Korean Vegan Bibimbap (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

Bibimbap – A korean iconic dish which tastes so unique with authentic flavours even though it seems like a kind of buddha bowl.

In Korean, the word bibim means “mixed” and bap means “rice”, so bibimbap literally translates to “mixed rice”.

It is a warm bowl of mixed rice topped with various individually prepared seasoned raw and cooked vegetables,  a protein of choice, and served with korean hot red pepper sauce called “gochujang.”

As the bibimbap mainly consists of rice and vegetables, it can be easily veganized no matter what Korean restaurant you go to. Just ask for tofu or mushrooms instead egg and meat.

I learned this delicious dish and more about Korean temple food during my visit to Seoul this year. There were so many variations of bibimbap I tasted and loved, the recipe I’m sharing is just one my favorite ways to eat it and close to original version.

1 cup brown rice or mixed rice of your choice
200 g oyster mushrooms
200 g pulled young jackfruit
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
1 tbsp gochujang + more for serving
1/4 cup pickled daikon (see below)
1/4 cup kimchi
5-6 shishito peppers
1/4 cup bean sprouts
100 g spinach
1 shallot
3 garlic cloves minced
1 julienne sliced carrot
2 toasted nori sheets

Pickled daikon
70 g daikon julienne sliced
50 ml rice vinegar
50 ml water
1 tsp pink himalayan salt + more as needed
1 + 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp gochugaru korean red pepper powder

1. Preheat oven to 200°C with fan. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Using your hands, pull the mushrooms roughly into pieces. Set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
2. Strain the excess water of canned jack fruit, repeat the process for jackfruit as well.
3. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil, 1 tbsp tamari and korean hot pepper paste. Toss around to evenly coat the mushrooms and jack, then bake for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms and jack are a bit crispy and brown on the edges.
4. To make pickled daikon, julienne slice the daikon and place in a jar.
Bring rice vinegar, water, coconut sugar and salt to a gentle boil.
Pour the hot pickling liquid over the daikon. The pickles can be eaten straight away, but they are worth making a day in advance as their flavour develops with time you sit them. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge. They can be stored up to 4-5 weeks.
5. Heat up 1 tsp of oil in a medium non-stick pan. Throw in the shishito peppers and fry them by pressing down with a lid of pot from time to time until they are nicely browned on all sides. Season with salt and set aside.
6. Throw in the spinach and chopped onions and a splash of water. Cook on a low heat, stirring from time to time, until the spinach wilts and most of the excess water cooks out. . Add some minced garlic and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
7. Throw the julienne sliced carrots, 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch salt, fry on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Set aside. Repeat the process for bean sprouts or you can serve them raw if desired.
8. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice toasted nori sheets. Set aside.
9. Divide all the veggies, kimchi, pickled daikon, thinly sliced nori sheets, oven baked pulled mushrooms and jackfruit between two bowls. Sprinkle with asian sesame seeds and top with extra gochujang about 1 teaspoon. Enjoy!