My husband and I taught English in South Korea for a year, starting in 2003. While we were there we fell head over heels for kimchi, and a lovely rice dish called Bibimbap. My favourite version was called Dolsot Bibimbap and involved having all the ingredients served in a hot stone bowl. The rice at the bottom would crisp up and the ingredients would cook together a bit more at the table, allowing the flavours to come together in a really lovely way. I have not yet invested in a stone pot, however, the recipe below is delicious just as it is.
I came up with a raw version of this recipe, using cauliflower rice as the base for a raw black box assignment when I was doing the Rouxbe plant-based certification a few years ago. I loved the combination of flavours but I don’t do well with a whole bunch of raw veg, so I recreated the recipe in a cooked format below. This dish is labour intensive as it involves a bunch of different preparations, but it is well worth the time invested. Given the prep time involved, it would make a lot of sense to double your ingredient prep and have it for two meals rather than one.
3 cups Korean rice (sushi rice also works)
4¼ cups water
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Combine all ingredients in a rice cooker and set it to cook. If you are preparing the rice on a stovetop, add ingredients to a pot, bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and lower heat to a simmer for 15‒20 minutes.
Marinated Lentils or Tempeh
3 cups cooked brown or du puy lentils or 2 packages tempeh, crumbled
2 Tbsp Avocado oil
Blend marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Marinade lentils or tempeh in this mixture for a minimum of 2 hours, up to overnight.
Drain and reserve marinade.
Saute lentils or tempeh in avocado oil until warm.
Add reserved marinade, and cook until sauce is fully absorbed.
Sauteed Sesame Kale
2 tbsp avocado oil
4 cups lacatino kale
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp tamari
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Saute garlic in avocado oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Add kale and tamari and saute for 3 – 5 minutes further, until kale is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat and finish with sesame oil and sesame seeds.
Quick Pickled Carrots & Daikon
1 16 oz mason jar full of peeled & julienned carrots & daikon
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp sea salt
Cut and add your carrots and daikon to your mason jar. Combine apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar and sea salt in a small pot and heat until sugar and salt are dissolved in the liquid. Pour the warm liquid over carrots and daikon, and set aside until it has cooled to room temperature. Once cool, quick pickles can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Korean Red Chili Paste (Gojuchang)
¼ cup miso
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic finely minced
1″ piece ginger finely minced
¼ cup Korean red chili powder
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Combine chili paste ingredients in a small food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and process until smooth.
Fill the bottom layer of your bowl with sushi rice. Add marinated lentils or tempeh, sauteed sesame kale, quick pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, nori strips and kimchi (not pictured) to the bowl in sections. Top with as much Korean red chili paste as you like and serve. I personally love to mix all the ingredients together as soon as I sit down, however for presentation purposes, it looks really nice if you keep the ingredients separate to start!
My husband also pointed out that the fresh cucumber is nice sprinkled with a pinch of salt and then put aside to allow the water to release before serving.
Another variation we enjoy doing is leaving out the quick-pickled daikon and carrot and instead sauteing matchsticks of zucchini and carrot along with some sliced shiitake mushrooms in a bit of avocado oil and crushed garlic, finished with a pinch of salt.
Other ingredients we enjoy putting on top are mung bean sprouts (my husband just chimed in with “blanched” although I like fresh sprouts) and if you want to go super traditional you could add some rehydrated & sauted fernbrake.