long wooden spoon scooping out of vegan bibimbap bowl in a stone bowl

Learn how to make the vegan bibimbap with this easy bibimbap recipe guide! A bed of rice with the bottom crisped up and nestled in a dolsot stone bowl, topped with various seasoned vegetables, tofu and a mega flavourful spicy gochujang bibimbap sauce– this Korean mixed rice dish will have you craving it every night of the week!

vegetarian bibimbap topped with colourful vegetables, tofu, seaweed and spicy sauce

When it comes to Korean food, bibimbap is my number one, go-to dish next to japchae. I have a healthy obsession for it and totally not mad about it– for so many reasons. For one, it’s easily vegan-ized no matter what Korean restaurant I go to. Especially when there is a vegetarian bibimbap option, I’ll just ask for no egg and replace it with tofu! Two, it’s such a meal prep friendly and versatile dish so when I make it at home, it tastes slightly different every time depending on what ingredients I have on hand.

What is Korean Bibimbap?

Bibimbap (비빔밥) is a hot bowl of rice topped with various individually prepared seasoned vegetables, a protein of choice like meat, eggs or tofu and served with a gochujang based sauce. In Korean, the word bibim means “mixed” and bap means “rice”, so bibimbap literally translates to “mixed rice”.

There are so many variations of bibimbap which is what makes this iconic dish so unique, delicious and fun to eat. The recipe I’m sharing today is my take on a vegan bibimbap with classic toppings you would most likely find at a restaurant without the meat or eggs. A big thank you to my close family friend that has helped me perfect this vegan bibimbap to ensure authentic preparation and flavours.

korean zucchini side dish in top bowl and pickled korean cucumbers in bottom white bowl

How to Make Vegan Bibimbap Bowls

To make bibimbap, each ingredient is cooked and seasoned individually to maximally bring out their own unique flavours and textures. It really does make a difference in the end result because if you were to cook them all together, some of their flavours may mash and blend. I broke it down into 4 components to make is easy to follow!

Lets get crackin’ shall we?

Component 1: Bibimbap vegetables

Perhaps the lengthiest and more tedious component but it’s easy and repetitive. Once you figure out a smooth workflow, this process can be pulled together quite quickly.

There are so many variations of this dish and thats the beauty of bibimbap! A wide assortment of vegetables can be used to make various toppings– in fact, my family friends shared with me that it’s one of the ways Korean people use up any left overs and side dishes that were prepped ahead of time. In this recipe, I’m sharing some of the more classic bibimbap toppings you’d probably find at most Korean restaurants:

  • Cucumber: Slice, salt and rest. Then squeeze out excess water and season with garlic, sesame seeds and sesame oil.
  • Daikon: Slice and toss in sugar, rice vinegar and gochugaru.
  • Zucchini: Slice, salt and rest. Then squeeze out the excess water and sauté with garlic and sesame oil.
  • Soy bean sprouts: Blanch and then toss with scallions, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt.
  • Spinach: Blanch, shock in water and then season with garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil and salt.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: Soak and sauté with salt and pepper.
  • Carrots: Sliced thinly and sauté with salt and pepper.
korean bean sprout side dish in top right bowl. korean spinach side dish in bottom right bowl

Easy right? There really are no strict rules when it comes to toppings, use whatever you got on hand! Here are some more options:

  • Bell peppers: sauté and season with salt and pepper.
  • Various mushrooms: sauté and season with salt and pepper.
  • Mung bean sprouts: blanch and season (same as soy bean sprouts).
  • Bellflower root: Soak, sauté and then season with garlic, sesame oil, salt and pepper.
  • Eggplant: sauté with garlic and green onions, and then season with sesame oil, salt and pepper (a touch of gochugaru for extra spice!).
  • Watercress: blanch and season (similar to spinach).

TIP: for a ‘simple bibimbap’ I suggest preparing soy bean sprouts, spinach, carrots and shiitake mushrooms because they’re all different colours and have different textures.

spicy pickled korean radish in a black bowl with saute carrots on bottom right in a black bowl

Component 2: Vegan Bibimbap Sauce Recipe

I think what differentiates a good bibimbap vs. a REALLY delicious bibimbap is all in the sauce. After many bowls of bibimbap, I’ve perfected this sauce and holy moly you guys, I am so excited for you to try it! It’s so flavourful, perfectly spicy balanced with a touch of sweetness from the apple. Here’s whats in my secret bibimbap sauce:

  • gochujang, garlic, apple (or pear), sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar

Plus, it’s so easy to make and it keeps in the fridge for up to one week. Simple blend all the ingredients together and thats it!

Is Bibimbap Spicy?

Korean bibimbap is commonly served with gochujang, which is actually not too spicy. What can increase the heat of bibimbap is side dishes that contain gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) such as the radishes or kimchi. However, if you don’t like spicy at all or looking for a kid-friendly sauce try my soy-sesame based sauce version! The sweetness can be adjusted according to your preference– start with a lesser amount of sweetener:

  • soy sauce, oligo syrup (or sugar), sesame oil, garlic, scallion, sesame seeds.

These two sauces are so delicious… you’ll want to put it on EVERYTHING!

korean vegan bibimbap sauce in small white bowls

Component 3: Protein

The protein component is versatile and customizable as well. Beef and eggs are the most standard choice (or just a fried egg for vegetarian), but there are many vegan options too! Here are some delicious plant based options:

  • Fresh chilled soft or traditional tofu: Simple, quick and my go-to source of protein. When mixed into the rice, it almost reminds me of eggs since it gets lightly mashed.
  • No cook spicy marinated tofu: Using firm tofu (14 oz) cut into about 1/2 inch cubes, I marinate it in 1 1/2 tbsp gochujang, 1/2 tbsp miso paste, 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp gochugaru, scallions, ginger and a bit of garlic.
  • Crispy tofu: If you like a more crispy texture to your tofu, air fried, baked, panfried or fried tofu is a great option.
  • Tempeh: Similar to tofu, go with simple and plain, marinated, baked or whatever you fancy!
  • Natto: I’ve never seen natto added to bibimbap so this is my own take, but I love adding natto to bibimbap.
  • Seitan & mock meats: There are so many meat alternatives on the market now the options are truly endless!

Component 4: Rice & Garnishes

The last and perhaps the most important component for bibimbap is the rice, which is the foundation of bibimbap. Generally, bibimbap is served with short grain white rice. However, you can opt to use short grain brown rice, mixed grain rice or a combination of the two.

For a final touch and to pull everything together, add some vegan kimchi and garnish with seasoned seaweed and a generous sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Serving bowls: Bibimbap vs. Dolsot Bibimbap

Bibimbap can be served in a simple large bowl or a stone bowl, known as a dolsot. The dolsot is what differentiates bibimbap versus dolsot bibimbap. I highly recommend investing in a dolsot for the ultimate bibimbap experience because this unique sizzling hot stone bowl is what crisps up the bottom layer of the rice and keeps the food warm from beginning to end.

How to use a Korean dolsot (stone bowl)

Brush some sesame oil on the inside of the dolsot. Add a heaping cup of rice, enough to cover the entire bottom layer. Then add on all the seasoned vegetables, tofu (or any protein you are using) and the sauce. Set the bowl on a gas stove over medium high heat until you hear sizzling and crackling from the rice. Use oven mitts or a kitchen towel to remove the stone bowl off the burner and onto the serving plate (comes as a set). The bowl is HOT so please be careful! An important note about dolsot is that they only work on gas stoves.

How to make dosot bibimbap without a stone bowl

Don’t have a stone bowl or gas stove but still want that crispy rice? We got you. My friend shared with me this genius hack of using an individual sized cast iron skillet instead. When making bibimbap, I’ll actually use this method because I only have one portable gas burner and I must say, it really replicates that same dolsot bibimbap experience.

Cast Iron Skillet Bibimbap

Place a cast iron skillet (I use one that is 8 and 10 inches) on the stove over medium-high heat. Brush the skillet with sesame oil and add a layer of cooked rice. Then add the topping, tofu and sauce. Cook for about 8 minutes or until you hear the rice crackling. You can check the rice by lifting the sides for your desired doneness. Note that the centre will be more crispy.

arrangement of korean side dishes for bibimbap in separate bowls

I think that covers just about everything to make the ultimate vegan bibimbap. Once everything is set, brought to the table and you mix everything together… enjoy each harmonious bite of all the ingredients with different flavours and textures.

vegan bibimbap in a dolsot stone bowl with rice topped with colourful vegetables, tofu, seaweed and a spicy gochujang sauce

More Vegan Korean Dinner Ideas

vegetarian bibimbap korean mixed rice bowl with gochuang sauce in a stone bowl

If you recreate this Vegan Bibimbap recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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vegan bibimbap in a dolsot stone bowl with rice topped with colourful vegetables, tofu, seaweed and a spicy gochujang sauce

Vegan Bibimbap

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5 from 15 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 120 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


Vegan bibimbap topped with various vegetables, tofu and amazingly delicious spicy gochujang sauce. This Korean mixed rice bowl is the ultimate comfort food thats healthy, filling and loaded with flavour! 


Units Scale


Pickled Daikon


  • 1 medium zucchini (approx. 200g)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (3g)
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (3ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 medium carrot (120g)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Shiitake Mushrooms


Soy bean sprouts

  • 1/2 lbs soy bean sprouts (225g // or mung bean sprouts)
  • 1/2 scallion, chopped (6g)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (3g)
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (3ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bibimbap Sauce

Gochujang Sauce

Non-spicy Sauce

For serving



  1. Daikon: Slice daikon into matchsticks. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and let it rest while cooking remaining vegetables to allow them to pickle.
  2. Zucchini: Slice zucchini into matchsticks or into semi-circles. Sprinkle some salt over and rest for 10 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid and pat dry. Over medium high heat, sautee the zucchini with garlic for 1-2 minutes (do not overcook or it will be soggy). Remove from heat, add to a bowl and toss in sesame oil. Add salt to taste.
  3. Carrots: Slice carrots into matchsticks or semi-circles. Over medium high heat, sautee for 1-2 minute or until softened but still have a snappy texture. Remove from heat, add to a bowl and toss with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Shiitake mushrooms: If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak in hot water for 15 minutes or until softened. Over medium high heat, sautee for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cucumbers: Thinly slice cucumber into rounds or semi-circles and place into a bowl. Massage some salt into the cucumbers and rest for 10-15 minutes (until they release water). Drain the water and pat them dry. Toss with garlic, sesame seeds and sesame oil. Add salt to taste.
  6. Soy bean sprouts: Bring a pot of water to a boil and then cook the bean sprouts for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly softened (but still remains some texture). Drain under cold water and then strain. Toss in garlic, scallion, sesame seeds, sesame oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bibimbap sauce

  1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust to your liking.


  1. In a bowl: Add 1 cup of rice to a bowl. Arrange all the vegetable side dishes on top. Add the tofu, kimchi and bibimbap sauce. Finish with sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
  2. In a dolsot: Brush some sesame oil inside the dolsot. Add rice to the bowl and then arrange all the vegetables on top along with the tofu and kimchi. Set the gas stove over medium high heat and let it cook until you begin to hear cracking sounds. Remove from heat, add sauce on top and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!


  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, korean


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 657
  • Sugar: 29.2g
  • Sodium: 2412mg
  • Fat: 18.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.4g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 102.6g
  • Fiber: 14.1g
  • Protein: 26.4g
  • Cholesterol: 0


vegan bibimbap in a stone bowl dolsot with tofu pinterest text overlayed

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. I made the spinach, carrots, and cucumbers; they were all so delicious!! Next time when I have more time, I’ll definitely give the other veggies a try 😋 I’m most excited for the bean sprouts. Side tip, I paired this recipe with The Foodie Takes Flight bulgogi mushrooms recipe and they worked PERFECTLY together 🤗

  2. It’s so easy to make and delicious. It’s true she sayd you can pretty much use anything. I made mine with tofu, bean sprouts, tofu and kale bc thats all i had. Still great!!

  3. Working in a Korean restaurant for a bit, this was always one of my favourite after-shift dishes. Just use the leftover banchan! I really appreciated the variety of veg prep options here and will be making this for my weekly meal prep in future.

  4. I am so happy I found this recipe. The sweet and spicy gochujang sauce was so balanced and the recipe provided perfect instructions for the vegetables! Thank you for such an in-depth guide and showing how many possibilities there are when it comes to vegan cooking :))