Golden chanterelles dance alongside spicy tofu to create this beautiful vegan bibimbap recipe. Spinach, daikon, and shiitake mushrooms round out the all star cast.Jump to Recipe
“I don’t always eat vegan, but when I do, I eat this.”-flexitarian Frankie
What is Bibimbap?
If you’re late to the party don’t worry, just remove the large rock from your head and grab a seat.
Bibimbap is Korean for “mixed rice”, Bibim meaning “mixing” and bap meaning “cooked rice”. So don’t upset the bibimbap gods and be sure to mix everything up before you dive head first into your bowl.
Traditional bibimbap is a bowl of warm rice accompanied by banchan (veggie side dishes), Kimchi, gochujang (red chili paste), a fried egg, and a protein, usually sliced beef.
As with so many culinary delights we enjoy today, bibimbap had humble beginnings. Rural Koreans would take rice, leftover veggies, and maybe some meat, and mix them in a bowl. Boom, a cheap and easy meal was born.
With the nature of this, the dish was rarely the same; and it is no different today. You’ll see all kinds of different variations of bibimbap, it is endlessly customizable!
We hope you enjoy our take on it with this vegan bibimbap with tofu and wild mushrooms recipe.
What kind of Mushrooms should I use for Vegan Bibmbap?
Theres really no wrong answer to this question. For our vegan bibimbap recipe we use golden chanterelles that we harvest ourselves. We forge for them in the fall and make all sorts of wonderful things with them. Heres a few if you are interested.
If chanterelles aren’t in season or you can’t find them but still want mushrooms in your vegan bibimbap, don’t worry. Any mushroom you find at the grocery store will work fine. We also like putting Shiitake mushrooms and their great umami flavor in this vegan bibimbap recipe.
Button mushrooms are a great option as well. They are probably the easiest mushroom to find at the grocery store, they’re mild in flavor and easy to cook. Just sauté them in a skillet and they’ll take on the flavor of the rest of your vegan bibimbap.
Cremini or baby Bella mushrooms are also fantastic option for vegan bibimbap. They’re essentially a brown button mushroom, but with a bit more taste. They’re also readily available at most super markets.
Porcini mushrooms are a bit harder to find, especially fresh. They’re very common in French and Italian cooking, but I’m sure their intensly rich and woodsy flavor would go great in a vegan bibimbap. I’ve never tried it, please let me know if you do!
I would be amiss I didn’t mention the great Oyster mushroom. Like the chanterelle they are a wild mushroom, but during the right season you can find them at some grocery stores. They are a bit pricer than a button or Cremini, but their velvety texture and sweet earthy taste makes them worth it.
Vegan Bibimbap w/ Tofu & Wild Mushrooms
Vegan Bibimbap Ingredients
Here is a list of everything you’ll need for this vegan bibimbap recipe.
- Tofu: We like to use extra firm tofu for this vegan bibimbap recipe. It holds up better when you marinate it and cook it on the skillet.
- Mushrooms: If they are in season and you can find them, chanterelles are a real treat. We also throw in some shiitakes for good measure. Feel free to use your favorite mushrooms, you really can’t go wrong here.
- Rice: We like to use Jasmine rice in our bibimbap. However, Brown or white rice work just fine. If you want to go even healthier, try using cauliflower rice or quinoa.
- Veggies: Spinach and BLANK round out this vegan bibimbap recipe. Quick Pickles, Daikon, or sweet potttoes are also great options. Use what you like!
- Gochujang: Spicy, Sweet, Savory and Funky. This fermented red chili paste is a must for all things bibimbap. We soak our tofu in it before frying it up, then we scoop some more over there entire bowl.
- Garnishes: Sesame oil, sesame seeds, Seaweed sheets, a fried egg, and kimchi are all really great ways to top off a vegan bibimbap. Use one or use them all.
How to Make Tofu for Vegan Bibimbap
Follow these step by step instructions to prepare the tofu for your vegan bibimbap.
Step 1: Press the Tofu
Remove your tofu from the packaging, wrap it in a couple layers of paper towels, and set it on a wide lipped plate. Put a cast iron skillet or a pot with canned goods onto of the tofu.
Press your tofu for at least 15 minutes, but half an hour to an hour will be best. You’re essentially squeezing out extra moisture, which will help it get a nice crispy when you cook it.
Step 2: Marinate the Tofu
First, cut your tofu into 1/2 ice cubes. Some people like bigger chunks of tofu, 1 inch cubes or so, and thats fine. Personally I like a bite with more than just a big chunk of tofu. I also think the smaller cubes get a better crispy to squishy ratio.
Next, toss a couple spoonfuls of gochujang into a bowl along with the tofu cubes. Mix them up so the red chili paste covers all sides of you tofu. Let that marinate for at least half an hour.
Step 3: Fry the Tofu
Pour a Tbsp of vegetable oil into a nonstick skillet and fry the tofu cubes until all sides have browned. Set aside.
Okay, now that you have your gochujang tofu finished, you can prepare the rest of your components for the vegan bibimbap.
Vegan Bibimbap Leftovers
If you somehow find yourself with vegan bibimbap leftovers…. crickets… Here are some options.
Add some lettuce and tomato, and roll everything up in a tortilla or wrap. Or try using the vegan bibimbap as a topping for a salad.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could use the vegan bibimbap as the base for a pizza. Simply spread the bibimbap over a pre-baked pizza crust, add some cheese and bake until bubbly.
There’s no need to let your vegan bibimbap leftovers go to waste. With a little creativity, you can turn them into a whole new meal.
Theres all kinds of Bibimbap, the variations are endless. Let your imagination go wild. Or don’t think at all, just follow these other great bibimbap recipes.
Fried Chicken Bibimbap South Korea
We’d love to hear from y’all, please let us know how the recipes turn out. As always, thanks for stopping by!
Vegan Bibimbap Influences
The PNW is blessed with a growing Korean population. The majority is in Seattle, it has the fourth largest population in the country.
But Portland is no slouch. Multnomah county and the surrounding metro area, also boast a good sized population. That is made evident by the many Korean restaurants around town, especially in Beaverton’s unofficial Koreatown.
Frankie and I are always trying different foods that we didn’t grow up with. After trying so much great Korean food at places like, Toki or Kim Jong Grillin, bibimbap is now a staple for us.
We’ve kept the basic foundation of bibimbap and ran with the different flavor potentials. It’s one reason why we love bibimbap so much, you rarely have the same one.
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