Monica's favorite gear for
making Bulgogi
I used this to finely grate the ginger. It's handy for lots of other grating and zesting tasks, too.
This does a great job of finely mincing garlic, and it has a built-in cleaner.
You can toast your own, but it is SUCH a convenience to have these toasted seeds on hand to add to Korean recipes and more!
This adds essential flavor to most Korean recipes.
This lite soy sauce is my go-to for Korean and other Asian cooking.
Also available: Gluten Free Soy Sauce
This adds some zip to the sauce. Use more or less, depending on how much heat you want.
I use this reliable workhorse regularly in my kitchen. This model is the top pick of Cook's Illustrated. It makes so many tasks easier--like mincing mushrooms and onions in a snap!

Vegan Korean Bulgogi

for rice bowls, lettuce wraps, Korean tacos and make-ahead prep


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Korean Beefless Bulgogi (Vegan)

By Monica              6-8 servings
A flavorful sauce makes this meatless recipe taste authentic and delicious. Serve it over rice, in lettuce wraps, or in Korean tacos. Great for make-ahead meal prep. From TheYummyLife.com #vegan #bulgogi #Korean #meatless #mealprep #lettucewraps #ricebowls #Koreantacos

A flavorful sauce makes this meatless recipe taste authentic and delicious. Serve it over rice or in Korean tacos. Great for make-ahead meal prep.

Ingredients
  • 12 oz. cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bag (13.7 oz) frozen Gardein Beefless Ground (or similar veggie protein crumbles)
  • FOR SAUCE:
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • FOR GARNISH:
  • 1 or 2 green onions, chopped

Directions
In food processor, pulse mushrooms until finely and uniformly minced, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Remove mushrooms from food processer, add onions, and pulse until finely minced. (Mushrooms and onions may also be finely minced with a knife.)

Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add minced mushrooms and onions; saute until softened and all liquid has cooked off. Add frozen veggie crumbles, and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps. Lower heat to medium.

While above mixture cooks, combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to dissolve sugar. Add sauce to mushroom mixture and cook until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 5 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chopped onions.

Serve over rice or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Makes 4 generous cups of bulgogi, enough for 6-8 servings.

Since I began cooking Korean food a few years ago, I've often had requests for vegan versions of my recipes. Being a meat eater myself, I don't have a lot of experience with vegan cooking. However, I was recently preparing a meal to serve 20+ people at my sons' company, LACRM, and I needed to have something vegan on the menu to accommodate the preferences of the group there.

I decided to try to make a meatless version of my beef bulgogi. It's a popular Korean dish that has a very flavorful sauce. My beef bulgogi recipe uses steak, but it's not uncommon to use ground beef. Turns out that it's easy to swap out frozen veggie protein crumbles to make a vegan version of bulgogi that is really close to the ground beef version. After some experimenting, I settled on a combination of veggie crumbles (I used Gardein Beefless Ground), cremini mushrooms and onions. When the mushrooms are cooked, they have a meaty flavor and texture and dark color that boosts the flavor and appearance of the dish. Once the Korean sauce is added, this vegan bulgogi tastes very authentic. It got an enthusiastic thumbs-up from both the vegans and non-vegans at the meal I served. Yay.

This is so easy to make. Here's how.

Step-by-step photos for making
Vegan Beefless Bulgogi

 

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients for the base:

  • cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms
  • an onion
  • a bag of frozen Gardein beefless ground (or other protein veggie crumbles)--I found this brand at my local grocery store, Target, and Walmart

collage_ingredients_resize.jpg

Here are the ingredients for the sauce and garnish (I use this same sauce in many of my other Korean recipes. This bulgogi recipe calls for essentially a half-batch of my Everyday Korean Marinade):

  • soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
  • brown sugar
  • sesame oil
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • green onions (for garnish

view on Amazon:  organic toasted sesame seeds,  toasted sesame oil,  low sodium soy saucegluten-free soy sauce,  crushed red pepper flakes

sauce_ingredients_resize.jpg

Step 2. Peel and grate the ginger. I use a spoon to easily scrape the peel off and a microplane to finely grate the ginger.

view on Amazon:  Microplane graterginger_prep_resize.jpg

Step 3. Chop the onions. Use both the white and green parts. Set these aside to use for garnish later.

Step 4. Mince the garlic. Use a knife or garlic press.

view on Amazon:  garlic press,  my go-to chopping knifeonions_garlic_prep_resize.jpg

Step 5. Mix the sauce. Whisk the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

view on Amazon:  small whiskmix_sauce.jpg

Step 6. Mince mushrooms. Cut each mushroom in half and put in a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. (Or, mince them with a knife.) Remove mushrooms and set aside.

view on Amazon:   my Cuisinart Food Processor

collage_mushrooms_resize.jpg

Step 7. Mince onion. Cut onion in 8 or so big pieces and put in a food processor. Pulse until finely minced. (Or, mince with a knife.)

Collage_onions_resize.jpg

Step 8. Cook the mixture. 

  • Add olive oil to large skillet over medium high heat
  • Add minced mushroom and onions; cook until softened and liquid that is released is cooked off, stirring frequently.
  • Add frozen veggie crumbles; stir to combine with mushroom and onion mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add sauce, stir to combine, and cook until all liquid is absorbed--approx. another 5 minutes.

collage_cooking_captions.jpg

Done! This recipe is so fast and easy. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with chopped green onions. 

Serving suggestions:

  • with rice or noodles
  • wrapped in lettuce leaves for a low carb, low calorie option
  • in Korean tacos (like the food trucks!)
  • as a sandwich filling for Korean Sloppy Joe's

IMG_8943resize.jpg

Make-ahead and freezer friendly. Great for food-prep meals, too.

This recipe can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. It also can be frozen for up to 3 months.

If you've been reluctant to make or eat vegan food, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. The flavor and texture are so good. 

Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe
Korean Beefless Bulgogi (Vegan)
By Monica              Servings: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. cremini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, halved
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bag (13.7 oz) frozen Gardein Beefless Ground (or similar veggie protein crumbles)
  • FOR SAUCE:
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • FOR GARNISH:
  • 1 or 2 green onions, chopped
Directions
In food processor, pulse mushrooms until finely and uniformly minced, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Remove mushrooms from food processer, add onions, and pulse until finely minced. (Mushrooms and onions may also be finely minced with a knife.)

Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add minced mushrooms and onions; saute until softened and all liquid has cooked off. Add frozen veggie crumbles, and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps. Lower heat to medium.

While above mixture cooks, combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to dissolve sugar. Add sauce to mushroom mixture and cook until all liquid is absorbed, approximately 5 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with chopped onions.

Serve over rice or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Makes 4 generous cups of bulgogi, enough for 6-8 servings.



Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

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