Bibimbap (비빔밥) is simply translated as “mixed rice“. It has been a mainstay in Korean culture as early as the 15th century. Early Korean farmers would eat bibimbap during seasons with any leftover vegetables. It was an easy and inexpensive way to have vegetables, meat, and rice, especially for larger groups of people. There are many variations of bibimbap available, though traditionally it is served with beef, mixed vegetables, gochujang (고추장), fried egg, and of course, rice. Although many vegan recipes for bibimbap have come before mine, I wanted to create a vegan bibimbap recipe that (hopefully) honors traditional elements while still adding my own personal take on the flavors.
My version includes gochujang-glazed seitan, sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini, carrot ribbons, scallions, lightly seared tofu, gochujang “yolk” sauce”, and brown rice.
Vegan Bibimbap Recipe
1 14-oz Extra Firm Tofu, sliced 1/4 inch thick and patted dry
10 oz homemade or premade seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp gochujang
2 tbsp coconut sugar, or other sweetener
½ cup water
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp corn starch
5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
Large handful of fresh spinach
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup mayo
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp gochujang
Pinch turmeric (for color)
3 1/2 tsp water
Oil for frying
Cooked brown rice, for serving
Carrot ribbons, sliced scallion, and toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
- Make the Gochujang Glaze: Whisk all glaze ingredients in a bowl until fully combined and set aside.
- Make the “Yolk” Sauce: Whisk all yolk sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and leave in the refrigerator until ready for serving.
- Sear the Tofu: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of high-heat oil to coat the pan. Carefully arrange the tofu slices in an even layer and let cook for a few minutes on each side until lightly golden brown. Season with a pinch of salt, remove from heat and set aside.
- To make the Sautéed Vegetables: Heat the same skillet over medium heat with a bit more oil. Stir in mushrooms and zucchini. Cooked until softened and evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and cover the pan for a few minutes to let it wilt. Stir in soy sauce and cook until the spinach is fully cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Make the Glazed Seitan: Heat the same skillet over medium heat with another drizzle of oil. Add the seitan pieces and cook until the edges start to crisp and turn brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in gochujang glaze to coat all of the seitan pieces and let simmer until the sauce thickens, a few minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Serve: First, add your rice in each bowl. Then top the rice with the gochujang-glazed seitan, sauteed vegetables, and seared tofu. Drizzle the yolk sauce over the tofu, then garnish with carrot ribbons, scallions, and sesame seeds.
Need more gochujang in your life? Try my recipe for Sweet & Spicy Gochujang Cauliflower.4