Vegan Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a Korean rice bowl topped with a variety of veggies, meat and egg. In this vegan version I use some precooked hard tofu from H-Mart but you should be able to find something similar at any Asian grocery. And don't skimp on the gochujang, this delightful sauce brings the heat and flavor. If you can, serve the bibimbap in a stone bowl or other heat-resistant earthenware. If you plate the bibimbap and heat the bowl on a low stove setting for 5-10 minutes, the rice at the bottom of the bowl will get delightfully crunchy.

Step 1:
1 1/2 C short grain (sushi) rice
3 C water

1. Add rice to rice cooker add water and drain. Repeat rinsing several times.
2. Cook in rice cooker.

Step 2:
1 package shitake (cleaned and sliced)
mushroom broth
roasted sesame seeds
2 whole chili peppers

1. In a large skillet, heat EVOO to medium. Sauté sesame seeds and chili for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms. Optionally add broth during cooking to keep it moist. 

Step 3:
Chinese Spinach
sesame seeds
sesame oil

1. Blanch spinach in boiling water for 2 minutes. Immediately transfer spinach into bowl of cold water using tongs (Keep the boiling water in the pot). Drain bowl of cold water.
2. Toss with 1-2 tsp sesame oil and 2 tsp sesame seeds. Set aside.

Step 4:
1 package carrots (julienned)
6 cloves garlic
mushroom broth

1. Sautee carrots and garlic in pan until brown. Add a few Tbsp of broth to soften carrots.

Step 5:
1 package Mung bean sprouts
sesame seeds
sesame oil
Korean chives (minced)

1. Blanche sprouts for 2 minutes in the boiling water leftover from the spinach. Drain.
2. Pour into large bowl and toss with 1-2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp sesame seeds and chives. Set aside.

Step 6:
Precooked hard Tofu (in vacuum pack)
soy sauce

1. Cut into bite-sized squares and reheat tofu in nonstick skillet until browned.
2. Squeeze juice of 1 lime and a dash of soy sauce. Set aside.

Step 7:
4 Tbsp Goujuchang
2 Tbsp water
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 garlic cloves

1. In a small food processor pulse until garlic is minced.
2. Add gojugang, water, vinegar, oil, and sugar. Pulse until blended.
3. Add sesame seeds. Pulse for 2 seconds (don't do it longer, we don't want to break up the seeds)

And finally...plate the rice on the bottom then top with veggies and tofu. For crunchy rice put heat-resistant bowl on stove and put on lowest heat setting. Let heat for 5-10 minutes. Serve with sauce on the side.