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Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Vegetarian | 15 comments

Recipe: Greek Bibimbap

Recipe: Greek Bibimbap

I  received an announcement through Secret Recipe Club that Daniel Saraga, author of the The Haggis and the Herring food blog, died recently at the tender age of 37. He left behind a wife and two children (with one more on the way) as well as siblings and parents. His widow wrote a eulogy for him on the blog.

We shared the same Secret Recipe Club group for a while, before I volunteered to move to a different one as the club started expanding to accept more people who wanted to join in the fun. Dan never had the opportunity to make one of my dishes, as far as I can tell.

I knew immediately which of his recipes I should make. He called it Rice Salad From Leftovers. I already knew what it really was: Greek λΉ„λΉ”λ°₯ bibimbap.

Certain culinary memes cross cultures, even ones that don’t share borders or history. A recipe in a dusty cookbook or obscure corner of cyberspace may evoke a subtle memory of a similar dish from half-way around the world.

I took the liberty of changing the name of the recipe for two reasons:

  1. Dan’s leftovers in this salad are very Greek. Cucumbers, tomatoes and kalamata olives playing together in a Greek salad dressing bath.
  2. Bibimbap is a perfect word to describe this dish. The word literally means “mixed-up rice,” and this dish certainly fits that definition. 

At the time Daniel posted this recipe in August 2011, I told in a comment:

Koreans have a word for this, it’s called bibimbap. πŸ™‚ Here’s an example:

Daniel replied a few minutes later:

@Tamar: awesome. I like the version posted at the link – the ground meat is an excellent idea. I’ve got to bookmark that.

I have no idea if Maangchi‘s bibimbap ever graced Dan’s dinner table. Hers is a little more complicated to pull off if your leftovers tend to be Greek or Moroccan, rather than Korean.

I also took the liberty of plating it bibimbap-style: olives, cucumber and tomatoes alternating around the bowl with the rice underneath and Greek salad dressing on top.

Greek Bibimbap


1–2 cups long-grain rice, cooked and cooled
1/2 tomato, diced
1/3 cup cucumber, diced
5–6 diced black olives*
2 tablespoons Greek Island Dressing with Feta Cheese

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Combine all ingredients in a bowl, toss and serve.

* Neither hubby nor I like kalamata olives, so I replaced them with less-tart black olives.


  1. Love your renaming of the recipe, and your inspiration for choosing it. Truly a perfect selection and tribute to Daniel.

  2. Very sweet that you had commented on his original post. As a mom pregnant with my third … I just can't imagine what Daniel's wife is going through. Their poor family. πŸ™

  3. Beautiful tribute and lovely recipe. I will definitely give it a try…with kalamata olives since those are a family favorite. πŸ˜‰

  4. so nice to hear everyone's stories about their interaction with Dan. Nice post and tribute to him.

  5. Great post! I got to interact with Daniel over a cookie I posted just a week before his passing. It was silly and funny. Nice that we have those simple things to remember. The Greek salad looks great!

  6. Delicious! Sad but nice to read everyone's tributes today

  7. A delicious recreation of Daniel's dish.

  8. I never knew what bibimbap meant before! Thank you for using the badge πŸ™‚

  9. How wonderful for you to tribute to Daniel with a recipe you connected over. And looks delicious.

  10. This dish totally tickles my funny bone – the name is definitely appropriate, and considering I love both bibimbap and Greek salad, it's probably guaranteed to be a hit at my house. I think it's a beautiful choice for this tribute.

  11. What a great recipe for Daniel's tribute! Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

  12. Thank you for this great tribute to my brother Dan. Leave it to my brother to embrace and take on other adaptions of his recipes. Knowing my brother, he probably tried it out the adaption next time he made the dish!<br /><br />–Abisaac Saraga

  13. Bibimbap is one of Korea&#39;s great dishes. Nice that you adapt it to others.

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