Sheet Pan Bibimbap
Easy weeknight meals are a cinch when sheet pans are involved. Sheet Pan Bibimbap turns leftover rice, tofu, and veggies into a satisfying bowl of bliss inspired by the traditional version. Despite it’s fun and bouncy name, it’s not a K-pop band.
Korean pop music, usually called K-pop, is a part of South Korean culture. The boy bands, girl bands, and individual artists are trained in voice, dance, and foreign languages. They have become pop music idols not only in Korea but all over the world.
Two currently popular bands include Blackpink and BTS. My guess is that if you have a teenager in your family, you’ve most likely heard of one or both of these bands and listened to their songs while driving your teen to their nightly sports practice. Fun fact: my youngest nephew looks like one of the singers in BTS.
Hey, are you still wondering about bibimbap?
This popular Korean dish consists of rice and bite-size veggies drizzled with bibimbap sauce. There are several variations that include raw or cooked egg, raw or cooked meat, and different vegetables.
My mom’s favorite is dolsat bibimbap which is served in a screaming hot stone bowl. The rice at the bottom becomes brown, crispy, and addictingly good. That crispy rice brings back a good memory from her childhood.
Vegetarian versions of bibimbap include tofu.
Tofu sometimes gets a bad rap. People make fun of it. Children refuse to eat it. Ok yes, it’s coagulated soy milk that is pressed into curds.
But! Tofu is a nutrient-rich building block that plays well with a variety of sauces, spices, and marinades. It’s also high in protein and a good animal protein alternative for vegetarians and vegans.
There are several different types of tofu including:
- Silken: the tofu is smooth, silky, and falls apart easily. It is folded into soups, stews, smoothies, and other saucy dishes.
- Block: this is the type most savory dishes call for. The blocks range in density from soft, medium, firm, and extra-firm. It can be baked, boiled, and fried.
The extra-firm tofu used in today’s recipe benefits from a short pressing to rid it of extra moisture. Best way to do this? Layers of paper towels below and on top of the tofu topped by a heavy skillet.
- The veggies should all be cut to roughly the same size to ensure they cook evenly. You can swap out for different vegetables, but make sure they have similar cooking times.
- I know the instructions look long and slightly frightening. Give it a read-through before starting and you’ll see it isn’t as scary as it looks. It’s mostly chopping and arranging on the sheet pan.
- If you’d rather use a ready-made sauce, please do. Sriracha and sambal oelek aren’t Korean but are good subs. And don’t forget the kimchi!
First sheet pan:
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups cooked white rice
Second sheet pan:
- 1 sweet potato, skin on and thinly sliced into half-moons
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
- 6 oz. oyster mushrooms, torn into bite-size pieces
- 3 cups kale, torn into bite-size pieces
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp gochujang
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 450 F/232 C. Move oven racks to be positioned in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
- Cut the tofu into bite-size cubes. Place them in a single layer on several layers of paper towels. Top with more paper towels, then place a cast iron skillet or similarly heavy object on top to press out some of the moisture. Let stand for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Stir to combine, then add the pressed tofu cubes. Gently toss to coat.
- Grease the first sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the coated tofu onto the baking sheet and spread them out into a single layer.
- Grease the second sheet pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then place the potato, mushrooms, onion, and kale into four separate groups on the pan. Spread out the veggies (keeping them in their section) into a single layer, then drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place both sheet pans in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and vice versa halfway through. Watch that the kale doesn’t burn.
- Remove both pans from the oven. On the sheet pan with the tofu, push the cubes to one side of the baking sheet. Add rice to the sheet and spread it out into an even layer. Return the sheet to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
- To make the sauce, combine the gochujang, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds in a small bowl. Stir to mix.
- Assemble the bibimbap by equally dividing the rice into 4 bowls. Top with the veggies and tofu. Spoon on the sauce and serve.
Keywords: sheet pan bibimbap