Soba noodles topped with lightly fried tofu, sautéed mushrooms, thinly cut carrots, sautéed bean sprouts, sliced cucumbers, and red chili peppers then tossed in a spicy chili paste sauce. This quick and easy vegan dish is a twist to the classic Korean bibimbap.
Oh my god! I’ve been waiting for days to share this recipe with you, but with so many other recipes scheduled, this dish had to wait impatiently for its turn.
And how you entered my giveaway yet? If not, there’s still time left to enter for a chance to win baked goodies.
Have I mentioned before that I love love love Korean food? It’s probably my favorite cuisine. Spicy food and tons of refillable side dishes? What’s not to like? But it’s debatable. Thai and Vietnamese food are high up there on my list of favorites too. What about you? What are your favorite cuisines? I’d love to know!
Bibimbap, if you haven’t had it before, is a signature Korean rice bowl topped with different vegetables and sometimes sliced beef; then it’s drizzled with gochujang (chili pepper paste) and soy sauce. Mix all the ingredients together, and you have one messy but very delicious dish. There are actually two versions. The first is warm rice with all the fixings in a regular bowl. The second is similar but served in a sizzling stone pot. Most people love the stone pot version because it results in burnt crispy rice at the bottom. Have you had burnt rice before? It’s very aromatic and sticky. Like, sticking to your teeth sticky.
When this traditional dish is served in a hot sizzling stone pot, it is often accompanied with a raw egg. Crack the egg on the side of the bowl and mix it with the rest of the ingredients. The sizzling stone bowl will cook the egg for you, resulting in a creamy rice dish.
Either way, it’s just sooo good. Each bite is filled with so much flavor and lots of texture from cooked and uncooked vegetables.
Naturally, I had to figure out how to make the dish at home.
Just picture soba noodles tossed with lightly fried tofu, sautéed vegetables, raw vegetables, and a sweet and spicy chili sauce. Each bite will have a crisp crunch and your taste buds will be bursting with sensation. In a good way, of course.
I’ll have to share this at Fiesta Friday.
In my version of this traditional dish, I chose to use soba noodles instead of rice. I was starving and cooking noodles was just a lot faster than cooking rice. Actually, I prefer noodles over rice, but if you like rice more, go ahead and serve this dish with rice. =)
Heat up water in a medium sized pot, and boil the noodles for about 6-7 minutes. Drain the noodles and run it through cold water to prevent it from sticking to each other. Set the noodles aside for now.
I added tofu to this dish instead of beef (or any other meat) to make it vegan. Since I like my tofu lightly fried, I added a little bit of oil to a small skillet over medium to high heat. Allow the oil to heat for about 30 seconds then carefully drop the sliced tofu into the skillet.
I recommend using firm tofu. Soft or silken tofu will fall apart easily. Make sure that the tofu is relatively dry by patting it down with a paper towel. If it’s wet, the hot oil is likely to splash back at you. And believe me, that’s really painful. Once the tofu has turned golden brown on the outside, transfer it over to a plate lined with paper towels. The paper towel will help drain the oil.
I topped the noodles with several types of vegetables, but I only cooked the mushrooms and the bean sprouts. Everything else is raw since I wanted there to be different textures to this dish.
Using the same skillet since there should still be some oil left from the tofu, I added the mushrooms and bean sprouts over medium heat. I cooked them until they’ve softened, then added a little bit of sesame oil and soy sauce. It’s just a tiny little bit to give them a boost of flavor. Stir to evenly season the mushrooms and bean sprouts.
In another small skillet, add the gochujang, sesame oil, sugar, water, and soy sauce. Stir over low heat to mix them.
Technically, you don’t have to cook the sauce, but I find that if I don’t, I can taste the grainy-ness of the sugar in the sauce. I don’t like that. I wanted my sauce to be smooth.
And on a side note, gochujang (the chili paste) has different levels of spiciness. You can click on the link to see which one I bought. The brand that I bought has five levels. I bought level 3, which is medium spiciness, but you can buy the paste according to your taste. If you don’t like, or can’t handle, the spiciness, I recommend getting the mild. Unfortunately, the gochujang does contain wheat flour so it’s not gluten free.
Now, it’s time to plate the dish. And yes, this is how they do it in restaurants all the time. Because the fun part is getting to toss everything together and making a delicious mess!
First, add the noodles to the bottom of the bowl. Arrange the vegetables (bean sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, mushrooms) and tofu side by side. If you like spicy, like I do, you can add chili pepper, but that’s completely optional.
Drizzle the sweet and spicy chili sauce over the bowl and then toss all the ingredients together. My favorite part!
Serve the dish cold or warm.
Dental Hygiene Tip #7: One of the tricks we used while drinking coffee or tea to prevent staining on our teeth is to use a straw. If you drink coffee through a straw, the coffee won’t stain the front of your teeth. Just be careful when you’re drinking hot drinks.
Did you know that if you’re not ready to print a recipe, you can save the recipe into an online recipe box through Ziplist? It’s completely free to sign up and easy to use to organize your recipes as well as your grocery list.
- 1 bundle of soba noodle
- For the tofu:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 oz firm tofu (¼ box of tofu), sliced
- ¼ cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (chili paste)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup matchstick sized carrots
- ¼ cup sliced cucumbers
- 1 chili pepper, sliced (optional)
- Boil water in a medium sized pot, and then add soba noodles. Cook the noodles for 6-7 minutes until the noodles are tender. Remove the pot from heat and drain the noodles. Run the noodles through cold water to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other. Set aside for now.
- Pat the tofu dry with a paper towel.
- Add vegetable oil to a small skillet over medium to high heat. After the vegetable oil has heated for about 30 seconds, add the sliced tofu to the pan. Cook the tofu until it becomes lightly golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with paper towel to drain the oil.
- In the same skillet used to cook the tofu, add the mushrooms and bean sprouts over medium heat. Use a spatula to cook the mushrooms and bean sprouts until they become soft, about 5 minutes. Add soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir to evenly season the mushrooms and bean sprouts.
- Add the gochujang, water, soy sauce, granulated sugar, and sesame oil into a small pot over low heat. Stir the ingredients until they become warm and the sugar has dissolved, about a minute.
- Add the soba noodles into a medium sized bowl. Top the noodles with the sautéed mushrooms and bean sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, and tofu, setting them side by side. Drizzle the sweet and spicy chili sauce on top.
- Serve the noodles warm or cold.