Whenever I say bibimbap to someone that's unfamiliar with Korean food, almost immediately they react with a series of repetitions of "bee-bee-bee", "bee-pid-ee-boo", and "bee-boo-boo". All have a question mark at the end.
This dish is made on the regular in my home. The traditional concept is the same - think of this as an "everything but the kitchen sink" kind of meal - but I tend to use fresher ingredients with lettuce and cucumbers. It's morphed into a bit of a rice salad I suppose.
The vegetarian husband loves this because it's still delicious omitting any animal protein. As long as there is rice, gochujang, and an egg on top, it's bibimbap to me.
Since we're throwing traditions in the wind, if you don't have gochujang, you can absolutely substitute with Sriracha, the holy fire sauce, that we all have in our fridges.
Even though we're using whatever we have to make this bowl, by placing the colorful ingredients individually around the rice then mixing everything before you eat it, you're symbolizing unifying all of the things that make Korea. So, I'm totally making you an honorary Korean while you eat this ... but I guess I can only make you half of one like me ... that's how it works right?
About 2-4 servings
2 cups cooked white rice
1 package firm tofu
1 package Crimini mushrooms, about 8 oz.
3 small carrots
5 small Persian cucumbers
3 green onions
1-2 cups fresh salad greens
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Drained the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into ½” cubes. Coat with vegetable oil and season with the salt and pepper. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the desired firmness.
- Cut the carrots into rough matchsticks. Quarter the mushrooms. Slice the cucumbers into thin 1” pieces. Cut the greens onions into small pieces, separating the bottom half to be cooked, and the top half for the toppings.
- In a medium-high heat skillet, cook the carrots until they start to get tender, about 5 minutes. Take the carrots out, then add the mushrooms and cook until they get golden, about 5-10 minutes. Take the mushrooms out, then add the chopped bottom halves of the green onions. Cook for about 3 minutes.
- Turn the skillet to medium and a splash of vegetable oil. Carefully crack the eggs into the pan, leaving the yolk intact. When the whites are turning opaque, turn off the heat and cover with a lid for about 3-5 minutes.
- Assemble the bibimbap by putting rice on the bottom of a bowl, adding the carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, green onions, salad greens, and baked tofu into individual piles around the bowl, then putting an egg on top. Drizzle the sesame seed oil, add a dollop of gochujang, and sprinkle with sesame seeds and the tops of the green onions. Serve, then have everyone mix everything together in their bowls to eat.