Bibimbap is a traditional Korean street food, typically brimming with a variety of contrasting ingredients that, when melded and mashed and eaten together, combine into a harmonious and pleasing confluence of both flavor and texture. Bibimbap is of course a dish to eat casually, but also one to experience more profoundly: each bite, a balanced, satisfying, and irresistible mouthful of good food – right down to the last morsel. Needless to say, this vegan bibimbap recipe is all that, and more!
For the Tempeh and Marinade:
- 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, sliced into thin strips (1/4-inch or so)
- 2 tablespoons sriracha, or gochujang (for more traditional sauce)
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup green onions, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
For the Sautéed Veggies:
- 1/2 red onion, thin strips
- 1/2 red pepper, thin strips
- 1 – 2 zucchini, thin strips
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-ribbed
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, finely minced
- Some olive oil
- Some salt and pepper
For the Broiled Avocado:
- 1 slightly unripe avocado, halved or quartered then broiled
- Some olive oil, to coat the avocado
- Some salt and pepper
For the Garnishes:
- Some cooked rice, brown or white
- Sweet chili sauce
- Preheat your oven to warm with a baking sheet inside – you’ll use this a warming drawer for the veggies that you finish sautéing.
- Cut the tempeh into thin 1/4-inch strips, and then marinate it in a container with the marinade ingredients for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. The longer the better. Save the marinade – it serves as the sauce later on.
- In a skillet over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil, sauté the red onion and red pepper for 5 – 7 minutes, until soft. Transfer to a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
- Add a little more olive oil to the cast-iron, then sauté the zucchini for 4 – 5 minutes, until golden and soft. Transfer to a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
- Add a little more olive oil to the cast-iron, then sauté the kale for 3 – 4 minutes, turning with pincers until wilted. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
- Add a little more olive oil to the cast-iron, then sauté the strips of tempeh, 6 or 7 pieces at a time, for about 2 – 3 minutes on each side, until it has a partial char and is crispy. Transfer the tempeh to a plate covered with aluminum foil to keep them warm. Also, once you’re done cooking the tempeh, remove the baking sheet with the veggies on it from the oven and also cover it with aluminum to keep warm.
- Now that the oven is clear, set the oven to broil, and broil the halved or quartered avocado (rubbed with a little olive oil and salt/pepper) for 2 to 3 minutes, turn it over and broil again for another 2 to 3 minutes, until a fork inserted slides in smoothly.
- Lastly, in the cast-iron over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil, sauté the garlic and ginger for 30 seconds – 1 minute, until fragrant and browning, then add the leftover tempeh marinade. Heat through and reduce slightly, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the skillet to get all the leftover charred bits from the tempeh.
- In a large bowl, lay down some rice, then the veggies and garnishes, follow by your charred tempeh, and then the avocado atop it all with the reduced sauce in the well of the avocado. Eat by smashing the avocado and sauce into the bowl with a fork!