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Vegan Bibimbap (aka Seoul Bowl) with Gochujang-baked Tempeh, steamed veggies, kimchi and pickled cucumber- a healthy vegan version of Bibimbap!
And I say to my heart: rave on.
This Korean inspired “Seoul Bowl” (a vegan version of Bibimbap) is loaded up with healthy veggies and packed full of flavor! Roasted Tempeh is the protein featured today, but feel free to swap it out for tofu, meat or even just a simple poached egg.
I’m not sure about you, but I’ve had some terrible tempeh experiences in my life, but this version was so good it even passed the husband test!
what is tempeh ?
Tempeh is a vegan “patty” made from fermented soybeans and or grains. It is very high in protein and calcium and low in fat – with a very textured, nutty flavor. It’s very firm and doesn’t easily crumble like tofu. Many vegetarian and vegan recipes use tempeh as a meat substitute, which holds up well.
Tempeh can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores and in the natural foods aisle of well-stocked grocery stores.
how to cook tempeh?
Since it is a low-fat and high-protein food, many vegans choose to include tempeh in their diet on a regular basis.
TIP: Remember to always simmer tempeh for 8-10 minutes in seasoned water to soften and help lessen its bitterness. It really makes a difference! Once simmered, season it or marinate it as you wish. It is like tofu, in that it’s a nice canvas for other flavors. So Flavor it up!!!
The secret to making tempeh taste good:
Simmer Tempeh in water, or seasoned water, to remove the bitterness, and to also open up its “pores” for the flavorful marinade to soak in.
Here I’ve sliced it thinly and lathered with a Korean Style Chili Paste.
Into the oven it goes to bake. It will get nice and crispy.
I wanted to introduce you to this Korean Style Chili Paste called Gochujang. Now, keep in mind, it is not imperative that you use this in the recipe (feel free to use Chili Garlic Sauce or Sriracha) but for those of you who have it on hand, or want more of an authentic tasting bowl, it’s a fun condiment to use and have on hand.
The primary difference in flavor is the Gochujang is fermented, so its flavor has this really unique depth that comes from this fermentation process. To me, it tastes slightly of miso. Deep and earthy and umami flavored.
This is what is used when making traditional Kimchi.
So anyways, there you have it.
Whisk up the flavorful marinade, then coat all sides of the tempeh.
ALSO FYI -Do you see this little whisk? You can get them at most grocery stores ( in the baking section) very inexpensively, and they come in super handy when whisking tiny little bowls of marinades or dressings.
One of my favorite little gadgets.
Bake the tempeh in the marinade until crispy, and while it’s baking, get the rest of the ingredients ready:
Brown Rice, steamed spinach, steamed carrots, steamed mushrooms, cucumber salad and kimchi.
Once the rice and tempeh are finished, assemble the bowls.
Divide the rice among bowls and surround with the tempeh, steamed veggies, cucumber salad, kimchi and fresh herbs.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with chop sticks.
If you are new to tempeh, this is a great way to infuse flavor into it. Give it a try this week!
For more tempeh recipes give these at try!
Tempeh Reuben Sandwich with Smoked Mozzarella and Turmeric Kraut!
Korean – Style, Seoul Bowl with Tempeh
Have a great week. If you enjoyed this, please rate it below!Print
- Prep Time: 25
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 3 1x
- Category: Vegan Main
- Method: Bowl
- Cuisine: Korean
- 2 cups cooked rice- short grain brown is my preference
- 1 batch Korean Baked Tempeh ( meat-eaters see notes)
- 1 cup steamed, grated or match stick carrots ( or keep fresh)
- 2 handfuls steamed spinach (or keep fresh)
- 2 ounces steamed shiitake mushrooms
- 1 turkish cucumber, cut into thin disks
- generous pinch salt and splash rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup thinly sliced red onion (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh kimchi
- Garnishes – scallions, cilantro, chili paste, sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs
Korean Baked Tempeh:
8 ounce package tempeh
- 1 1/2–2 tablespoons korean chili paste (Gochujang) – or use chili garlic paste or sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or GF alternative
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
Seoul Sauce: ( The Dressing)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or GF alternative,
- 1 tablespoon sriracha, or Gochujang
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 400F
Set rice to cook and start the tempeh. Simmer the block of tempeh in a medium pot, with 2 inches of boiling water for 6-8 minutes to remove bitterness.
Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl, and at the same time whisk Seoul Sauce ingredients together in another separate small bowl.
Remove tempeh from water carefully and pat dry.Cut in half, then cut in half to make thin pieces. See photos. Cut into squares, then triangles or strips. Dip each piece in the marinade and place on a parchment– lined sheet-pan, spooning any remaining marinade over top, and bake for 20 minutes, or until crispy.
While the tempeh bakes, prep your veggies and garnishes.
Soft boil your eggs if using.
Cut the cucumber, place in a small bowl and season with generous pinch salt, a splash of rice vinegar, optional red onion and sesame seeds.
In a medium sauce pan, bring ½-1 inch of water to a simmer. Add the carrots and gently steam, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove, and place on a large plate. To the same simmering water, add the spinach, steam just until lightly wilted ( 1-2 minutes) remove, drain, place on the same plate next to the carrots. Remove and discard the shiitake stems and place the mushroom caps in the same simmering water, turning to steam both sides. Add little more water if you need to. Once tender, about 4 minutes later, place them on the plate next to the carrots and spinach.
Prep any garnishes you plan to use- cut scallions, tear cilantro leaves, and gather the kimchi, sesame seeds and hot chili paste – getting the bowls ready to assemble.
Once the rice and tempeh are done, assemble the bowls.
Divide the rice and tempeh into 2 extra hearty bowls or 3 medium bowls. Surround with the wilted veggies, cucumbers, kimchi, optional egg, fresh herbs and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Spoon the flavorful Seoul Sauce over top.
Eat with chop sticks and enjoy!
If you don’t want to use tempeh, free free to sub tofu, salmon or chicken using the same marinade. You may need to adjust the cooking time. If you have a beef lover amongst you, Traders Joe’s Bulgogi Beef is a nice option, especially when grilled. You can cook both tempeh and meat ( like chicken for example) on the same sheet pan, in separate corners for more options if you have vegans and meat eaters in the same house. Very adaptable!
- Serving Size: 3 bowls without the egg.
- Calories: 456
- Sugar: 19.5 g
- Sodium: 1066.8 mg
- Fat: 13.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 65.3 g
- Fiber: 9.6 g
- Protein: 19.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan bibimbap, how to cook tempeh, Korean recipes, vegan bowl, korean bibimbap, buddha bowls, vegan bowls, korean bibimbap vegan
This is one of my favorite dinner recipes. I make it all the time. Bravo!
I originally gave this recipe 3 stars but the leftovers have been better than the original dish. I may try it again with a different protein…tofu?
Is the mainly the protein? Or anything else you would change?
I had high hopes, but this just wasn’t for me. I will say it resulted in edible tempeh (I am trying to “love” tempeh, but I think I will move on for good now). I have been eating mostly plant-based for less than a year so find this website a valuable resource.
Sorry about that Laurie. What could have made it better, do you think?
I have eaten the leftovers, without kimchi, the last couple of days. And enjoyed them…I will update my recipe rating.
Delightful! Let me start by sayin that I’m no vegan, far from it, but your vegetable based dishes look so colorful, so inviting, that had to at least try. Wonderful dish, really really is, will have it again!
So good!! First time cooking with tempeh and it turned out really well. I steamed it for 10 minutes instead of simmering. However, I thought 1 tbsp of maple suryp was sweet enough for the sauce, so I ended up with too little… Next time I’ll double it! Will definitely make this again.
So glad this worked for you Erika!
This is absolutely delicious, thank you!
Awesome Emma! Glad you enjoyed!
Hi Sylvia, can’t wait to try your recipe tonight. Actually gochujang is not used in making Kimchi, (traditionally anyways) it is gochu-garu which is pepper flakes that is used in Kimchi along with fish sauce and grind fruit like pears or apples that yields gochujang texture.
Korean recipes are pretty complicated but the results are so awesome!
This recipe is so fun and easy to make, and if you enjoy cooking with someone else it’s even better since you can divide and conquer the sauce, marinade and pickles. The tempeh marinade yields the tastiest tofu I have ever had, and we frequently make it to go with other dishes. Thank you for this healthy and delicious recipe.
Made this tonight. It was AMAZING. It was so good my 8 year old ate spinach and zucchini and said they were GOOD. This one is a keeper. Thanks Sylvia 😊
Oh Cool! hope you are hanging in there Jaeden! Crazy times. I’m kind of glad to still be in Santa Barbara during this time. 🙂
Love this so much we are making it two nights in a row! I changed up the veggies for lightly sautéed kale and cabbage but otherwise everything else was the same. I have to be honest, I have never had Korean food because I’m such a chicken about trying new things and foods/ingredients I can’t pronounce! I have found that your introduction to food styles and flavors makes it easier for me to try new things without fear. Thank you for this!
I used tofu instead of tempeh, still havent quite found the right tempeh for me and I was sure the kids would eat the tofu (just not with the gochujang for them) . Anyway, very tasty!
Glad they liked!
Made this recipe tonight, but used Trader Joe’s sriracha tofu in place of tempeh. It was FABULOUS. Even my 7 year old ate it without complaint (which is remarkable). Thanks Sylvia!
Awesome Jaeden!!! So glad you liked it! Coffee soon! xoxo
This was delicious! Better than takeout!!! Bookmarking and saving – definitely a keeper!
Great to hear and so glad you liked it!
I love this recipe! I make it frequently. And thanks for the tempeh prep tip-it really does make a difference in texture and flavor to simmer it first.
Never heard of Tempeh before, thank you so much with the new ingredients. Sometimes, I just don’t want to deal with the soft tofu. Thank you for amazing recipe1
Thanks Stacey! Appreciate the comment!
Tried this tonight with friends and is SO good!!! I might be making it again tomorow, it’s that good.
Glad you enjoyed!
I love Korean food and bibimbap! The tempeh in here looks so delicious and nothing like adding kimchi for that extra punch!
I am just starting to get into Tempeh, so I appreciate this recipe, this looks amazing!
I find that all Gochujang has either MSG or tons of sugar/preservatives. I’ve not found any brands that offer without.
Hey Lola- yes,there actually are some all-natural ones out there…try looking up the brand Mother In Law’s Gochujang and Wholly Gochujang!