I love Korean food, all the small pickled side dishes are amazing, however; what I miss the most after becoming vegan, is the bulgogi! That sweet and a little spicy sauce that sticks to everything makes my mouth water. So I set out to create a dish that would make my vegan mouth water. And that’s why I came up with this vegan portobello mushroom bulgogi recipe.
First things first, I like to prepare all my ingredients before starting the actual cooking process, in culinary terms, this is called Mise en Place. It helps to get you organized and to not miss ingredients, which let me tell you, used to happen to me all the time. Now I always prepare everything before I begin to cook.
This dish can be made with items already found in my pantry since I love to cook Asian dishes, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, sambal, and mirin are staples in my kitchen. If you do not have these in your pantry, it shouldn’t be hard to find them, almost all grocery stores carry them. Now to be completely Korean, you should use gochujang (a Korean hot pepper paste) instead of the sambal, but since gochujang is hard to find I use sambal in this recipe.
Now lets get to it.
First measure out all of the ingredients, this will make the cooking process seamless, and it also saves a lot of time.
Now, let’s start by first cleaning the mushrooms by taking the gills off, the gills are the dark part at the bottom of the portobello mushrooms. I use a spoon to scoop it all out and then I gently use a wet paper towel to remove any dirt from the tops of the mushrooms.
Now that they are clean, let’s slice them, about a 1/4 of an inch thick, and let’s do the same with the onion, you don’t want them to be too thin, because then they become soggy when marinated. Once sliced, set them aside.
Now to make the marinade, you’ll need medium size bowl and a whisk or a fork, add all of the wet and dry ingredients, except the sesame seeds, those are for garnishing. Whisk them all well, until the sugar has melted. Now you’re ready to start marinating those veggies.
Add the veggies to the marinade and get them well coated before you cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes and no longer than 2 hours.
Once you’ve taken the veggies out of the refrigerator, set a nonstick pan on medium high to heat. Once hot, add the entire amount of veggies and any marinade left in the bowl, to the pan. Make sure to continuously move the veggies around, so they do not stick to the pan or burn. You’ll know they’re ready, once you no longer see liquid in the pan and the veggies have caramelized. Now it’s time to eat!
Serve & Enjoy
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family does, they keep requesting it over and over again. Who says you can’t enjoy delicious food when eating a kind vegan diet?
- ¼ cup of Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 1 tsp. sambal or Gochujang (see notes)
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. mirin (rice vinegar)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
- Measure out all the ingredients.
- Clean the portobello mushrooms, use a spoon to scoop out the gills from underneath the mushroom caps, and then gently use a wet paper towel to remove any dirt from the tops of the mushrooms.
- Slice the onions and the mushrooms, to a ¼ inch size, you don't want them to be too thin.
- Using a medium-size bowl and a whisk or a fork, add all of the wet and dry ingredients, except the sesame seeds, those are for garnishing. Whisk them all well, until the sugar has melted.
- Add the veggies to the marinade and get them well coated, then cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes and no longer than 2 hours. The longer the more flavorful the veggies will get. But not too long that they become soggy.
- While the veggies are marinating, if you choose to make rice, go ahead and start it now. I put 1 cup of white rice, two cups of water, a ¼ tsp of salt, and 2 tbsp of oil in a medium-size pot. Bring all those ingredients to a boil and then lower the heat to low and let cook until the liquid is totally absorbed by the rice.
- Take the veggies out of the refrigerator, set a nonstick pan over medium-high to heat. Once hot, add the entire amount of veggies and any marinade left in the bowl, to the pan. No extra oil is needed, the sesame oil in the marinade is enough to keep it from sticking. Make sure to continuously move the veggies around, so they do not stick to the pan or burn. You'll know they're ready, once you no longer see liquid in the pan and the veggies have caramelized. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes.
- Now serve the bulgogi over the rice and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
The stickiness and the little spice you get from this dish are amazing, the pop of flavor is surprising, this is a rich dish, but you can definitely add some fresh veggies or a salad to lighten it up a bit. I like to serve this dish with white rice, but you can use brown rice, or any grain you like, I've also had this on top of a salad. Get creative and try whatever combination you enjoy the most.