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Category: Seafood

Rosé Rabokki

Rosé Rabokki

If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine like I am, you’re probably familiar with tteokbokki, the hugely popular street food featuring chewy rice cakes in a spicy, savory sauce. But have you ever tried rosé tteokbokki? This delightful twist combines the classic flavors of tteokbokki read more

8 Treasure Rice

8 Treasure Rice

Lunar New Year starts on February 10th this year. It is a 2 week celebration that is one of the most (raucously!) celebrated holidays of the year for the more than 1.5 billion people worldwide that celebrate. Think fireworks, parades, elaborate decorations, gifts, new festive read more

Vegetarian Bibimbap

Vegetarian Bibimbap

Looking for delicious ways to incorporate more veggies into your meals? Make this Vegetarian Bibimbap! At its most basic, bibimbap means “mixed rice”. But there’s nothing basic about this beloved Korean dish of warm rice topped with seasonal vegetables, a tongue tingling gochujang sauce, and a fried egg. This is a nourishing meal in a bowl, and while the ingredient list and steps may look long, don’t worry; the toppings can be prepared in the time it takes the rice to cook. Vegetarian Bibimbap is one of my favorite ways to serve a meatless meal as there’s so many textures and flavors happening and each bowl looks almost too pretty to eat. Trust me when I say that no one served this bowl bursting with colorful piles of seasoned veggies and a gorgeous perfectly fried egg is going to miss the meat, so let’s get into it!

Vegetarian Bibimbap Prep

I start making this bibimbap by prepping all the veggies while the rice cooks, starting with the bean sprouts. I quickly blanch them, saving the hot water to also blanch the spinach. Use a spider or slotted spoon to scoop out the bean sprouts and then continue on with the spinach. Rinse the bean sprouts briefly to cool them down.

blanche sprouts bibimbap

oil sprouts

drain and rinse spinach

When the bean sprouts and spinach are done, I set them aside and chop the rest of the vegetables for our Vegetarian Bibimbap.

veggies for vegetarian bibimbap

carrot matchsticks bibimbap

sliced zucchini

peppers bibimbap

mushrooms bibimbap

Cooking Vegetarian Bibimbap

Now that all the veggies are prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start cooking. All of the vegetables get cooked separately so that each flavor remains distinct. The carrots will taste like carrots, the zucchini will taste like zucchini, etc. Plus you want that beautiful rainbow in your bowl.

Each vegetable only gets cooked briefly though so the process goes quickly. We are looking for a crisp-tender texture here, not overcooked and mushy. Each element gets separately seasoned as well, so that every bite of the bibimbap explodes with flavor. It’s not necessary to wash out your pan between veggies. Just wipe it out with a paper towel and you’re good to go.

shrooms bibimbap

 

As each item cooks I put them in bowls and set aside for when it’s time to construct the bibimbap bowls.

Now that all the vegetables are seasoned and cooked it’s time to fry the eggs. Check out Perfect Fried Eggs for a quick primer on getting them right! Once they are done it’s time to assemble the Vegetarian Bibimbap bowls. Divide the rice between 4 bowls, and top with the vegetables, some kimchi, the egg, and a nice sized dollop of gochujang  I like to sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top too. If you have picky eaters, let them assemble their own bowls, taking more of the veggies they like and less of the ones they don’t.

See what I mean when I say that no one is going to be looking for meat when presented with these beautiful bowls overflowing with goodies? Make these Vegetarian Bibimbap this weekend and see for yourself! Remember to comment and let me know what you think, and don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

Can’t get enough Korean food? Me neither, check out some of our most popular Korean recipes:

Radish Kimchi

Gimbap

Potato Pancake

Tteobokki

 

 

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recipe card vegetarian bibimbap

Vegetarian Bibimbap

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: bowls, entrees
  • Cuisine: Korean

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 tablespoons neutral oil divided
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil divided
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced (about 5 cloves)
  • 12 ounces mushrooms (you can use button, shiitake, cremini, oyster, or a mix)
  • 6 ounces bean sprouts
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 8 ounces kimchi (any kind)
  • 4 fried eggs
  • 5 cups cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds divided
  • 4 tablespoons gochujang

Instructions

Prep Your Vegetables:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Put the bean sprouts in the pot and stir. Cook the bean sprouts for 1 minute. Take the beansprouts out with a strainer and then bring the pot of water back to a boil. 
  2. Rinse the bean sprouts quickly under running water to cool them down. Set them aside to finish draining.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper in a bowl. Add the bean sprouts, mix well, and set aside.
  4. When the water returns to a boil, add the spinach, stir it into the water. As soon as it wilts, take the pot off the heat and drain the spinach in a colander.
  5. Rinse quickly under running water to cool enough to handle. Squeeze out the water and then roughly chop the spinach and put it in a bowl.
  6. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of ground pepper. Set aside.
  7. Peel the carrots and then slice thinly, stack the slices and cut through to create matchsticks.
  8. Push the carrots to the side of your chopping board or put the carrots in a bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, toss, and set aside. (I have a large chopping board so I’m able to keep the 3 prepped veggies on the cutting board, eliminating the need for any additional bowls. If you can do this too, I recommend it so you can cut down on doing dishes later.)
  9. Wash the zucchini well to eliminate any sand. Trim the ends and then slice thinly, stack the slices and cut through to create matchsticks.
  10. Put the zucchini in a bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, toss, and set aside.
  11. Cut the red pepper in half and take out the core and seeds. Cut the peppers in half crosswise (so your strips will not be too long) and then slice thinly. Set aside.

Cook the vegetables:

  1. Wipe, trim, and cut the mushrooms so they are roughly the same size, either in thick slices, wedges, or quarters. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the mushrooms. Do not touch the mushrooms for 1 minute to let them caramelize. Add 1 teaspoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, a pinch of ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Stir fry for 2-3 more mins until the mushrooms are cooked. Put the mushrooms on a large plate and return the pan to the stove. 
  2. Wipe out the pan (no need to wash it) and heat it over medium high heat. 
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and the carrots. Stir fry for 3-4 mins. Put the carrots next to the mushrooms and return the pan to the stove.
  4. Again wipe out the pan and heat it over high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, the zucchini, 1 teaspoon of garlic, and a pinch of ground black pepper. Stir fry for 1-2 mins. until the zucchini is wilted. Put the zucchini on the same plate as the carrots and return the pan to the stove.
  5. Again wipe out the pan and heat it over medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, the peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of ground black pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute and then put the peppers on the vegetable plate. Return the pan to the stove.
  6. Again wipe out the pan and heat it over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes. Crack the four eggs into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and swirl the pan to coat with oil. Then carefully pour the eggs into the pan. As soon as the eggs start to set, which takes about 1-2 minutes, cover with a lid and then let cook for 1-2 mins until the white is set but the yolks are soft and jiggly. Take the pan off of the heat and then use a rubber spatula to remove the eggs to a plate to keep them from overcooking.
  7. Divide the rice into 4 large bowls. Top each bowl with a quarter of the bean sprouts, the spinach, the mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and red pepper. Add some kimchi to each bowl, put a fried egg at the center of each bowl, and then add a tablespoon of the gochujang sauce on the inside rim of the bowl. Garnish with some extra sesame seeds if desired.
  8. Serve the vegetarian bibimbaps immediately.

Keywords: rice, kimchi, korean, spinach, bibibimbap, fried egg

Haemul Sundubu-Jjigae

Haemul Sundubu-Jjigae

Craving a warming and hearty soup for supper? Look no further than this Korean jjigae (or stew), known as Haemul Sundubu-jjigae. That may be a bit of a mouthful, but there are all kinds of jjigae enjoyed in Korea; this one has soft tofu (sundubu) read more

Tamagoyaki Frittata

Tamagoyaki Frittata

Tamagoyaki is a favorite Japanese lunch box item, often found in purchased bento boxes or made by a home cook for school lunches. Dashi flavored thin, delicate layers of cooked egg are rolled together to make a large fluffy omelet. It’s deeply savory from the read more

Dashi

Dashi

Hello there, funky friends!  It’s been a little while. Between opening a new concept- local friends, check out Halo Halo Snack Shack for Miami’s only authentic Asian shaved ice desserts; and waiting for my dear husband (who happens to be not just the executive chef at our restaurants but also our Funky Asian Kitchen photographer) to recover from knee replacement surgery….2023 has been quite a year already. But I’m happy to be back and I have so many exciting recipes to share with you- like the Dashi recipes we’re making today! Foundational to Japanese cuisine, dashi is used in dishes as diverse as hot pots, noodle dishes, stews, and of course as the stock for miso soup. There are several variations that are common in Japan, and I’m going to share three versions that I regularly enjoy.

 

dashi ingredients

Katsuobushi and Kombu Dashi

Kombu is essential to making dashi. In fact, all 3 of the dashi variations I am sharing today start by soaking the kombu in water to gently extract its deep umami flavor. I like to soak it for at least an hour, but overnight in the fridge is great too. One of the golden rules in Japanese cuisine, is to never let kombu boil. Why? Because it tends to get slimy and that will transfer to your broth. However, if you’re a rule breaker, you will find that after it’s been boiling for a little while, the slime kind of goes away.

Another lesser rule is to gently wipe down the kombu with a damp cloth before using. This one, I always ignore. The whitish cast on the kombu is not mold; it’s called mannitol and is perfectly natural. It’s a combination of sugar and salts that rises to the surface of the kelp as it dries and adds more umami to your dishes- so really why bother? So rule follower, rule breaker, I’ll let you decide. In the recipes below, I’m following the established principles to give you some guidelines.

Katsuobushi, a dried smoked tuna that is then shaved, is 100% worth seeking out. It’s used in a ton of dishes as a topping/flavoring, stores easily in the pantry, and lasts virtually forever (although really old katsuobushi may lose some of its flavor over time). Japanese cuisine is subtle, relying on seasonality and fresh products above all else. Katsuobushi is one of those ingredients that really lends itself to highlighting those qualities, working in the background, quietly adding some depth, flavor, and light smokiness. You will be amazed at how just these two ingredients create such a complex broth that tastes like it’s been simmered for hours.

Once your water comes to a simmer, make sure to turn off the heat before adding the katsuobushi. Otherwise, the stock will be cloudy and almost slightly bitter. As the bonito flakes steep, they will sink slowly to the bottom of your pot. There’s no need to stir/mix it. Just let it be 😉 Strain your dashi through a sieve to use immediately or store in the fridge. You can also freeze it for convenience.

dashi sieve

Anchovy and Kombu Dashi

This next dashi has a bolder fish flavor, though not overpowering. Typically in Japan, it is made with small dried anchovies known as iriko. Personally, I prefer to follow the Korean lead and use some of the bigger ones. Anchovy stock is used regularly in Korean cusine and it pairs well with the assertive, robust flavors of their food. If you’re using the small anchovies, you can use them as is, but if the jumbos are what you have, you’ll want to remove the head and guts. Although it may seem a little tedious, you’ll get a less fishy product that’s also less bitter and more versatile to use. The photo below shows both sizes which you can easily find in most Asian stores.

Removing the heads and gutting the fish is easy to do and requires just a couple minutes. Once you pinch off the heads, put your fingers at the throat area. Pull the hard black guts out (they will come out as 1 hard piece) and continue cleaning the rest of the anchovies.

 

strain out fish

This stock will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. Like all stocks, this freezes well if you would like to store some in the freezer.

Shiitake Mushroom Dashi

There aren’t a lot of hardcore vegetarians in Japan. Most people, even those that eat a largely plant based diet, do occasionally eat seafood. But it’s nice to have a vegetarian dashi to add savory oomph if you are avoiding meat. I use dried shiitake mushrooms for the deepest flavor. Once again I start by soaking the kombu, but I add the dried mushrooms too. Place a little dish on top to make sure they are fully submerged. Let that soak for at least an hour, or up to overnight in the fridge.

I prefer not to simmer the mushrooms. Instead, as soon as the water almost comes to a simmer, I turn off the heat and let the mushrooms steep in the very hot liquid. This technique gives me a light flavorful liquid but not one that’s going to overpower a dish with mushroom flavor. If you love mushroom flavor and can’t get enough, go ahead and gently simmer it instead of just steeping.

Like the other 2 dashi, this one will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days and also freezes well.

If you’re wondering what to do with the stuff you’ve strained out of the stock, you can definitely save the Kombu and the shiitake mushrooms for another purpose. For the anchovies and katsuobushi, I keep them as a treat for our dog Mina. If you have a 4-legged family member, they would love a couple tablespoons mixed into their meals. You can also try your hand at furikake for a 2-legged family treat.

Now that you have mastered 3 different dashi, the possibilities for them are endless. Try one in my Egg Soufflé for an elegant but easy supper. Replace this homemade dashi for the dashi powder/water combo in the Cold Soba. Use the shiitake version to make Chikuzen, Japan’s famed braised chicken. Or try the anchovy dashi in Tteokbokki or  Oden Stew. And of course they will make an excellent egg drop or miso soup. Having these flavorful stocks on hand will up your kitchen game exponentially. Try one, or all 3, and let me know what you think! Tag us on insta @funkyasiankitchen or leave us a comment here; we love hearing from you.

 

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recipe dashi

Dashi (3 ways)

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Ingredients

Scale

Katsuobushi and Kombu Dashi

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed katsuobushi (about 20 grams)
  • 2 pieces kombu the size of your hand (about 4”x6”)

Anchovy and Kombu Dashi

  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup dried large anchovies (about 25 grams or 15 pieces)
  • 1 piece kombu the size of your hand (about 4”x6”)

Vegetarian Shiitake Mushroom and Kombu Dashi

  • 1 piece kombu the size of your hand (about 4”x6”)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms

Instructions

To Make Katsuobushi/Kombu Dashi:

  1. Break the kombu into a couple of pieces and then soak the kombu in the water for at least 1 hour (or even overnight) in the fridge.*
  2. Pour the kelp water into a pot (save the kombu for a different purpose) and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. As soon as the liquid starts to simmer, add the katsuobushi and turn off the heat. Let the liquid steep for 15 minutes.
  4. Strain the dashi through a sieve and then use the stock immediately or transfer to the fridge or freeze. The stock keeps for 5 days in the fridge. 

To Make Anchovy and Kombu Dashi:

  1. Break the kombu into a couple of smaller pieces. Add it to the water and soak the kombu for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge. 
  2. Head and gut the sardines by breaking off the heads and then pinching out the guts which are hard and black. Discard the head and guts.
  3. Pull the kombu out and reserve for another use. Then put the anchovies in a pot with the soaking water. 
  4. Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat. Partially cover the pot with a lid, lower the heat to medium and continue to simmer for 15 mins and then strain out the sardines. Either discard or use the sardines in another dish (if you have pets, they love the cooked sardines). 
  5. Use the stock immediately or transfer to the fridge or freeze. The stock keeps for 5 days in the fridge. You can substitute 2 cups of katsuobushi (about 2 cups or 20 grams for the iriko)

To Make Vegetarian Shiitake Mushroom and Kombu Dashi:

  1. Break the kombu into a couple of smaller pieces. Put the kombu in a container with the water. Wipe off the mushrooms and then soak the mushrooms with the kombu. You can put a bowl on top of the mushrooms to keep them submerged. Soak for at least an hour or even overnight. 
  2. Strain out the kombu and then put the mushrooms and soaking water in a pot. Bring the pot to a bare simmer and then turn off the heat. Let the mushrooms sit in the cooling pot for 10 minutes. 
  3. Squeeze the mushrooms to extract as much liquid as you can and reserve the mushrooms for another purpose. Use immediately or transfer to the fridge or freeze. The stock keeps for 5 days in the fridge.

Notes

*kombu becomes a little slimy when heated but if you are in a rush and do not have time for a long soak, put the kombu in a pot with the water and gently heat it on very low heat for 10 minutes before continuing.

Keywords: dashi, stock, japanese, miso, dried fish, dried anchovy, iriko, shiitake, kombu, vegetarian, awase