Thursday, March 13, 2014

Veggie Bibimbap

This is a vegan riff on a korean restaurant favorite of mine.  Bibimbap simply means "mixed rice" and is usually served with chopped raw fish on a bed of assorted veggies, lettuce, and rice which has been seasoned with sesame oil.  The whole pile is then doused with a sauce which is a mixture of red chilli sauce (gojuchang) and vinegar called chogocujang that can found at most asian markets as "spicy cocktail sauce".  The resulting dish is a wild mashup of flavors, textures and spice that is all held together by an unctuous base of sesame seasoned rice.

In this vegan version I've replaced the fish with five-spice tofu and avocado.  Five-spice tofu can be found at Asian markets alongside the other tofu.  It is a pressed tofu that brings a nice firm, [dare I say] rubbery texture with mild meatiness and umami.  The creaminess of the avocado and oiled rice play perfectly opposite from bitter greens and the acidity of the cocktail sauce.  One of the best parts about this dish is there's plenty of room for improvisation. I've seen it served with all manner of greens and veg.  I've also perpared it with chilled cooked or canned salmon and with brown rice instead of white.  Another bonus with this is that everything except the avocado can be prepared well in advance, so you could get a bowl or two together in five-minutes if you needed to.  

serves: 2
time: 60 mins


  • 3C cooked rice
  • 4tsp sesame oil
  • 1C 5 spice tofu; cubed
  • 4C lettuce or mixed greens
  • 1 medium cucumber; peeled, seeds removed and juliened
  • 1 avocado; half sliced, half chopped
  • 1/2C grated carrot
  • 2 scalions; sliced
  • sprouts
  • sesame seeds
  • chogochujang (korean spicy cocktail sauce)
  • danmuji (pickled daikon)


  1. cook rice according to directions for type and allow to cool
  2. while still warm add sesame oil to rice and mix thoroughly
  3. divide rice between two bowls
  4. divide greens between the two bowls, arranging in a horseshoe shape
  5. divide and arrange remaining vegetables in a suitably pleasing fashion
  6. sprinkle with sesame seeds
  7. serve with spicy cocktail sauce and danmuji on the side

to eat:

add spicy cocktail sauce to your taste and mix well!

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