Michael Natkin’s version of the Korean dish bibimbap—rice topped with a mix of pickled and cooked vegetables—forgoes the usual runny fried egg on top to be a delicious vegan dish.
Slideshow:Vegan Main Dishes
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup sushi rice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps thickly sliced
One 14-ounce box extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cut into 3-by- 1/3-inch sticks
One 12-ounce bunch of mustard greens—stems and inner ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 small zucchini, cubed
2 tablespoons kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or 2 tablespoons of soy sauce mixed with 1 teaspoon of molasses
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Gochujang (Korean chile paste, see Note) or Sriracha, for serving
How to Make It
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar with the sugar, cucumbers, 1 teaspoon of the ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with 1 1/3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until tender, 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and shiitake, season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned, 6 minutes; scrape onto a platter. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil and add the tofu. Cook over high heat, turning, until browned, 5 minutes. Scrape the tofu onto the platter, keeping it separate from the mushrooms.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in the skillet. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the mustard greens and sesame oil, season with salt and cook until the greens are wilted and just tender, 4 minutes. Add the greens to the platter. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the skillet. Add the zucchini and cook over high heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add the kecap manis and cook until the zucchini is glazed, 1 minute; scrape onto the platter. Keep warm.
Mound the rice in bowls and arrange the cooked vegetables in separate piles. Using a slotted spoon, add the pickled cucumbers to the bowls. Garnish with the scallions and a dollop of gochujang and serve.
Gochujang is available at Korean markets or from hmart.com.
The tangy, spicy flavors in bibimbap can be tricky with wine, but vibrant Californian Sauvignon Blanc works well.
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