This is not a traditional bibimbap but it is a glorious bowl of food inspired by that signature Korean dish, which translates as ‘mixed rice’. For ease, we’ve suggested shop-bought gochujang (fermented chilli pepper paste); there are several brands available, in supermarkets and Asian grocers, but make sure you choose one without fish products. Similarly, there are great vegetarian kimchis out there in health food shops, if you don’t want to make your own.
4 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
50g/1¾oz/3 tbsp brown rice miso paste
200g/7oz fresh firm tofu, cut into 8 slices
100g/3½oz fresh shitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into thick slices
4 tsp tamari
½ cucumber, thinly sliced (ideally on a mandolin)
salt and black pepper
1½ tbsp brown rice vinegar
1 tsp mirin
150g/5½oz carrots, julienned
dash sesame oil
125g/4½oz baby spinach
250g/9oz/1¼ cups short-grain brown rice, cooked
100g/3½oz kimchi (optional)
30g/1oz/2 tbsp gochujang paste
2 tsp black sesame seeds
5 spring onions (scallions), green parts only, very finely sliced
This is just as yummy without eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Line a roasting tray with greaseproof (waxed) paper smeared with a dash of olive oil.
2. Put the miso paste in a bowl along with 1 tablespoon water and mix. Add the tofu slices and mix until they’re well coated. Transfer to the lined roasting tray and bake for 15 minutes, then flip the slices over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place to one side.
3. Meanwhile, put the mushrooms in a bowl with the tamari and olive oil and massage until the mushrooms are well coated. Place to one side.
4. Put the cucumber in another bowl and add a pinch of salt, the rice vinegar and mirin and leave to one side.
5. Place a wok over a high heat; when it’s hot, add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or so, then add the carrots and stir-fry for about a minute. Add the beansprouts and a little black pepper and continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add a dash of sesame oil, taste, and add a dash more tamari if needed. Transfer to a bowl and place to one side.
6. Using the same wok, throw in the spinach and a generous pinch of salt and pepper, cook until wilted, and then tip the spinach into a colander.
7. Fry the eggs and then, when the tofu is baked, you’re ready to assemble. Place the rice in the middle of each bowl. Around the sides, place the mushroom mix, wilted spinach, baked tofu, cucumber, kimchi, if using, and a large dollop of gochujang. Top with a fried egg, sesame seeds and spring onion greens.
The featured recipe is from Fresh Veggie Kitchen by David & Charlotte Bailey.