Bibimbap (pronounced BEE-beem-bop) is one of my favorite Korean dishes.
It’s a flavorful, nutritious meal that can be adapted to suit your tastes.
While it’s best served using Korean hot stone bowls (the pot is pre-heated in the oven to make the grain on the bottom crunchy), you can also use regular heat-resistant bowls. Spicy chili bean paste is used to add a sweet spice to your veggies. I buy an organic, MSG-free version from Whole Foods or make my own.
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup and an additional 1 tbsp fresh, minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup chopped green onion
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 package firm tofu
1 cup mushrooms of choice
4 cups fresh spinach, washed and chopped
1 1/2 cups Okinawan sweet potato, cubed
5 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts
6 sheets nori, crumbled (optional)
1/4 cup chili bean paste (kochujang)
2 cups cooked grain of choice (kamut, brown rice, mung daal, or quinoa)
Prepare the marinade for the tofu by combining soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, black pepper, green onions, sesame seeds, and one tablespoon of sesame oil in a large bowl. Add cubed tofu to the marinade, and season with additional salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius), and place four stone bowls in the oven.
Add mushrooms, one tablespoon sesame oil, and one tablespoon fresh garlic to the wok, and cook for three to four minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add spinach to the wok and additional sesame oil as needed, and cook for one to two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add bean sprouts to the wok, and cook for one to two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add the tofu marinade and sweet potatoes to wok and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid reduces in volume and potatoes are tender (about seven to nine minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
Transfer the stone bowls from the oven to a suitable heat-resistant surface. Brush each bowl with sesame oil to coat. Divide cooked grain of choice into bowls, and gently pack to the bottom (the grain should sizzle as you arrange).
Arrange sweet potatoes and tofu mixture, bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, and chopped nori over each portion of grain. Immediately before serving, drizzle with about a tablespoon of sesame oil.
Add the chili bean paste sauce to taste (one tablespoon per bowl is a great starting point) and mix, pressing the mixture to the bottom of the bowl to create the crunchy bottom.
Top with additional sesame seeds.