Vegan Bibimbap is a Korean mixed rice dish with vibrant stir-fried vegetables, saucy tofu and a spicy Gochujang dressing. It is a vibrant, nourishing bowl that is bursting with flavors!
What is Bibimbap?
Bibimbap is a Korean mixed rice bowl with individually prepared vegetables, a protein of choice like meat, eggs, or tofu, and a gochujang-based sauce. In Korean, "bibim" is literally translated to "mixed" and "bap" means rice. So bibimbap means "mixed rice" in Korean. It is one of the most popular and comforting Korean dishes yet it is so simple and easy to make!
This vegan version of Bibimbap omits eggs and substitutes the usual meat with tofu. It's a vibrant, delicious and versatile mixed rice bowl that will keep you nourished and fulfilled!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
You'll love this recipe because:
- Easy to make: Despite the initial appearance of preparing multiple vegetables separately, the process is straightforward and enjoyable, making it accessible even for beginner cooks. It can be a therapeutic experience to chop, blanch, and arrange the vibrant ingredients.
- Versatile: While we provide a list of suggested vegetables, you have the freedom to get creative and adapt the recipe according to your taste preferences and what you have available in your pantry.
- For example, incorporate mushrooms, zucchini, or any other veggies that you enjoy.
- Additionally, you can experiment with different plant-based proteins like tempeh or mock meat to add variety and texture.
- Delicious and colorful: This Vegan Bibimbap recipe is a feast for both the taste buds and the eyes. The combination of fresh vegetables, crispy tofu, and the flavorful sauce creates a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors.
- Nutrient-rich and balanced: This dish is packed with a variety of vegetables, providing a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The tofu offers plant-based protein, while the sauce adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile. The inclusion of different vegetables ensures a well-rounded and balanced meal that nourishes your body.
- Family-friendly and kid-approved: With its colorful presentation and hidden vegetables, this Vegan Bibimbap is an excellent choice for family meals. It provides an opportunity to introduce kids to new flavors and textures in an appealing way. The combination of familiar ingredients like rice, tofu, and a customizable sauce makes it a dish that the whole family can enjoy together.
- Reduce food waste and make the most of your remaining veggies: Don't let those almost-forgotten vegetables go to waste! This Vegan Bibimbap recipe provides the perfect opportunity to incorporate any leftover veggies that are on the verge of going bad.
This recipe has 3 main components: Stir-fried vegetables, Saucy tofu and Gochujang-based sauce.
Individually prepared vegetables
In this recipe, I use a variety of vegetables like:
- Bean sprouts
- Firm tofu is used in this recipe
To make the Korean iconic sauce to mix with the tofu and rice, we are using:
- Rice vinegar
- Sweetener: Agave nectar or maple syrup or sugar could be used in this recipe
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
You can use short-grained or jasmine rice and cook it according to package instructions. Assemble the Bibimbap with the rice in the bottom, then top it with the vegetables, saucy tofu and the remaining gochujang sauce.
Step 1: Prepare the vegetables
Wash and boil the spinach for 2 minutes, then strain and put in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Remove the blanched spinach.
Transfer it to an ice bath.
Repeat this step for the bean sprouts.
Transfer the blanched bean sprouts to an ice bath.
Season the bean sprouts and spinach individually with a pinch of salt, minced garlic and toasted sesame oil
Thinly slice the cucumber, then add 1 teaspoon of salt, and let sit for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the excess water. Season with minced garlic, and sesame oil.
Thinly slice the cucumber.
Add salt to draw out moisture.
After 20 minutes, strain the water.
Peel and thinly slice the carrot. Stir fry the carrot slices with a pinch of salt and sesame oil.
Add salt, minced garlic and sesame oil and set aside.
Stir fry thinly julienned carrots.
Season with salt, minced garlic and sesame oil.
Step 2: Prepare the Tofu
Pat dry the firm tofu with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Cut it into cubes or slices.
Heat a drizzle of sesame oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Cut tofu into cubes.
Fry until golden on both sides.
Step 3: Prepare the Gochujang sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together gochujang, rice vinegar, agave/maple syrup, soy sauce, minced garlic, and sesame oil until well combined. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Step 4: Assemble the Vegan Bibimbap bowl
Divide the cooked rice into serving bowls.
Arrange the spinach, bean sprouts, cucumber, carrot, and tofu on top of the rice in separate sections.
Drizzle the sauce over the vegetables and tofu. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Mix the rice bowl to get all the flavors in one bite.
Serve the Vegan Bibimbap immediately, either as is or mix everything together before eating to combine the flavors.
Variations and Substitutes
- Rice: You can use any type of rice, such as short-grained rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, or multigrain rice. You can even use quinoa or couscous.
- Protein: Instead of firm tofu, you can use tempeh, seitan, or even chickpeas as a protein source in this recipe.
- Vegetables: Feel free to experiment with different vegetables based on your preference and seasonal availability. Other types of mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, and shredded cabbage are all great options to try.
- Kimchi: you can add kimchi for even more Korean flavors, make sure to check the label to see if the kimchi is vegan.
- Sauce: If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of gochujang or omit it altogether.
For a Gluten-Free version, use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. The other ingredients are already gluten-free.
This recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to keep the cooked ingredients and sauce separate when storing, as the ingredients may get soggy when combining with the sauce.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!Print