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A Korean dish blending a variety of flavors and nutrition, bibimbap is easy to make, customizable and a cultural experience in a bowl Bibimbap is a culinary symphony orchestrated in a bowl. This healthful Korean dish elegantly combines a medley of fresh, crisp vegetables, hearty meats or tofu and an egg. Bibimbap may look complicated, but it is surprisingly simple to make and nearly all the ingredients can be substituted to fit anyone’s palette preferences, dietary restrictions or allergies. This makes bibimbap wonderful for those participating in Veganuary since it can be easily adapted into a vegan recipe. Bibimbap’s customizable nature, unique flavor and fun mixing process are some of the reasons why bibimbap was Google’s most searched dish in 2023 and will continue to be popular in 2024. As a meal, bibimbap is known for its vast nutritional benefits from the vegetables, lean protein sources and micronutrients from the seeds and oils. There are many theories about the origin of the dish, though it is widely believed that Koreans began making bibimbap as early as 918, mixing all their left-over vegetables with rice to create an easy-to-prepare meal that can be shared with the whole family.  The word bibimbap means “mixed rice” when translated into English. The prefix “bibim” means “to mix” in Korean while the term “bap” is the word for “streamed rice.” In essence, bibimbap is not only a way to try a delicious meal, it is a great way to experience Korean culture while making use of seasonal vegetables no matter where you are in the world. Create Your Own Bibimbap With bibigo A leading Korean food brand, bibigo, whose mission is to make everyone’s life taste better, also combines the word “bibim” with the English word “go” to represent how the brand harmonizes various elements to create delicious meals. Here are two simple bibimbap recipes that can create a beautiful medley for you to enjoy, with a hint of bibigo sauce to elevate the taste. Healthy, Protein-rich Bibimbap Serves 4 This hearty bibimbap is high in protein and flavor with chicken breast and vegetables that can be found at every supermarket. This recipe is low in cholesterol and has plenty of nutrients to achieve a balanced diet, all within less than 30 minutes of preparation, cooking and assembly. Ingredients: 1 lb cooked chicken breast 4 cups cooked white rice 1 cup julienned carrots 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber 1 cup bean sprouts 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms 4 fried eggs 4 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) 2 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 4 green onions, sliced Instructions: Purchase pre-cooked chicken breast or cook as desired and set aside. Sauté all vegetables individually except for green onions and set aside, pan fry eggs. Divide the cooked rice into four bowls. Arrange the cooked chicken and sautéed vegetables on top of the rice in separate sections. Add a fried egg on the side of each bowl. Drizzle each bowl with sesame oil and add a spoonful of gochujang on the side. The grocery giant bibigo carries their own gochujang perfect for this recipe and can be purchased at the local grocery store or bibigo’s official website. Sprinkle sesame seeds and sliced raw green onions over the top. To serve, mix everything together just before eating, ensuring the gochujang evenly coats the ingredients.  Tips:  Use bibigo Korean-style Sticky White Rice; its chewy texture pairs beautifully with hearty protein and crunchy vegetables. Add bibigo Kimchi Toppers as a gut health-boosting side dish which is both nutrient-dense but also adds an extra tangy crunch.  Vegan Bibimbap for a Hearty Veganuary Serves 4 To celebrate Veganuary or cut down on meat consumption, this recipe maintains the same high-protein, low-cholesterol features without adding any meat. Tofu and vegan eggs are a high-protein vegan alternative to chicken and eggs which are still quick and easy to cook. Ingredients: 4 cups cooked white rice 1 cup julienned carrots, marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber, marinated in rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar 1 cup bean sprouts, blanched 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms, marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic 1 cup firm or extra-firm tofu, pressed and cubed, sautéed until golden brown 4 tablespoons bibigo gochujang (Korean red pepper paste) bibigo Gotchu Hot Sauce (to taste, for an extra tang or kick) 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 4 green onions, sliced Optional: 4 vegan fried eggs Instructions: Marinate all vegetables with their individual sauce types and set aside. Sauté the vegetables if desired, but this is not necessary. Press and cube the tofu, then sauté until golden brown. Set it aside. Optional: pan fry vegan eggs and set aside. Divide the cooked rice into four bowls. Arrange the sautéed tofu and marinated vegetables on top of the rice in separate sections. Add a vegan fried egg on top of each bowl. Drizzle each bowl with sesame oil and add a spoonful of bibigo gochujang on the side. Add bibigo Gotchu Hot Sauce to taste for an extra tang. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and sliced raw green onions over the top. To serve, mix everything together just before eating to ensure all the flavors blend well. The first recipe can also easily be amended to become vegan. Simply replace the chicken breast with seitan, jackfruit or tempeh and cook as desired. Eggs can also be replaced with vegan egg mix or removed from the recipe. All other ingredients in the recipe are naturally vegan, so simply follow the same recipe above with these changes.
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