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My Vegan (Sorta) Bibimbap

A new recipe inspiration to satisfy the occasional Asian fast-food craving on a budget and with an eye to the waistline 🙂 

Traditionally, Bibimbap consists of warm white rice topped with sautéed vegetables and seasoned with gochujang, the indispensable Korean chili pepper paste that gives this dish its characteristic taste. Sliced meet or an egg are common additions, which I leave out however to keep the dish vegan. As far as the vegetables are concerned, it seems like you can add pretty much everything you want. I went for zucchini this time because that’s what I had in my fridge, but finely sliced Chinese Cabbage, mushrooms, Korean pickles or any other vegetables would also have done the trick. This is what Bibimbap traditionally looks like: Bibimbap

Thumbnail: Dolsot Bibimbap by Chloe Lim is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I had been familiar with the concept of Bibimbap for a while, but HeyClaire’s simplified Bibimbap recipe on Youtube finally intrigued me enough the other day to make me wander off to my nearest Asian food shop on the spot and to purchase the necessary ingredients: above all the gochujang sauce, a “savory fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt”. Ever since, a bunch of leftover veggies in my fridge are no longer a problem for me! I take the fact that Bibimbap means “mixed rice” in Korean as an excuse to cook all my vegetables up into a bibimbap-ish creation of my own: My newest favourite rice dish 🙂 What makes my Bibimbap even more amazing is that it can literally be prepared in ten minutes! Here’s my recipe, that you should by all means adapt to your own taste.

Ingredients:

  • Rice (traditionally white rice, but you can use wild rice, basmati rice or whichever one you have at home apart from risotto rice) or ReadyRice
  • Coconut oil or any oil that can be heated to high temperatures
  • For the sauce: Gochujang (must-have!), soy sauce, honey and sesame oil (or a neutral oil)
  • For the toppings: vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, Chinese cabbage, Koran pickles, Kimchi etc.
  • Seasoning: one shallot, one clove of garlic, spring onionsBibimbap1

Instructions:

  • Cook your rice on the stove or use ReadyRice if you don’t have much time.
  • Mix the Gochujang, the soy sauce, the honey and the sesame oil: I like to use a heaped teaspoon of each of them, because I don’t like my Bibimbap to be too spicy. But eventually, it is up to you. If you don’t have sesame oil, use a neutral oil like sunflower seed oil.Bibimbap2
  • Whilst your rice is boiling or being heated up in the microwave, chop up your veggies, your garlic and your shallot, and fry them in coconut oil.
  • Mix the warm rice with the Gochujang sauce, add the fried veggies, the pickles (if you have some) and the spring onions on top. I added half an avocado just to help with the spiciness 🙂
  • Stirr together thoroughly just before eating.

As you can see, my Bibimbap (which is already stirred together at this point) does not look like the Korean original at all, but it still makes for a quick and healthy lunch with an Asian touch. If you ask me, it is the perfect dish if you’ve got veggies in your fridge that are about to go off, but it also works as a remedy against those cheeky Asian fast-food cravings, or just as a quick and healthy lunch (and pasta alternative). Give it a try and don’t be afraid to create your own version of Bibimbap: yumminess is the goal, not authenticity 🙂Bibimbap3

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