Bibimbap

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When I was younger I used to love going to China town on Friday nights with family and getting a sizzling bowl of Korean bibimbap, complete with broth, chilli paste and kimchi. I loved the salty, hot, spicy flavoured rice combined with the crunch of the fresh vegetables (and, in my pre-vegan days, I loved the runny egg on top too). After becoming vegan, I never went back to that Korean bibimbap shop, but a few years later I came across a recipe for vegan bibimbap, which turned out amazingly well! No runny egg or meat needed. This became a bit of a family staple dinner because everyone loved it so much. I’ve changed the classic recipe up a bit so that it includes whole foods only, but it’s just as good as the original. This dish is very much an ‘anything goes’ one – you can add lots of different toppings to it for a bit of a twist (like seaweed, chilli, kimchi, cabbage, or other Asian vegetables and condiments), but keep the rice base, sauce and some fresh vegetables and it will still be bibimbap.

 

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Bibimbap

Takes 40 minutes

Serves 4-6

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1-2 avocados, halved and sliced
  • To garnish: Sesame seeds, fresh chopped coriander, sliced spring onion

Sauce:

  • 1 tbs white or yellow miso paste
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Gochugaru (Korean chilli powder, available at most Asian supermarkets)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs water

Garlic mushrooms:

  • 1 tsp white or yellow miso paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced

Baked spicy tofu:

  • 300-500g soft-medium tofu, sliced into strips
  • Gochugaru
  • Smokey paprika
  • Ground turmeric
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ground coriander seed

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. In a rice cooker or saucepan, cook the rice as per package directions.
  2. To make the sauce, add all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well until smooth.
  3. To bake the tofu, place the strips on a lined baking tray and sprinkle over seasonings. Bake in the oven for roughly 15 minutes, then remove from oven, flip strips and bake for a further 15 minutes.
  4. While the tofu is baking, cook the mushrooms. In a non-stick frypan over medium heat, add the miso paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add in the water and mix well to combine it with the miso and garlic. Add in the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until just soft (add extra water if it evaporates).
  5. To assemble the bibimbap, place some hot rice in a bowl. Arrange the tofu strips, mushrooms, cucumber, carrot, lettuce and bean sprouts (and any other toppings you like) on top. Place the avocado in the centre and drizzle over some sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds, coriander and spring onion.

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