I love bibimbap, a Korean dish which means “mixed rice”. Traditionally the dish is served in individual hot bowls, with rice on the bottom, beautifully arranged foods on top, and a savory, spicy sauce over it all. The bottom layer of rice is hot and crispy, and the vegetables (meat and eggs are often used in non-vegetarian versions of this dish) are crisply tender—then you mix it all up at the table.
Well, I just had to make up my own easy veggie version of this dish featuring tofu. Prepare the whole thing in a skillet and serve it at the table for a one-dish meal made in heaven! Note: gochujang, a Korean chili paste, is key to this recipe. This chili paste adds just the right bite, without being overly spicy. You can find it at Asian specialty stores or online. And the sesame oil is key to the nutty, fragrant taste of this dish, too. This recipe is super easy, as long as you get organized. Assemble all of your ingredients together and chop them while the rice is cooking. The last few steps take only about 10 minutes and then you’re ready to assemble the skillet and dive in!
Yields 4 servings
- 3 cups cooked short or medium grain brown rice (according to package directions)
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste, look for vegan, gluten-free)
- 1 15-ounce package firm tofu, pressed, cut into 2-inch triangles
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into matchstick pieces
- 2 small zucchinis, sliced into matchstick pieces
- 1 large bell pepper, sliced into matchstick pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large bunch greens (chard, bok choy, spinach), coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Cook brown rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, assemble all ingredients together. Remove rice from stove when it is done cooking.
- Whisk together 2 tablespoons sesame oil, rice vinegar, and gochujang to make the marinade.
- Place tofu in a microwave safe dish and pour half of the marinade over the tofu and marinate for 10 minutes. Place tofu with marinade in the microwave and heat for 4 minutes. Do not drain liquid.
- Meanwhile, place carrots, zucchini, and pepper in a baking sheet (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) in a thin layer, sprinkle with garlic, and roast in the top shelf of an oven (400 F) until crisp tender—about 5-8 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet until very hot. Brush the bottom and sides of the skillet with the remaining sesame oil (1 tablespoon) Press cooked rice into the bottom of the skillet evenly, using a spoon. Place back on medium heat, cover, and cook for about 7 minutes, until rice begins to get golden around the sides (do not stir).
- While the rice is cooking, place greens in a medium pan with water and steam just until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
- When rice and vegetables are done, it’s time to assemble the dish. Remove the lid off the skillet and arrange greens, vegetables, and tofu (with marinade) on top. Drizzle remaining reserved marinade over skillet and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately right out of skillet into bowls.