Korean Rice Bowl

Num Numers you’re in for a treat!! This recipe is one of my absolute favourites and I really have no idea why I haven’t shared it before!! But, here it is, a great hearty and healthy bowl or rice layered with delicious ingredients and topped off with a spicy, chilli sauce… Oh Yeah!

This recipe has its origins in Bibimbap, those beautiful rice bowls you can order in Korean restaurants, where the egg sits on top and you stir it through the hot ingredients to allow it to poach slightly. I hesitate to call this dish Bibimbap, because I have used quite a few non-traditional ingredients and the result is not quite the same, but is still a wonderfully interesting and very tasty vegetarian meal, full of delicious flavour.

I used tempeh in this recipe but, have made the same dish before with tofu, try either or use your favourite mock meat or seitan strips depending on what you prefer. The vegetables you add to this dish are entirely up to you, use peas or beans instead of the edamame, carrot or even tomato instead of the cucumber and capsicum. Really add or omit any veggies you like. For vegans simply omit the egg and if you are cooking for 4 hungry bellies I recommend doubling the tempeh portion for 4 hearty rice bowls. Enjoy!!

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Korean Rice Bowl

Preparation time: 35mins (+30mins marinating) // Serves 2-4

  • ¼ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 250g (9 oz) tempeh
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger root
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1½ cup sushi rice
  • 250g (9 oz) edamame
  • 120g (4 oz) baby spinach
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced

Chilli Sauce

  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced chilli
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

to serve

  • 4 eggs, poached or fried (omit if vegan)
  • toasted sesame seeds

Place the shiitake mushrooms in a heat resistant bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes until mushrooms are tender, strain.

Halve the onion and then slice thinly, breaking the segments apart, mince the garlic and ginger. Slice the tempeh thinly. Combine shiitake mushrooms, onion, garlic, ginger and tempeh in a large flat dish, pour over the soy sauce, sesame oil and sprinkle with the sugar. Toss the ingredients until well combined and set aside, refrigerated for at least 30 minutes.

To make the sauce combine all the ingredients in a bowl, adding a little water to get a smooth, thickish sauce consistency.

Simmer the edamame in 3 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes, strain and rinse under cold water, set aside. Once cooled slightly shell the them and if you’re like me try not to eat them all before you add them to the rice bowl  🙂

Prepare the sushi rice to packet instructions, keep warm and set aside.

Heat a good heavy-based frypan over a medium-high heat. Add the marinated tempeh mixture and fry for 5-10 minutes allowing the tempeh to slightly blacken and crisp. Remove from the heat, place on a warm plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

In the same pan add the baby spinach and cooked edamame, toss, adding a touch of sesame oil if needed, and cook for about 1 minute until spinach has wilted, set aside.

To assemble the Korean rice bowl, dish out the prepared rice in four separate bowls, top with tempeh mixture, then cucumber and capsicum, a serve of the spinach and edamame, finish off with one egg (if using) a good drizzle of the chilli sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

To eat, use your chopsticks to mix the ingredients together with the rice allowing the sauce to combine with all the different elements, creating a complex, exciting and delicious meal, to the very last bite!

This dish was inspired by Allison Adams Bibimbap recipe found in Good Taste.

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