Bibimbap - Veggie Style

Bibimbap - Veggie Style

There are gazillion ways to make bibimbap. Bibimbap just means "mixed rice," so the possibilities are endless. Traditionally, you have rice, meat, some vegetables, and an egg.  Flavor with sweet gochujang sauce and few drops of sesame oil right before mixing the bowl.

Today I made a vegetarian bibimbap, just using some vegetables that were available in the fridge. It you want to make it vegan, omit the egg. It will not only be vegan, but gluten-free as well.

These are the ingredients:

  • 1 medium carrot, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 bundle of spinach
  • 1 medium sized Korean radish, sliced into matchsticks
  • 5 large shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1/2 large Korean squash, or zucchini, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • 1-2 bowls of cooked rice
  • 1 egg per person

The beauty of bibimbap is how quickly you can put together a bowl with side dishes (banchan) that are already in your refrigerator. Bibimbap was a way for my mom to clean out the fridge and get us to eat all the leftover banchan.

If you don't have any banchan in the fridge, it can be a bit daunting, but keep in mind there is no one way to make bibimbap. I'll list the ways you can make simple banchan with above ingredients and how I put it all together. You can decide which banchan sounds good to you.

Carrots: In a pan with a little vegetable oil, sautee for about 5 minutes with a little salt and pepper. Set aside.

Spinach: Wash carefully. In a pot of boiling water, cook spinach for 15-30 seconds until spinach wilts. Drain and squeeze the excess water. Season with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground sesame seeds, 1/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to your taste), and a little chopped green onion. Mix well and set aside.

Korean radish: In a deep frying pan, sautee radish with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon of perilla oil (or sesame oil), 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic. After a couple of minutes, pour 1/2 cup of water, lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 5-10 minutes. Season with additional salt, if necessary. Sprinkle some sesame seeds. Set aside.

Mushrooms: Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze excess water. Season with 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon corn syrup (or sugar), and some sesame seeds. After letting it rest a few minutes, sautee in a pan for 5 minutes.  This is the same way I cook mushrooms for japchae, but if you want to simplify this step, instead of blanching and seasoning the mushrooms, you can just cook mushrooms in a little oil and salt and pepper for about 5 minutes until softened.  With all the flavors melding together, bibimbap will still be delicious. 

Squash: Sprinkle salt on sqash and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse under water and drain on paper towel. In a frying pan, sautee 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, add squash, and sprinkle some salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. When the squash is soft, add few drops of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Turn off heat and set aside.

Bean sprouts: Cook in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Remove excess water and season with 1/3 tablespoon minced garlic, 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil, 1/2 tablespoon salt, some chopped green onion and sesame seeds. Mix well and set aside.

Last step is to fry an egg. You're almost there!

Finally, put all the ingredients in a bowl with gochujang sauce on the side. They sell bibimbap gochujang sauce in Korean supermarkets, and I use this brand.

If you don't have any on hand, mix 4 tablespoon of gochujang, 2 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Heck, just use Sriracha sauce if you want!

You can make a couple of above banchans, all, or substitute with other banchan of your choice. You can even substitute rice with farro or quinoa if you are on a low-carb diet.

Now put those arm muscles to good use! Mix well with gochujang and few drops of sesame oil. Doesn't this look mouth-watering?

Although most people associate Korean food with Korean barbeque, vegetables are a bigger part of Korean diet. I usually have some banchan in the refrigerator, so I can quickly put together a bowl for dinner with some cooked rice. I hope you can see how easy bibimbap can be. Enjoy!

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Dol Sot Bibimbap - Recipe

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