Bibimbap (also called goldongban) is a Korean dish made with leftovers, eaten on Lunar New Year’s Eve. Tradition is that families must get rid of all their leftovers before the year draws to an end, so Bibimpap is a mix of all of the leftovers over a bowl of rice. Lunar New Year this year is Friday, February 12, 2021!
Below is a vegetarian version using tofu as the protein. Try it as is or with your favorite protein such as chicken, ground beef, or pork.
Prep time 20 min | Cook time 40 min | Total time 1 hour | Yield: 6 servings of 1.5 cups
- 2 cups dried brown rice (or 6 cups leftover cooked rice)
- 14 oz extra firm tofu (*can sub in your favorite protein)
- 2 carrots
- 2 cucumbers
- 3 green onions
- 1-lb bunch of fresh spinach or 1 10-oz package frozen spinach
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp oil (olive, canola, sunflower)
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup kimchi
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- If your rice is not already cooked, begin that first and prepare the rest of the bowl ingredients as the rice cooks. To make the rice:
-Add the rice and 4 cups water to a saucepan. Cover with a lid, place the pot on high heat, and bring to a boil.
-Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
-After 30 minutes, turn the heat off, and let the rice rest for 10 minutes, undisturbed, with the lid in place.
-Fluff with a fork just before serving.
- Remove your tofu from the package and place it between two plates or rimmed baking sheets. Place something heavy on top (a cast iron skillet, a large pot, etc.) to weigh it down and press out the excess liquid. Let the tofu press for about 30 minutes. Pour off the liquid and pat the tofu dry with a paper towel.
- While the tofu is pressing, wash spinach, carrots, cucumbers, and green onions. Prepare the sautéed spinach. Heat a large skillet over medium flame and add the cooking oil. Swirl to coat the skillet, then add the fresh spinach. Sauté the spinach for a few minutes, or just until it is wilted. Drizzle the sesame oil over top and season lightly with a pinch of salt. Remove the spinach from the skillet to a clean bowl.
- Prepare the sauce for the tofu. In a bowl, mix together the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Once the tofu is finished pressing, cut it into small cubes or rectangles.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add one tablespoon of cooking oil. Tilt the skillet to make sure the surface is completely covered. Add the tofu pieces. Let them cook until golden brown on bottom, then flip and fry until golden brown on the other side, around 5 minutes on each side.
- Peel and grate the carrot. Thinly slice the cucumber. Slice the green onions. Set aside.
- Fry or soft boil 6 eggs – or however many bowls you plan on eating immediately. (If meal prepping, cook the egg fresh each day.)
- Build the bowls by first adding 1 cup of cooked rice to each bowl, followed by 1/6 of the cooked spinach, 1/6 of the tofu, some sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, a cooked egg, and a tablespoon or so of kimchi. Sprinkle sliced green onions and sesame seeds over top. There are no hard measurements needed for each ingredient per bowl – just divide the ingredients evenly or as you see fit.
*Note: Customize these with your favorite toppings! Some toppings we like are bamboo shoots, mushrooms, avocado, or daikon radish.
This recipe is adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt’s Bibimbap recipe.
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