Bibimbap is not strict. There is the iconic hot stone bowl filled with lavish toppings you find in restaurants, but bibimbap can be humble too- the term literally translate to "mixed/stirred around rice." This means you could literally mix in breakfast cereal with some rice and it may just pass as a bibimbap.
Yes, there is a loosey-goosey formula to structuring a bowl of bibimbap, but there is no one true way of making it either. The ingredients can vary depending on the region, season or your leftovers from last night.
Boujee Korean court cuisine may demand that you need specific nameuls arranged in specific places to represent different symbols or whatever. However let's not forget that the very people who made bibimbap widely loved are just common ol' people like you and me, who want to have a practical but delicious way of eating a meal.
Enough of my rant.
The short and sweet story to this particular bowl of vegan bibimbap is that I had an accidentally frozen and disgraced block of tofu (read about it here). I transformed it into a vegan friendly and added in a bulgogi-flavored tofu crumble. I then thought about how bulgogi beef is sometimes added to bibimbap.. Thus I thought I should come up with a vegan friendly bibimbap bowl for my herbivore friends!
I love making food for friends. That's what makes Wavey, Wavey. XoXo.
What you'll need for this bibimbap:
- cooked white rice
- kong nameul
- spinach nameul
- bulgogi tofu crumbles
- thinly sliced green leaf lettuce
- matchstick carrots (refer to prep suggestions below)
- red bell pepper (refer to prep suggestions below)
- mushrooms of your choice & sliced white onion (refer to prep suggestions below)
- sesame oil
- a bowl
- a spoon
For the carrots- I first rinsed them in cold water and shook off excess water before sautéing them with neutral veggie oil over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Seasoned with a little salt. I then covered my pan with a lid and turned the heat down to low to sweat them for 5 minutes. Done!
For the bell pepper- halve the pepper then pull out seeds and stem. Blanch in salted boiling water 5 to 7 minutes or until tender but not too soft. Remove from hot water then place in cold water bath until pepper has cooled. Remove any of the lighter colored membrane inside peppers. Slice very thin. Season with sesame oil, minced garlic and salt. Done!
For the mushrooms & onion- cut mushroom into small pieces and sauté with sliced onions until just cooked, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and minced garlic. Done!
Make your bibimbap bowl:
- Place desired amount of rice in a deep-ish bowl (you don't want any bibimbap getting out from the sides now do you?)
- Place desired amount of each banchan mentioned in the list above around the rice. Make it pretty if you want. Throw it in there if you want. You do you.
- Get a spoon.
- Spoon in desired amount of gochujang to season your bibimbap.
- Drizzle desired amount of sesame oil over bowl. This is optional but it tastes so good.
- Mix the shiet out of everything in your bowl.
- Stuff your face.