Whoop, whoop! Rolling in the weekend with some Spicy Vegetarian Bibimbap.
I’m always equally surprised and elated when the weekend rolls around. How does one week feel so long, yet go by so quickly? I was equally surprised and elated when I first had bibimbap. It was, what feels like, an eternity ago, in New York City. Back before I was a food blogger, back before I was dissecting recipes to figure out what I liked best, what the flavor profile was, etc. etc. etc.
What I’m trying to say is that for years I’ve been wanting to make bibimbap myself, and for whatever reason, it’s taken me this long. I got to the drawing board, and to taste testing, and I’m so pleasantly surprised by how it turned out.
Making bibimbap feels a lot like dating. Ok, ok, stick with me here! I know it seems like a crazy connection, but dating involves a lot of following your intuition, your gut, listening to the voice inside your head – or back to that gut – because it’s telling you everything you need to know!
Since I’m dipping my feet into the dating world again, I’ve been quickly reminded to listen to my intuition. To tune in to that voice that sometimes gets squashed down faster than expected. Because of a plethora of reason we won’t get into quite yet. What it comes down to is this: I’ve been focusing on how I feel, and what feels right (equally what doesn’t and not wasting my time with that). But now what you’re really dying to know: how does this relate to bibimbap at all?!
Because on top of the crispy bed of rice, the choice of veggies you choose is totally like following your intuition! Feel like spinach, kimchi, carrots, and cucumbers (as in my suggested recipe)?! Go for it! Want to swap out the sautéed spinach for sautéed mushrooms (also highly suggested)?! Go for it! Not feeling Kimchi, but want to add some extra protein?! Be my guest!
Seriously, I love how customizable this meal is! Not only that, but bibimbap is so full of flavor with the Gochujang sauce. Speaking of… have you tried Gochujang before? It’s essentially a Korean hot pepper sauce – it’s super concentrated and kind of pungent – so in my bibimbap sauce it’s mixed with some soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and a pinch of honey to balance out the flavor. The key here is to see if the brand you buy has added sugar or not.
Gochujang is used to make kimchi, so I love topping my bibimbap with some extra kimchi. Again, if you’re not feeling all the kimchi flavor, feel free to top as your heart desires! I already mentioned the sautéed spinach (or mushroom!) options – but the carrot and fresh cucumber also rounds out the flavor. The crisp, crunch cucumber cools it down and balances out the spice.
Speaking of crisp and crunchy – the rice is slightly fried, adding a chewy crisp texture. So. Much. Texture. in Spicy Vegetarian Bibimbap! AND THE EGG! You cannot argue with a runny, sunny side up egg on top of a texture-flavor-packed-bowl-of-yumminess.
Report back! What are you favorite bibimbap toppings?!
Spicy Vegetarian Bibimbap
- 3/4 cup dried Jasmine rice
- 2 Tablespoons gochujang sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 Tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 medium carrots shaved into ribbons
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 eggs flavorless oil or butter to cook
- 1/2 cup cucumber matchsticked
- 1/4 cup kimchi roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons green onions sliced
- Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, whisk together gochujang sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and honey. Taste test for spice and sweetness level.
- In a skillet, heat vegetable oil or butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant. Add spinach and continue stirring until wilted. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add carrot ribbons (if you want them cooked) and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
- In a separate skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add the rice (approximately 2 cups cooked) in an even layer and let cook until golden brown for approximately 3-5 minutes (be careful not to overcook though!). Stir and let brown a minute or two more if desired.
- Meanwhile, lightly coat a skillet in oil or butter and cook the eggs as desired (I prefer sunny side up or fried).
- Assemble bowls by layering rice, and adding spinach, cucumber, kimchi, cilantro, and green onions. Drizzle sauce on top. Stir to combine as desired and dig in!