Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bibimbap Inspired Rice Bowl Dinner

Dan and I are both big fans of bibimbap. It was one of our favorite Korean dishes. Once we went vegan we would order it without the steak and over easy egg on top. But the traditional restaurant version still came with white rice so it wasn’t the healthiest thing to order. Because I have some leftover pickles in the refrigerator I knew they would make a nice topping on the rice. Today I decided to make a vegan version of bibimbap with some flavorful baked tofu in place of the steak. I have modeled this version after the one we used to order at Suzie’s Soba where we often went for lunch downtown. Here is what I did:

Bibimbap Inspired Rice Bowl
Serves 4

Tofu Ingredients:

14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and cut into bite sized cubes
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ tablespoon liquid aminos

Rice Ingredients:

1 ½ cup brown basmati rice
3 cups water

Topping Ingredients:

Baby spinach or mesclun, thinly sliced (assumed 4 cups spinach)
Quick pickled cucumbers, or thinly sliced cucumbers (assumed 1/2 cup pickles)
Julienned carrots (assumed 1/2 cup carrot)
Julienned red bell peppers (assumed 1/2 cup pepper strips)
Pickled or fresh cabbage, julienned (Kimchi is traditional) (assumed 2 cups savoy shredded)

Sauce Ingredients:

Use either Korean hot pepper paste (kochujang) or make your own sauce using the ingredients below
2 tablespoons white miso
Sriracha, to taste (used about 1 teaspoon)
Lime or lemon juice and water to thin sauce (used 1 lime, zest and juice)
Liquid aminos if desired

Optional Ingredients:

White sesame seeds, for garnish


Marinate the tofu at least 8 hours, but overnight is fine.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drain the tofu of the marinade and place on a half sheet pan in a single layer. Bake until it is slightly crispy, about 45 minutes depending on your oven.

While the tofu is baking combine the rice ingredients and simmer, covered until tender. About 45 minutes depending on the type of cookware you use. Enameled cast iron seems to cook the rice more quickly.

For the sauce use the premade sauce or make a facsimile by combining the ingredients above until you like the flavor.

To serve place the rice in the bottom of a deep bowl. Top with veggies, sauce, tofu and sesame seeds. Pass the sriracha for those that like more heat. Be certain to tell everyone to stir the components together before eating to distribute the sauce and veggies.

Nutritional Information: (assumes you make your own sauce and does not include sesame seeds)

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 398.09
Calories From Fat (18%) - 72.55

Total Fat - 8.68g
Saturated Fat - 1.1g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 509.34mg
Potassium - 674.74mg
Total Carbohydrates - 65.35g
Fiber - 6.16g
Sugar - 4.13g
Protein - 18.37g


This is one of my favorite quick dinners. I love that it comes together in under an hour, most of which is waiting for the rice and tofu. Even my omni parents liked this dish. They both seem to have embraced tofu. I don’t think they are going to make it for themselves but they are fine when I make it. My father has learned that he likes sriracha. I gave him some to use at home with ideas of what to do with it. If you like rice this make a quick and low maintenance meal. It is only reminiscent of the traditional version, but it is close enough for this Italian American.

Each serving of this dish contains approximately 6,000IU of vitamin A, 40mg of vitamin C, 250mg of calcium, 130mcg of folate, 180mcg of vitamin K, 420mg of phosphorus, 200mg of magnesium, and 30mcg of selenium. Pretty decent nutritional numbers for something that is so easy to make. I always have the ingredients on hand to make this meal.

Unrelated note:

Both the conference DVDs and books I ordered a few days ago have arrived. I quickly glanced at the books and they look as though they are going to be a good read. I like the footnotes at the bottom of the page since I am one of those people that want to read the source material. Both books contain many recipes so they would be useful from that perspective alone. I will try to get through the books in the next few days so I can tell you what I think. If my hubby is up for it we may watch one of the DVDs from the conference tonight instead of a movie. We will see what he wants to do.

Other than the books and DVDs there isn’t much new here. We got a slow start this morning since we were up late last night. Tomorrow Dan has to run to the office to get ready for a meeting in Richmonon Monday. I plan to do a few things around the house while he is gone tomorrow.

I hope you are all having a good weekend. I will check in tomorrow to let you know what I have going on in the kitchen. Talk to you later!


  1. Anything with a name like bibimbap has to be fun to eat! This sounds really delish...I must try it soon.

  2. Rose,

    The name is great isn't it? I loved the omni original and used to order it often. This version is just as tasty and much healthier.


  3. Dinner looks fantastic as always! I think it's great that your parents are at least willing to eat the tofu. I can pawn off a lot on my dad, but not sure how he'd react to tofu. He'd probably try it just b/c though. May have to test that one just for fun ;-)

  4. Heather,

    Thanks! :-)

    I started by parents on crispy tofu which they liked immediately. That got them over the "I don't know about tofu" problem. Then I immediately switched to marinated and baked and they were fine. I wish I could get them to make it themselves, but that is probably asking for way too much. ;-) They are 80 after all so I try to remind myself it is good they are so open to change at any level.


  5. hey thats great about your parents, they have come a long way.

  6. Michelle,

    I think we have made a lot of progress with them too. Considering the fact that they are definitely "meat and potatoes" people it is rather amazing that they will eat baked tofu. ;-)



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