Vegan Beef & Vegetable Bibimbap Bowls

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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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.

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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!

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Vegan Beef & Vegetable Bibimbap Bowls

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

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

Salt

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)

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DIRECTIONS

Make some steamed rice.

Mix the gochujang sauce with a whisk & set aside.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In the same pan, heat the beef with sesame oil, soy sauce & BBQ sauce until warmed through.

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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!

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