This Korean rice and veg mix is exploding with flavour.
This is my kind of meal – bucket loads of flavour, lots of colour and texture, and so much nutritious goodness.
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Gluten-free, dairy-free & vegan
For the tofu and mushrooms: 400g firm tofu
300g shiitake mushrooms
30ml sesame oil
15ml maple syrup
1 clove of garlic
400g sushi rice
For the Bibimbap sauce:
15g sesame seeds
1 clove of minced garlic
45ml/65g gochujang (use Siracha or Thai chili paste if you can’t find it)
25ml sesame oil
25ml maple syrup
30ml apple cider vinegar
15ml sesame oil
1. Pat the tofu dry and slice it into cubes. Slice the mushrooms. Whisk together the tamari, sesame oil and maple syrup in a large bowl. Mince the garlic and add it to the bowl with the tofu and mushrooms. Toss well and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. While it’s marinating, cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Peel and slice the carrots into matchsticks.
3. Toast the sesame seeds for the sauce in a pan until golden, then to make the sauce, mince the garlic and mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.
4. After 30 minutes, add a tablespoon of sesame oil to a large pan on medium heat, add the carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing often until lightly tender but still with some bite. Then remove them from the pan and set aside.
5. Add the tofu and mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, tossing every few minutes, until well browned all over. Don’t toss them too often as you want the tofu to crisp.
6. Push them over to one side of the pan and then add the spinach and rice, tossing often, cooking until the spinach is wilted.
7. Serve the rice with the carrots, tofu and mushrooms and sauce. Mix together before tucking in.
Pick and mix
Bibimbap is a Korean dish meaning mixed rice. It usually consists of fried rice, vegetables, chili paste and traditionally beef (or other meat) and sometimes a fried egg. Here I’ve swapped beef and egg for marinated tofu and gorgeous shiitake mushrooms for loads of plant-based protein and flavour. The classic chili sauce is a must, it’s so delicious and incredibly addictive. If you can’t find gochujang (I get it in my local Asian market) for the sauce, it will still be delicious made with Siracha or Thai chili paste, but it won’t have quite the same signature flavour or sticky texture. I like to use a short grain rice so I either go for white or brown sushi rice. If you have some to use up, add in whatever extra veg you like.
Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that’s sweet and spicy all at once and gives irreplaceable umami flavour to a dish. It’s made from chili powder, glutinous rice and fermented soy bean powder and this distinct combination makes the world of difference to recipes like this. You can get it in Asian markets and there are loads of different brands. If you’re like me and love stocking up on all the weird and wonderful ingredients in your local one, then taste a few brands and find one you love, they vary in intensity and heat. It’s a great secret weapon to have in the kitchen for adding serious flavour.
Courgette, cucumber, beansprouts and Chinese cabbage are other vegetables that I love to use in this dish. Those are my favourite extras but you can’t really go wrong.
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