June 6, 2011

vegan bibimbap


When I lived in Japan, I would take some time off to visit other countries in Asia: the Philippines, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand.... Among them, South Korea was by far my favorite. Energetic night markets, the skin rejuvenating spas, friendly people and oh the food! Pretty much anywhere you go, you order something and they give you a dozen side dishes, mostly with vegetables. Here is my version of bibimbap, a signature Korean dish with rice topped with vegetables and usually some meat. Since it's hard to find organic gochujang (chili pepper paste) with no sugar or additives, I attempted to make my own. I know it's not much of a recipe except for the proportions for the gochujang, but bibimbap is meant to be a quick "mixed meal" that you can throw anything on top.

Ingredients
Gochujang
2 TBS barley miso
1 TBS brown rice syrup
1 TBS ground sesame seeds
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp red paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Cooked rice
Seitan (sliced and cooked in a sauce made with some gochujang, water and a splash of mirin)
Carrot matchsticks (pressed w/ ume vinegar)
Bean sprouts (cooked for a few minutes and seasoned with toasted sesame oil and shoyu)
Something green (I used fresh mizuna but you can also use sliced cucumbers, cooked spinach, fiddle head ferns, etc.)
Sesame seeds for garnish

Directions 
  1. To make gochujang, mix everything in a bowl.
  2. Serve some warm rice in a rice bowl and place the toppings. Garnish with sesame seeds.
  3. Put a dollop of gochujang, mix and eat! Mashisoyo!