Bulgogi is traditionally made with beef, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be a delicious and nutritious vegetarian dish. I cooked mine very mildly spicy because the girls and Peter don’t like their food too hot. Add chili flakes if you like more heat in the dish as I do.
This is a simple dish to make but very satisfying to eat. I used firm tofu, but extra firm will work well too. I used light soy sauce, but if you want the color of your tofu to be darker to resemble the real bulgogi, use 2 tablespoons light soy sauce and 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce. Go Chu Jang is a very sweet chili sauce. If you don’t like your dish too sweet, you can replace with other mild chili sauce.
Vegetarian Bulgogi Rice Bowl
1 box 14 oz firm tofu, water drained and finely diced
3 stocks green onion, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg + more if serving with sunny side up (Skip if vegan)
1 1/2 teaspoon tapioca, or corn starch
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons pure dark sesame oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Korean sweet & spicy sauce called Go Chu Jang (replace with other mild chili sauce and add a little more sugar if you don’t have Go Chu Jang)
1 to 2 teaspoons xylitol or brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced or julienned
1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish
Sliced cucumber and/or Kimchi for serving
Open the tofu package. If the tofu is soaked in water, drain all the water and let it sit on a plate with another plate on top to press more water out.
In a large bowl, mix together tofu, 5 tablespoons chopped green onion, grated ginger, minced garlic, egg, soy sauce, Go Chu Jang, tapioca or corn starch, sesame oil and sugar with your hand. Let marinate for about 10 minutes.
Heat cooking oil in a wok or pan on medium high heat, stir fry the tofu mixture for 3 to 4 minutes until aromatic. Add thinly sliced carrots and stir to mix.
Serve on top of cooked rice, garnish with green onion and more Go Chu Jang if desired. Top with a sunny side up egg to make it a more fulfilling meal.