A Korean mixed rice dish with crispy rice, earthy mushrooms, sweet & crunchy pickled radish, creamy zucchini, and roasted tofu topped with a sunny-side up egg.
I’ve made tofu bibimbap many times before, but the ingredients never really made sense together until I was sitting with a sizzling stone bowl in front of me at Koreana in Arden, NC. We were in western North Carolina for a weekend hiking getaway. After a second day of mountainous, rainy hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we were tired and famished. We stayed at a cute Airbnb in Arden and didn’t want to go far for food, so we decided on a nearby Korean restaurant recommended by our host. It turned out to be a fantastic choice. I ordered an eel stone bowl and it was amazing. All of the flavors and textures of the stone bowl worked together in harmony – the cold pickled radish was the perfect complement to the hot, crispy rice and the heat of the stone bowl helped to cook the yolk of the barely cooked egg.
Some bibimbap recipes I’ve made involve cooking many different ingredients separately on the stove, so the whole process can be pretty tedious. To make the recipe a bit easier, I chose to roast most of the ingredients on two sheet pans and then just combine at the end. There are still a lot of steps, but the end result is worth it.
How to Make Tofu Bibimbap
Start by cooking rice and then spreading the rice into a hot cast iron skillet to crisp, mimicking the effect of the stone bowl. You’ll leave the rice in the cast iron skillet for 30 minutes or so until you’re done with the rest of the steps. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you could alternatively use a large nonstick skillet, but instead of removing from heat, keep the heat on low for 10 minutes or so. If you actually have stone bowls to use for serving, then you can skip this step. I don’t have any stone bowls, so the cast iron skillet really helps.
Then you’ll marinate your tofu and place the radishes in pickling liquid. While the tofu is marinating, prep your veggies. I chose to use two different mushrooms for bulk and to add a earthy flavor and zucchini for the creamy texture. Bok choy adds a grean leafy element. Feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand – spinach would work well in place of the bok choy, carrots instead of radish, make it your own. After the veggies are prepped, you’ll roast the tofu, mushrooms, zucchini, and bok choy on two sheet pans.
While the veggies and tofu are roasting, cook your eggs. Then assemble your bowls and enjoy!
- 1 cup short grain white rice
- 2 3/4 cups water divided
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil divided
- 14 oz extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 12 oz radishes
- 8 oz baby bella or white button mushrooms
- 3-4 oz shiitake mushrooms
- 1 head baby bok choy
- 1 large zucchini (or 2 small)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- hoisin sauce, gochujang, and/or kimchi for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook rice in a rice cooker with 1 3/4 cups water or on the stove following package instructions.
- Cut the tofu into cubes (or substitute protein of choice here). Place the tofu in a medium dish with a lid that seals. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Gently flip the container to mix around and marinate the tofu. Let stand on the counter.
- After rice is cooked, heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. After it's heated up, add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the pan and swirl around. Add the rice in a single layer and remove from heat. Let sit until you're ready to plate the bowls. The cast iron will help to crisp up the rice and mimic the effect of a hot stone bowl for serving. Leave the rice in the skillet until you're done with the rest of the steps.
- Next prepare the pickled radish. Slice the radish thinly. Add the remaining 1 cup water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and add the radishes. Stir gently, cover, and let sit.
- Next you'll prepare the vegetables for roasting. Slice the baby bella or white button mushrooms. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice. Cut the ends off the bok choy and slice each stalk in thirds lengthwise if you're using baby bok choy. For regular bok choy you may have to slice into smaller pieces. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice into half moons.
- Cover one sheet pan with one large piece of foil. Cover another sheet pan with two pieces of foil, each taking up about half of the pan. Lightly grease all of the foil with cooking spray. Place the zucchini and both types of mushrooms on the large sheet pan with one type of foil. Lightly salt the veggies. Place the tofu on one of the foil sheets on the second pan. Place the bok choy on the second sheet on the same pan. Pour any leftover marinade over the bok choy. Place both baking pans in the oven.
- After 7 minutes take the pan with the tofu and bok choy out of the oven and gently remove the foil sheet with the bok choy. Put the tofu back in the oven. The zucchini and mushrooms should be done after about 15 minutes and the tofu after 20 minutes.
- While your ingredients are roasting, cook the eggs. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add one tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet and swirl around. Then crack your eggs into the skillet and cook to desired doneness.
- Finally assemble your bowls and enjoy!