Tag Archive for kimchi

Vegan BiBimBap

You know, everyone is all about “power bowls” and “poke” these days. But the reality is, those are just bowls of rice topped with stuff. Okay, yummy, delicious stuff, but still, just rice bowls topped with stuff. 

You maybe could argue that the Koreans were the first to create such a thing. The term “bibimbap” literally means, “mixed rice.” Yup. Originally, you’d be looking at a bowl of rice topped with thinly-sliced meats (often beef), vegetables and pickles. Boy, the Koreans love their pickles. It’s very often also topped with a sunny-side-up egg, which, when you cut up and mix in with the other ingredients, makes a kind of jammy egg yolk sauce. It’s a pretty magical dish, filled with every different flavour and texture you can imagine.

I was inspired to try this in a vegan format after getting my hands on some vegan Kim Chi. I was testing a new vegan cookbook a few weeks back, and one of the recipes called for kimchi. Now, I love kimchi, I even sometimes make a version of it myself. I try to incorporate as many fermented foods (for their health benefits) as I can into my diet. But most kimchi includes fish sauce, which makes it not appropriate for vegans. 

Then I found out that a local gal was starting up her own line of vegan kimchi, and I got my hands on some. It makes a perfect addition to this dish. 

These are the toppings I put on mine: 

  • Gochujang tofu
  • quick-pickled cucumbers
  • shredded carrots
  • blanched spinach 
  • stir-fried shitakes 
  • Salty Cabbage Kimchi

A radish version of kimchi from Salty Cabbage Kimchi–it’s the most beautiful shade of pink!

Vegan BiBimBap

Start by making the rice. Traditionally, this would be white rice, but I used brown for the extra health benefits. 

Next, make the gochugang tofu. Take a block of firm tofu and cut it into small, 1″ squares. Toss the squares into a bowl, and add to the bowl 2 tbsp of cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Toss well. In a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, heat a few tablespoons of canola oil. Toss the tofu into the pan, and stir-fry until crispy, about 5-8 minutes. While the tofu is frying, mix together the sauce: 1 tbsp gochujang, 1/4 cup warm water (warm will help the gochujang dissolve better), 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp brown sugar. Once the tofu is browned, toss the sauce in the pan with it, and stir well. The sauce will thicken and stick to the tofu. Remove and place to the side. 

To make your Vegan BiBimBap: scoop cooked rice into the bottom of a bowl. Top with gochujang tofu, quick-pickled cucumbers, grated or spiralized carrots, fresh or quickly-blanched spinach (or if you want to be real fancy, gomae), stir-fried shitake mushrooms, and finish it off with a big blob of kimchi. 

Mix everything together in your bowl and enjoy! 



Kimchi Fried Rice from Well Fed, Flat Broke

I’m a localvore. I know, it sounds like some dumb, new-age, hipster thing, but really it just means that I like to support local business when I can. Usually, that means shopping at small, locally-owned stores and restaurants over larger, US-owned ones, or buying directly from producers at Farmer’s Markets.

So, there are few things that make me happier than when one of my fellow local food bloggers makes it big. Elizabeth Nyland over at Guilty Kitchen now has two cookbooks, and just this month, Emily Wight of Well Fed, Flat Broke just published hers: Well Fed, Flat Broke: Recipes for Modest Budgets & Messy Kitchens.

Now, Emily and I have some common philosophies. Vancouver is a notoriously expensive city to live in. It is normal for us to spend 50% of our incomes (and sometimes more) on housing, as compared to most places, where that stat is around 30%. In my single-income household, housing charges are our biggest expense. The second biggest chunk of money that goes out the door? Can you guess? Food. Because we like to eat good. Both at home, and when we go out.

Shopping at local produce markets (I love Donald’s), and shopping seasonally are both great ways to save money.

The thing I love the most about Well Fed, Flat Broke, is how well it reflects our multi-cultural city. I’ve lived in other places, and struggled to get authentic ingredients to make dishes from other cultures. Here in Vancouver, we don’t have that problem–pretty much anything you need is readily available, although it may merit a trip across town.

Emily’s recipes reflect the influence of all these different cultures: Asian, Italian, Mexian, Korean, Indian, all with the whimsical touch of a gal from East Van.

I’ve made about half a dozen of the recipes from this book so far, and loved them all, including a fantastic bread recipe the incorporated garlic scapes and cheese. Today, though, I’m sharing her recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice. I recently got turned on to the world of fermentation, and am now making my own kimchi. Emily uses it in many recipes in this book (Emily is also a little obsessed with your digestive health). I loved this as a quick and easy dinner or lunch–you could also omit the egg and the bacon (or use a veggie bacon) to make it vegan.

You can meet Emily at the Well Fed, Flat Broke book launch at Barbara Jo’s on April 19.



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