Korean tofu bibimbap recipe

Bibimbap3Bibimbap is one of the national dishes of Korea which literally means ‘mixed rice’. I was inspired to cook it as it’s August’s recipe on my World Vegetarian Calendar that my friend Katy buys me every year – and every year I set out to cook all the recipes, but I rarely do (sorry, Katy!). But this one didn’t require me to get any new ingredients, was something I’d never cooked before and is a dish I’ve enjoyed whilst eating out so I decided to give it a go. 

I went off piste from the calendar recipe (standard) and whilst I’ve not experimented with, or eaten that much Korean food before, I found it super tasty and definitely akin to what I’ve sampled at the Bibimbap restaurant in Soho.

Traditionally, bibimbap is rice with veg, then meat, egg or tofu, topped with a spicy sauce. I made my own quick chilli sauce but you could use traditional Korean sauces Ssamjang (veggie) or Gochujang (usually contains fish) or even Sriracha or any Asian-style hot sauce you have. I omitted egg to keep this recipe vegan plus the tofu provides enough protein and substance to suffice.

You can subsitute your prefered vegetables from what I have used – mushrooms, spinach and baby corn would also work well.

Korean tofu bibimbap

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 150g pack of tofu (1/3 pack of Cauldron original tofu)
  • 1/4 cucumber, cut into long slices
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 courgette, cut into long slices
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into long slices
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into long slices
  • 1 cup beansprouts
  • 1 cup savoy cabbage, cut into strips
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds, to garnish

Chilli sauce (or you can just use a bottled version)

  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 inch ginger, minced
  • 1/2 – 1 dried red chilli, sliced (or 1 tsp chilli flakes)
  • 1/4 tsp Schichuan peppercorns, crushed

Bibimbap

Method

Cut the tofu into squares or rectangles then drain it (see how on this other post) then put the rice on to cook. Brown rice takes around 20-25 minutes which is perfect time to prepare the rest. If using white rice just keep it covered with a lid once cooked until your veg is ready.

Mix the white vinegar and sugar in a bowl then soak the cucumber in it whilst you prep the rest.

Mix a dressing of 2 tbsp sesame oil, the soy sauce and garlic in a large bowl. Leave to the side.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a frying pan then sauté the carrots, courgettes and peppers for 5-7 minutes. You can do these all separately or keep separate in the pan if you want to lay them out like I have once cooked, however you can just mix all the veg for ease and speed.

Remove from the pan and coat them in the dressing then transfer to another bowl and cover to keep warm.

Cook the cabbage and bean sprouts for 4-5 minutes then coat in the dressing and cover. Alternatively you can add these to the other veg a few minutes after they have started to cook.

Next, pan fry the tofu until it’s crispy on both sides. If there’s any dressing left add that to the cooking tofu.

Bibimbap2

To make the chilli sauce pulse all of the ingredients in a blender until roughly blended. Or you can bash the garlic, ginger, peppercorns and chilli in a morter and pestle and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Taste and season or adjust spices if required.

Once everything is cooked place your rice in the bowl and then arrange the cooked vegetables over the rice. Top with the tofu, pickled cucumber, fresh coriander and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Dollop some of your prefered chilli sauce in the middle then serve. Eat it by mixing it all together to spread the flavours and the love!

Bibimbap4

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