A Korean-inspired dish that's simple, healthy, and customizable depending on the season. It's also an affordable meal and the sauce can be made ahead of time to ensure speedy future preparations! Add some homemade (or store-bought) kimchi for the ultimate feast. Just 10 ingredients required.
Optional: If soaking rice, rinse, drain, and add to a mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Soak for 12 hours or overnight. For a quicker soak, cover in hot water for 1 hour. Then rinse and drain.
To a medium saucepan, add cooking water (if you soaked your rice, start with 1 ¼ cups water as recipe is written), rinsed rice, and salt. Heat over high heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender and fluffy. Soaked rice generally takes less time to cook. Unsoaked rice can take up to 30 minutes or more. Keep covered and set aside.
Once the oil is hot, add vegetables one type at a time and cook in batches until lightly browned (1-2 minutes), seasoning each with a little minced garlic and a dash of coconut aminos, tamari, or sea salt. Cooking in batches allows you to arrange vegetables separately over the rice for visual effect. We cooked the zucchini first, then carrots, green onion, bean sprouts, and spinach. Add more oil to the pan as needed between vegetables.
Arrange cooked vegetables in individual piles on a serving plate and cover gently to keep warm until serving.
To cook eggs (if vegan, see notes for options!), heat the same pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a little more oil (sesame or otherwise), and carefully crack eggs. For sunny-side up (our preference), cover briefly with a lid to steam for 1 minute, then remove lid and continue cooking until whites are cooked but yolks are still runny. Turn off heat and set aside (uncovered).
This dish is best fresh, but leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 days and be reheated on the stovetop over medium heat as a stir fry. Not freezer-friendly.
*Soaking rice not included in prep time.
*Sesame oil can be found at Asian markets and most grocery stores and is fairly affordable. Its flavor really works best in this recipe and either toasted or untoasted can be used. But it can be subbed with avocado or refined coconut oil for a similar result (don’t use virgin coconut oil or the dish will taste like coconut).
*If vegan, omit the egg and sub our Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu, Quick Scrambled Tofu (similar to the tofu in this recipe), or just double up on veggies!
*To keep this bowl grain-free, omit grains and double up on veggies or sub cauliflower rice!
*In this recipe we served the bibimbap in bowls, but you can purchase Korean-style dolsot bowls, which allow you to cook the bibimbap after plating to get the rice crispy on the bottom of the bowl. However, for a similar effect, simply stir fry rice in a little sesame oil in a hot pan for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until toasty and golden brown.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with equal amounts of carrot, zucchini, and spinach for the mixed vegetables, with lesser amounts of sesame oil and Gochujang sauce, and without optional ingredients.
*Recipe method adapted from the amazing Maangchi, and inspired by our many bowls of bibimbap while visiting South Korea!