Provenance of DishAs a committed vegan I’ve spent time with Korean friends in Korean restaurants where I could only smell the glories of barbecued beef bulgogi. I tried to make a vegan versions with pressed tofu or TVP (texturized vegetable protein) using commercial bulgogi sauce from the local Korean grocery. Not even close to the taste or mouth feel of the real thing. Finally I went online searching for a vegan version. I found one at www.veggiekinsblog.com by remy. It looked like the right thing until I prepared it. I needed to adjust the recipe’s sweetness up and hotness down to my taste. Now I make it for my Korean friends one of whom laughingly told me, “You’re trying to ruin our meat business.” The usual side dish is kim chi.
2 cups Butler’s soy curls, rehydrated in 2 cups of vegan beef bouillon from powder
2 cups king oyster or shiitake mushrooms, or a combination, roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp vegetable or sesame oil
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 tbsp gojukaru Korean red pepper flakes
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Thinly sliced scallions
Toasted sesame seeds
1.In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients, microwave marinade for 1-2 minutes to help melt sugar then set aside.
2.In a wok or large frying pan add 1 Tbsp vegetable or sesame oil cooking over medium heat, then sauté onions until soft and lightly golden and caramelized. Add mushrooms, cooking until they’re glazed.
3.Lift marinated soy curls with tongs or slotted spoon, adding them into the wok/ pan. Cook and toss together for 5 minutes until the soy curls are a little browned.
4.Slowly add the marinade to the wok/pan then continue to sauté coating evenly. Let everything cook together for another 3 to 5 minutes.
5.Serve over freshly steamed rice. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
6.Bulgogi is most often eaten by Koreans and Korean food fans wrapped in a leaf of napa cabbage with the hard core removed. This pouch includes a tsp of fresh rice, a thin slice of fresh garlic and smear of ssamjang sauce (available in Korean grocery stores and online).