Vegan Bibimbap

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In a recent video, Rose of Cheap Lazy Vegan shared one of her favorite dishes at her new vegan cafe: fresh bibimbap. It looked so healthy, satisfying and colorful – I instantly started craving it and decided to make my own rendition. Truth be told, I've never eaten authentic bibimbap before, so I'm not sure how my version compares, but I can say that this is one of my favorite meals I've made in the past few months! I already have plans to make it again.

Feel free to use any veggies you like. I noticed other bibimbap recipes commonly called for carrots, zucchini, cucumber, and mung bean sprouts, so I included these in my bowl. My mandolin slicer was a complete lifesaver for prepping my veggies; I was able to quickly julienne my zucchini and carrot, and thinly slice my cucumber in just a few minutes. I also included shiitake mushrooms to add nice texture and savory flavor to the dish.

Marinated beef is the main protein in many traditional bibimbap recipes. In its place, I wok-fried some soy curls with the Korean BBQ sauce from Trader Joe's. The soy curls have a nice chewy, firm texture, and I highly recommend them! I imagine seitan or faux beef crumbles would also work perfectly in this dish. Rose uses lentils in her fresh bibimbap, if you prefer more whole food options.

Korean restaurants will often serve bibimbap in a hot stone pot, which crisps up the rice. Since I don't have one, I simply wok-fried some day old rice with garlic until it was slightly crispy. I arranged all my veggies over a bed of this garlic rice, and added my homemade kimchi and gochujang sauce. I also added sliced avocado – a bit nontraditional, but in my view, there is nothing that can't be improved with the addition of avocado!

This dish was divine! It's certainly going into my regular dinner rotation. It is somewhat time-consuming to prep and individually stir-fry the ingredients, so next time I'll probably double the recipes so that I can enjoy leftovers for a few days at a time.

Cooked Veggies

  • 1 large zucchini, julienned
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • sesame oil, to fry
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a wok over high heat, stir-fry veggies in batches with a drizzle of sesame oil. Stir-fry zucchini, carrots and mung beans for several minutes until wilted, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Stir-fry shiitake mushrooms for longer; they will shrink and release a lot of moisture within a few minutes. Continue stir-frying until the excess moisture cooks off, then add soy sauce and cook for an additional minute or so, till mushrooms have soaked up sauce.

Garlic Rice

  • 2 cups cooked white rice, preferably cold or day-old
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a wok over high heat. Melt vegan butter and stir-fry garlic or 10-15 seconds, until fragrant (careful not to let it burn). Add rice and continue to stir-fry for 5-8 minutes, until rice becomes slightly golden-brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.

BBQ Soy Curls

  • 1/2 (8 oz) bag soy curls
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce

Boil water and pour over soy curls to cover. Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water, then wrap in a clean tea towel (or place in a nut milk bag) and wring out as much extra liquid as possible. 

Heat a nonstick wok or skillet over medium-high heat and stir-fry hydrated soy curls until golden-brown (use a little bit of oil if necessary to keep from sticking). Reduce heat to low and pour on BBQ sauce. Keep cooking, stirring constantly, until BBQ sauce thickens and becomes a glaze on the soy curls.

Sweet & Spicy Gochujang Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Whisk together all ingredients, adding water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Garnishes

  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • kimchi
  • thinly-sliced cucumber
  • toasted sesame seeds