If you’ve ever walked down South University you’ve probably passed by that mysteriously small, diner-looking place: Rich J.C. With a bar stretching the length of the room as the only seating option, Rich J.C. is known for delicious Korean food, specifically the notorious Bibimbap.
For those of you who don’t know bibimbap, let me explain.
The Korean word literally means “mixed rice.” The specialty is generally served as in a hot bowl of white rice topped with namul (seasoned vegetables), gochujang (chili pepper paste) and options to add an egg or sliced meat. Finally, all of the ingredients are stirred together before eating. The dish may sound simple, but Rich J.C. makes this combination of ingredients extra tasty. And did I mention you can get a bowl that continues to cook the ingredients as you eat?
Once my friends and I were seated at the cozy bar, we were a little overwhelmed by the menu. Rich J.C. has much more than just Bibimbap, including many standard noodle and soup dishes. But our friendly waitress offered a recommendation, so we went with it: Dolsot Bibimbap. This is essentially the same as regular Bibimbap except it is served in a hot stone pot, which makes the rice extra crunchy and blends all of the flavors together. Um, yes please.
While we waited for our meals they served us miso soup and some assorted side dishes, including spicy and sweet pickled radishes and bean sprouts. These were a great crunchy snack to keep us occupied as we eagerly waited for our meals but let’s be real, I just wanted my steaming bowl of Bibimbap already.
I decided to add chicken to mine, which I highly recommend doing with any meat (or tofu) of your choice because it adds a ton of flavor. Also, don’t be afraid to add soy sauce and definitely be generous with the chili pepper paste; it’s not too spicy and the dish is just a tad bland without it. Once you mix all of the ingredients together, it might feel like you’re just eating a giant bowl of fried rice but the cooked vegetables and chili flavor make it that much better.
Overall, if you’re looking for a meal that is different than what you’ve had before you need to try Bibimbap. As long as there’s room at the bar, Rich J.C. should be your first stop when looking for this authentic Korean dish.
Location: 1313 S. University Ave. Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 10:30 am – 8:30 pm, Sat 11 am – 8:30 pm, Sun: Closed