Hwe Dup Bap AKA Korean Sushi Bowl

Summertime summed up in one bowl: bright + fresh, crunchy veg, zippy sauce. If you don’t know the delicious joy that is Hwe Dup Bap, it’s time to get acquainted!

a bowl of Hwe Dup Bap (korean sushi bowl) on a napkin

If you love Korean food, I suspect you’ve eaten Bibimbap at least once in your life. A golden fried egg, lots of colorful veg, smoky bulgogi, and rice — smothered with lots and lots of spicy Gochujang sauce. YUM!

Hwe Dup Bap is another kind of Korean rice bowl — but with sushi. Not quite Chirashi, not quite Poke. Hwe Dup Bap is definitely its own thing.

Soft, tender lettuce. Fresh, crunchy veg. Buttery, rich sashimi slices. Perfect white rice. And tangy, spicy Cho Gochujang drizzled on top of everything! So good!!

Just like Bibimbap, everything is mixed in one bowl. But it’s way, way easier to make at home. That makes Hwe Dup Bap perfect for swelteringly hot summer days. Or when life is especially busy.

Yes, this is the kind of no-cook, assemble in 15-minutes, outrageously simple, delicious meal that we all need to put on our dinnertime rotation — PERMANENTLY!

Hwe Dup Bap is also an impressively easy option for Dinner with Friends. Easy to assemble, easy to multiply. And extravagant enough to feel fancy, even though it’s essentially salad and rice topped with sashimi. 😉

Essential Ingredients for Hwe Dup Bap:

Sashimi Grade Raw Fish. Typically, Hwe Dup Bap includes white fish, salmon, tuna, and even steamed octopus. But feel free to include what you like best and what’s freshest. Don’t just choose one kind of fish though — a combination is classic.

Nowadays, sashimi grade raw fish is easy to find. Visit the Asian grocery store or fish monger and there’s sure to be a selection. Or, call your local take-out sushi restaurant. Often, they sell sashimi grade fish by the pound.

Cho Gochujang. Cho Gochujang is the essential sauce that binds all the ingredients together. Drizzle like salad dressing! Add as much as you like! Tangy, vinegary, sweet, and spicy — this is magic sauce!

Cho Gochujang literally translates into “Vinegar Gochujang.” It’s basically gochujang with added vinegar and sugar to make it smooth, sweet, and pourable. Koreans use it like ketchup — dipping, drizzling, squirting, etc. Make your own Cho Gochujang at home. Or buy a squeeze bottle at the Korean supermarket and store in the fridge forever.

(Of course, I think homemade tastes best. But you really can’t beat the convenience of a squeeze bottle.)

Salad Base. Any kind of soft lettuce works for this recipe. I recommend Bibb, Butter, or Gem Lettuce as the best option. Green or red leaf lettuce also work. In a pinch, I’ve used mixed spring greens in a box or spinach in a bag. But I don’t recommend iceberg (too soft) or romaine (too crunchy).

Also, add other vegetables for texture and crunch. Carrots, cucumber, and daikon are the usual veg of choice. Just make sure to thinly slice or julienne the vegetables.

To add an herby, fragrant element, don’t forget the perilla leaves! Chiffonade like basil and add to the salad base for maximum Korean flavor.

Rice. Koreans typically eat short grain rice and that’s what I prefer for this recipe. Mimics that sushi rice texture better, in my opinion.

You might be tempted to skip the rice and eat this simply as a salad. In the past, I’ve done that too. But not without regret. The flavor and texture profile just isn’t the same.

Hwe Dup Bap literally translates, “Raw Fish Over Rice.” It’s a rice bowl. Would you eat Bibimbap without rice? No, it just wouldn’t taste the same. In the same way, Hwe Dup Bap isn’t the same without rice either.

Optional toppings: Nori + Masago (Fish Eggs). The nori and fish eggs are entirely optional. But they add so much umami flavor and texture! I store Masago in the freezer and place one spoonful on top of each bowl. As for the nori — buy those little individual packs of seaweed that are already roasted and seasoned. Take a few sheets and crumble them up, directly on top of the rice. YUM!

Big Bowls. When people visit Korean restaurants for the first time, they often comment on the size of the bowls. Yes, Korean eat from big bowls. Not cereal bowls or the tiny rice bowls you find at Chinese restaurants. But bowls large enough to fit everything and then some.

Big bowls are essential to eating and serving Hwe Dup Bap. All that veg, rice, and sashimi are quite voluminous. Big bowls are also necessary for mixing. You need a little extra space to move things around. If the bowl is too small, food will overflow and fall out.

As a substitute, use the biggest soup bowls in your cabinet. But if you love to make Korean food at home, I suggest investing in some big bowls. You don’t need many. Buy one bowl for every member of your household unit, then add a few extra for guests. Or, buy in pairs: 2, 4, or 6 — depending on how often you host and the number of your usual dinner party.

I love Hwe Dup Bap. Always have, always will. Make it once and I bet you’ll love it, too. Happy eating, friends!

Hwe Dup Bap AKA Korean Sushi Bowl

Summertime summed up in one bowl: bright, fresh, crunchy veg, zippy sauce. If you don't know the delicious joy that is Hwe Dup Bap, it's time to get acquainted!
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: Hwe Dup Bap, Korean Sushi Bowl
Servings: 2
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam

Ingredients

Sushi bowl:

  • 1 lb sashimi grade salmon and tuna (white fish and octopus also work)
  • 2 cups cooked short grain rice
  • 3 cups/2 big handfuls for each bowl salad greens (Any kind of soft lettuce used for salad will work: Bibb, Butter, Gem lettuce, green or red leaf lettuce, boxed spring greens, spinach mix, etc.)
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 small cucumbers (or 1/2 large one)
  • 4-6 perilla leaves (optional)
  • 4-6 small roasted + seasoned nori sheets (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Masago (optional)

Cho Gochujang:

  • 2 Tbsp Gochujang
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar (white, white wine, rice wine, apple cider vinegar all work well here)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Instructions

  • Add Cho Gochujang ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. The sauce should be smooth and pourable. Add more vinegar, 1 tsp at a time, if the sauce looks too thick. Set aside.
    small bowl of cho gochujang next to two bowls of hwe dup bap
  • Prep vegetables: chop the lettuce, julienne carrots and cucumbers, and chiffonade perilla leaves (like basil).
  • Divide salad ingredients between two large bowls equally. First, the lettuce. Then add carrots, cucumbers, and perilla leaves. Lastly, add the sushi and rice. Optional: Crumble the nori sheets on top of the rice and add 1 Tbsp of Masago to each bowl (Masago is not pictured).
    bowl of Hwe Dup Bap (Korean Sushi Bowl) on napkin
  • Serve sushi bowls with Cho Gochujang and extra sesame oil. People can drizzle as much Cho Gochujang and sesame oil as they like. Mix with a spoon and enjoy!
    two bowls of hwe dup bap with small bowl of cho gochujang nearby

Notes

*If you cannot handle the spice, feel free to drizzle sesame oil in place of Cho Gochujang. This is what my kids do and although it’s not quite the same, it’s a tolerable substitute.
**My recipe recommends 1/2 lb of sashimi grade raw fish for each person.  This is a very generous portion.  Feel free to adjust as needed.  
 
15 minutes, All Recipes, Dinner with Friends, Gochujang, Korean, Main, Salad, Weeknight Meals
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