DIY Vegetarian Bibimbap

손수 만들어 보는 ‘채식 비빔밥’

It’s not always easy being Korean and being a vegetarian. In the coming August issue of The Korea Daily magazine, I elaborate a little more on the subject. However I was able to successfully make my own bibimbap a few days ago. For those of you who haven’t tried bibimbap, meat-eaters and veggies alike, take my advice and try making it for yourself.

You can google a ton of recipes online, like I did, or get some help from a seasoned cook. First things first, have some steamed rice ready to go. Rice, or “bap,” lays the foundation in this diverse concoction. After that you usually have five or six assorted veggies resting on top, each partitioned like slices of pie, varying in flavor and color. Bean sprouts, spinach, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, and mushrooms are common ingredients. Traditionally, you want to keep all of these veggies separate for presentation/aesthetic purposes. And don’t be surprised at how much sesame oil is added, the more the better is my rule (after making it only one time). To finish, add a fried egg on top along with sesame seeds. Gochujang is a sweet and spicy red pepper paste is also added to taste.

The most time consuming part will be the extreme amount of cutting, all of the denser veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and the zucchini, are chopped or “julienned” into small pieces (kind of like french fries). The spinach is blanched (dipped in boiling water) for about 10 seconds, releasing a delicious aroma. The other veggies are pan-fried and flavored with sesame oil. Here is how my creation turned out:

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The 30-40 minutes this dish takes to prepare is well worth the sweat that goes into it. For future reference, use a larger-than-normal bowl, or at least wider, for serving (otherwise the bibimbap is difficult to mix). For inexperienced chopstick users, eating bibimbap may be a challenge. Don’t be afraid to use a fork or spoon, but it’s always nice to eat Korean food the Korean way.

The cost of making bibimbap is quite cheap. Including the half-carton of eggs and gochujang sauce I bought (Annie Chuns brand) it came to about 14 dollars and served about 3 or 4 bowls. Being a Korean vegetarian can be hard, but it’s certainly doable. If you would like to share any of your recipes or experience making Korean food, vegetarian or not, email us at kkonnectmedia@gmail.com or post pictures to our Facebook page.

Here are some links you might find useful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibimbap

http://www.maangchi.com/recipes/vegetarian/

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-korean-dolsot-bibimbap-with-vegetables-and-tofu-164939

Author: Jini

So Cal 1.5 Generation Korean-American / Teacher-In-Training / Freelance MC and Kor-Eng Interpreter

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