This vegan bibimbap features fresh grilled summer vegetables, kimchi and crispy-bottomed rice (no special equipment required). A tasty bowl of rainbow goodness, this bibimbap recipe can be adapted to use whatever vegetables you have on hand!
If you’ve poked around this blog a bit you’ll probably have noticed that I love complete meals in a bowl. In fact, the first recipe I published was this forbidden rice bowl and soon after put together this collection of 50 vegan bowl recipes for other bowl lovers just like me!
The Koreans caught on to this whole meal-in-a-bowl thing long before it became trendy (oh, around 2015 or so). If you’re not familiar, bibimbap means “eat the rainbow” in Korean. Just kidding, it actually means “mixed rice” but since part of the point of bibimbap is to achieve a good mix of colours and textures, eat the rainbow would be apropos!
Although bibimbap can have meat in it, making a vegan bibimbap is super easy! You can replace the meat with tofu, seitan or tempeh, or simply do what I’ve done with this recipe and use a combination of colourful vegetables.
It’s summer so I took total advantage of the season’s freshest produce: corn on the cob, bell peppers, zucchini and juicy tomatoes and grilled them on a grill pan. A couple spoonfuls of homemade vegan kimchi, just to prove to everyone that this is meant to be a vegan bibimbap, and crispy rice make up the rest of this bowl.
Normally bibimbap is cooked and served in a stone bowl, which crisps up the bottom layer of rice. You can achieve a similar effect by pan frying the rice in a bit of oil before serving it up in your bowls. It works better with day-old rice, or freshly-cooked rice that you’ve allowed to cool completely and dry out a bit, but if you don’t have time you can skip the rice-crisping step altogether.
Finally the sauce. I used sriracha for this recipe because it’s a cheaper, more accessible option. Of course bibimbap would (maybe should) have a gochujang sauce, but I’m aware that if you’re on a budget and not big into Korean food you may not want to get yourself a tub of gochujang.
This vegan bibimbap recipe is not only tasty, it’s also super easy to put together and a great use for leftover rice and any random veggies you have languishing in the back of your fridge. Since bibimbap means “mixed rice”, don’t forget to give your bowl a good stir before devouring!
Got leftovers? Use them in these recipes:
Red pepper, red onion, rice: Sprouted Lentil Hummus Wrap
Summer Vegan Bibimbap
- 1 red pepper sliced - $0.90
- 1 small zucchini sliced - $0.19
- 1 red onion thickly sliced - $0.36
- 1 ear of corn - $0.99
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil divided - $0.24
- A sprinkling of salt - $0.01
- A few grinds of pepper - $0.03
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil - $0.11
- 5 cups (725 grams) cooked white rice - $0.40
- ⅓ cup (60 grams) vegan kimchi - $0.90
- 1 tomato sliced - $0.37
- 1 green onion thinly sliced (optional) - $0.10
- A sprinkling of sesame seeds optional - $0.03
- Sriracha to taste (see note below) - $0.08
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat (if you’ve got a bbq, use that – you’re awesome!). Toss the pepper, zucchini, red onion and corn in 1 tablespoon of the neutral oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, flipping from time to time, until soft and with grill marks. You may need to work in batches if your pan is small. Chop the corn into smaller pieces.
- Crisping the rice is optional. If you would like to do it, day-old rice works best but I have also successfully fried rice with rice I’ve let cool for just one hour. Heat a medium-large pan over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of neutral oil and the sesame oil. Pile in the rice and pack it down into a big rice cake thing. Leave to fry, undisturbed, for 4 – 5 minutes. Lift up a bit with a spoon and check if the bottom is golden-brown and crispy.
- Divide the rice between 4 bowls and top with the grilled veggies, kimchi, tomato, green onion, sesame seeds. Serve with sriracha.
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