Get ready for bibimbap burritos and rice patty breakfast sandwiches!

October 21, 2014
bibimbap burritos

Bibimbap burritos

Koreans are getting creative with their food to go global. The City of Jeonju recently started to promote bibimbap burrito, and Lotte Group’s fast food chain Lotteria just introduced their version of breakfast sandwich called ham cheese rice. 

The city government and BIBIMBAP Globalization Federation, a private organization to globalize bibimbap (rice mixed with assorted vegetables), said they have developed various forms of the traditional food, with takeout now an option. Jeonju is famous for its long history of bibimbap

Lotte, Ham cheese rice

Lotte’s ham cheese rice

“Our goal is to promote one of Jeonju’s representative foods, bibimbap, to visitors from home and abroad,” Yang Moon-sik, head of the federation, said. “The different forms, takeout service and low price will allow young people and foreigners to have easier access to bibimbap.”

If the new forms and takeout bibimbap are successful, the federation and the city government will consider running a franchise business, according to Kang.

Their attempt to diversify bibimbap is part of a government project to promote Korean food to the world.

The ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs embarked on this project in 2011 and invited Jeonju City, BIBIMBAP Globalization Federation, Sunchang Country Office, and some 22 other organizations including universities to participate.

The ministry has invested 4.2 billion won ($3.9 million) in the project from 2011.

Meanwhile there are some concerns over diversifying traditional food bibimbap.

“Despite its benefit to popularize bibimbap, I’m worried if it would lose its originality, which is recognized healthful food,” Daniel Lindemann, a 29-year-old German, said.

Meanwhile, Lotte’s ham cheese rice looks like McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, but it’s made with rice patties instead of muffins.