cafe, the sweet substitute for bibimbap’s gochujang sauce is a thick mixture of strawberry and condensed milk. A smaller bowl of red beans and rice cake, along with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream, stand by on the side as well.
This might be of special significance to those who don’t enjoy the red bean in typical bingsu: here, it’s quite easy to move the ice cream into the bibimbingsu and leave the beans behind.
In Jeonju, the home of bibimbap, this dessert dish runs around 12,000 won — a low price for a heaping helping shared among 2-4 people. You’re likely to find it in other restaurants around the peninsula, too. Busan, for instance, has a few cafes with their own famous versions, such as the dish at Nampo-dong’s Miss Napoli.
Ingredients vary by shop, but regardless, in general, most Korean cafes remove bingsu from the menu when the weather cools down. Bibimbap will be available year-round, but bibimbingsu is a dish to seek out now.
To visit 납작한슬리퍼 (“Flat Slipper”), Jeonju’s location for this dish view the map below.