Vegan-bap – Easy Korean Cooking
This week, I made a vegan version of one of my favourite Korean dishes – Bibimbap, or in this case, Vegan-bap! Bibimbap takes a lot of prep, but you can make extra ahead of time and have enough for whenever you get a craving.
Take about 10 – 12 dried shiitakes and reconstitute them in a bowl with boiling water to cover. When they’re done, drain and squeeze out the excess moisture with kitchen paper then slice them, discarding the woody stems.
Put the slices into a small saucepan with about 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce, shaoxing cooking wine and brown sugar. Add a splash of hot water and stir it up to get things going on medium heat and simmer til the liquid is absorbed. When that’s done, take off the heat and set aside.
Take a bunch of fresh spinach, washed and rinsed and blanch in boiling salted water for about 30 seconds. Shock in cold water, drain and squeeze out the excess moisture. Put into a large mixing bowl and season with soy sauce and sesame oil. Add a pinch of salt to taste, garnish with sesame seeds then set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine a teaspoon of sesame oil with a tablespoon of gochujang and a teaspoon of soy sauce. To that, add a teaspoon and a half of honey and a splash of hot water. Whisk together to combine and give it a taste. It should be spicy at this point, but will balance out when combined with all the other ingredients. Add some sesame seeds, mix well and then set aside.
Cilantro Garlic sauce:
In a food processor or blender, add a half a bunch of fresh cilantro and a tablespoon of roasted garlic puree (you can check out how I made this by clicking on the link in the annotation). To that, put in the juice of 1 lime and blend to a nice paste. When you have your paste, keep blending on low speed and slowly drizzle in ¼ cup of canola oil til you have yourself a nice emulsion. Season with a pinch of salt and then set aside.
Carrots and sprouts:
Lightly stirfry some julienned carrots and fresh sprouts separately in a little bit of sesame oil. You only need to cook them for about 30 seconds. Set aside.
You can easily make this with either ground beef or pork, but today we’re using some smoked tofu. Simply dice and stirfry briefly to heat through.
For a little texture contrast and added goodness, I added some julienned English cucumber and some sliced avocado. So good!
Start with a nice big bowl. You will need room to mix everything together when you serve. Put in a couple scoops of steamed rice, then drizzle the gochujang sauce and cilantro garlic sauce on each side. After that, assemble the vegetables on top, arranging neatly like a clock. Keep an eye on your colours to keep everything vibrant. Lastly, put the tofu in the center and top with more gochujang sauce and sesame seeds.
To enjoy, simply mix everything together well. Like I said before, bibimbap is one of my all-time favourite Korean dishes. Bibimbap literally means “mixed rice” in Korean. What is your favourite vegetarian dish? Let me know in the comments below and see you next time!