Now I’m not going to claim that this Vegan Bibimbap is in any way an authentic version of the Korean dish. I’d call it a loose variation that I’ve made vegan and a little healthier.
Bibimbap consists of a bowl of rice topped with various vegetables, meat (usually beef) and a raw or fried egg all coated with a spicy sauce called gochujang.
For this version here, I’ve replaced the meat with firm tofu that you crumbled to the consistency of minced meat and marinated first in Japanese BBQ Sauce! You know how much I enjoy finding exciting ways to eat tofu and marinating the tofu first really makes it reach the full potential tofu deserves to achieve. Plus crumbling it gives it a bigger surface area to absorb all those yummy flavours from the sauce.
I used this Cauldron Original Tofu, which is a hard, firm tofu that you can buy in most supermarkets.
And if you’re wondering why I’m using Japanese BBQ Sauce for a Korean dish, I did mention at the start that this version isn’t entirely authentic…
Japanese BBQ is called yakiniku (which means grilled meat). The meat is dipped in a special sauce called tare before being eaten (rather than being marinated before cooking). This sauce, which is usually made from soy sauce, sugar, fruit juice, garlic and sesame seeds, is sweet and full of flavour. I personally think the sauce also goes well with loads of foods other than meat, so decided to use it as a marinade for tofu and was very happy with the results!
You can either make your own sauce or use a store-bought one. My personal favourite is this one, which you can buy/order online from the Japan Centre if you’re based in the UK.
This Vegan Bibimbap recipe is a little healthier than the original version of the dish and it’s also cheaper and so much easier to make! All you need to do is throw together a few basic ingredients to make the Japanese BBQ Sauce, crumble some tofu and marinate it in the sauce, before frying it up with some veggies, then tumble the whole thing over a bed of rice. So simple!
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 200g hard, firm tofu
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 handfuls frozen peas, thawed
- 2 handfuls sweetcorn
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- Few handfuls beansprouts
- 3-4 handfuls baby spinach
- 2 spring onions, sliced (to serve)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon miso (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons mirin (or sub sugar/agave syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder/fresh ginger
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon (apple cider) vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/2 apple, peeled and grated
- Pinch cayenne chilli pepper, to taste
- Mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl
- Drain away the water from the tofu and pat dry with a paper towel
- In a bowl, crumble the tofu either with your hands or a spoon
- Pour half the sauce over the tofu and mix well (you could leave the tofu to marinate up to a day in advance of actually making the dish if you want)
- Heat up some oil in a frying pan
- Once hot, add the onions and fry until soft
- Next add the peas, sweetcorn and grated carrot and tofu and cook until everything is done
- Towards the end, add the beansprouts and baby spinach and the rest of the sauce
- Serve in bowls over a bed of rice and sprinkle over the spring onions and sesame seeds
- You can substitute the sauce with store-bought Japanese BBQ sauce, or gochujang