All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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Bibimbap! A signature Korean dish. Bibimbap translates literally to “mixed rice.” Typically made with sauteed vegetables, beef, gochujang sauce & topped with a fried egg – diners mix it all up before eating it – so that the yolk & the gochujang sauce get completely incorporated. It photographs very well – especially when using that egg. Look HERE at how gorgeous it can be! I think some people even serve it with a raw egg & let the heat of the other ingredients cook the egg. I did not do this. I used no egg at all and Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles rather than real beef. Depending on your diet & tastes, you could add egg or eliminate the vegan meat – or use different vegetables.
The most critical ingredient is the gochujang sauce. Gochujang is a spicy, red paste – thicker than ketchup – that adds the distinct flavor to this dish. If you cannot find it locally – HERE are a ton of options available on Amazon. It is not expensive & should last in your fridge as long as any other condiment – which, let’s face it, for most of us means – years. Korean markets sell it in gigantic tubs – so that should tell you how critical it is to Korean dishes.
I used this Chinese BBQ sauce – which I later discovered has honey in it. Oops! Well – I am not strictly vegan but, if you are, be sure to buy a vegan Asian BBQ sauce (maybe a Korean BBQ sauce) – or any smokey/mesquite BBQ sauce that you like.
You need to cook everything separately to get the gorgeous presentation – but everything comes together in under twenty minutes – as long as you start with cooked, warm rice. If not – I guess it would come together while the rice cooked. I used leftover Coconut & Ginger Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds – but plain steamed rice is actually probably better. Whatever you decide – I hope you try this recipe because it is really healthy & satisfying!
Vegan Beef & Vegetable Bibimbap Bowls
1-2 cups cooked rice (depending on how much rice you want to eat)
1/2 lb shitake (or other) mushrooms
2-3 carrots – grated or cut into matchsticks
5 oz fresh spinach
1 large zucchini – grated, cut into matchsticks or, as I did it, spiralized
A handful of bean sprouts
9 oz vegan ground beef
4 TBS soy sauce (or tamari) – divided
1 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS Mirin
1-2 tsp sesame oil
2 TBS BBQ sauce (Korean or Chinese or other mesquite BBQ sauce)
Sesame seeds – back and/or white (toasted or not)
I added Asian micro greens as garnish but they are $$ and silly – but they just LOOK so nice!
for the gochujang sauce
2 TBS gochujang
1 TBS brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce (or tamari)
Make some steamed rice.
Mix the gochujang sauce with a whisk & set aside.
Heat about 1/2 tsp sesame oil in a saute pan. Cook the carrots with a pinch of salt until just softening. If your matchsticks are thick like mine are – add a TBS or so of water & steam them a bit. Set aside.
In the same pan – add 1/4 tsp sesame oil & cook the zucchini until just tender. The water trick works here, too, if you need it. Set aside.
In the same pan – add 1/4 tsp sesame oil & cook the spinach until just wilted. The water trick works here, too, if you need it. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat about 1/2 tsp sesame oil & cook the mushrooms. When they start to wilt, add 2 TBS soys sauce, 1 TBS brown sugar & 1 TBS mirin. Cook until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat the beef with sesame oil, soy sauce & BBQ sauce until warmed through.
Now – you assemble your bibimbap bowls – pretty much any way you like – but keeping everything separate. Remember a spot for the gochujang sauce.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds & serve! When ready to dig in – REALLY mix all that shit up! Completely incorporate everything & chow the fuck down!