This vegan buddha bowl with Gochujang sauce is packed with sweet and spicy flavour but is completely gluten free, and plant based.
Recently, my husband and I have become obsessed with Korean BBQ. We live not far from Little Korea town in Toronto, and since being stuck in quarantine we want to support local businesses as much as possible. Which means we have UberEats-ed more than our fair share of Korean food and loved every minute of it.
While the love for my UberEats app is strong, the hefty bill is not. That’s why I decided to bring the restaurant into our home by adding my own plant-based spin on things with this Korean vegan buddha bowl. This plant-based “beef” meal is packed with sweet and spicy flavour, and is amazing over a bowl of rice with kimchi and fresh veg.
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
To be honest, there isn’t anything I DON’T love about this recipe, maybe besides the fact that it requires a bit of extra time chopping vegetables. But once I get that sweet and spicy party going in my mouth, it is oh so worth it!
This recipe is:
- Gluten Free
- Sweet & spicy
- High protein
- High Fibre
- Rich in antioxidants and probiotics!
Veggie Meat – while you can totally use ground meat for this recipe if you don’t need to make it vegan, we are keeping things more plant-based this time around by using veggie meat. You can find it in any health food section or wherever they sell tofu and other plant-based protein alternatives.
Sauce – to make the delicious sweet and spicy sauce we combine brown sugar, tamari, sesame oil, red pepper, Gochujang, grapeseed oil, garlic, and ginger.
Toppings – we like to top this vegan buddha bowl with a variety of crunchy fresh veggies including cucumber, carrots, red cabbage and green onion. We also love to add avocado for healthy fats, and kimchi for the probiotics and delicious spicy sour flavour!
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1: To a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, tamari, sesame oil, red pepper, Gochujang, grapeseed oil, garlic, and ginger. Mix well.
Step 2: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add in the veggie ground round. Saute just to break up the pieces before adding in the sauce, and tossing until everything is coated.
Step 3: Add brown rice to six bowls, top with the Yves veggie ground round and any additional toppings, as desired. Enjoy warm.
Like I said, while I love this vegan buddha bowl and its a great recipe for eating more plant-based – this mama doesn’t always have the time to be chopping veg all day! So to cut a few corners, I would recommend purchasing pre-cut veggies if you can OR pre-chopping the veg one day ahead of time so that its easy to pull out of the fridge and add to your bowl. That way you only really have to prep the sauce and cook the veggie meat, which takes about 10 mins or less!
You can also play around with whatever veggies you have on hand to make it easier for you. I used carrot, cucumber, and cabbage because its what I had on hand and I love the satisfying crunch they provide. But feel free to use up any veg you have sitting in your fridge like bell peppers, radishes, tomatoes, red onions, mixed greens, etc! This recipe is super versatile.
I’m obsessed with Gochujang and it’s become super trendy for a reason. It’s literally the backbone of Korean cooking. It’s a red chili paste that’s sticky, spicy and pungent, and usually is made with glutinous rice, fermented soy beans, salt and some kind of sweetener.
It’s totally easy to make this beef bowl low in carbs and keto friendly. I recommend swapping the rice for cauliflower rice or a lettuce leaf, and you can use a non-calorie sweetener in place of the brown sugar and a mixture of sriracha and non-calorie sweetener instead of the Gochujang. You will have to adjust the ratio depending on how spicy you like it, but if you like it hot, go heavy on the sriracha.
Yes! This Korean vegan “meat” is amazing for meal prep for the week but I do recommend simply cooking up the meat with the sauce and cooking the rice separately. You can store each separately in the fridge for 4 days, but trust me, I wouldn’t expect this will last that long.
I’m a big fan of using Yves Veggie Ground Round in any recipe that calls for ground beef. I love that it has no artificial preservatives and is low in fat, and even by a beef-lovers standards, it tastes amazing. It’s become a total staple in our household as we transition to eating more plant-based meals in our diet.
More Recipes You Might Like
Here are some of my favourite plant-based recipes using veggie ground round!
- Crispy Vegan Baked Quesadilla
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pasta
- Sloppy joes with portobello mushrooms
Now tell me, what are some of your favourite meals that you would like to see made vegan?
Vegan Buddha Bowl with Gochujang Sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup gluten free low sodium tamari
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper omit for less spice
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 packs of Yves Veggie Ground Round
- For the Bowl:
- Cooked Brown rice
- Sliced cucumber
- Carrot cut julienne
- Red Cabbage shredded
- Green onions sliced on a bias
- White and black sesame seeds
- To a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, tamari, sesame oil, red pepper, gochujang, grapeseed oil, garlic, and ginger. Mix well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add in the Yves veggie ground round. Saute just to break up the pieces before adding in the sauce, and tossing until everything is coated.
- Add brown rice to six bowls, top with the Yves veggie ground round and any additional toppings, as desired. Enjoy warm.
Have you tried making this Korean vegan buddha bowl? Leave me a comment below and send this to someone who loves Korean food!
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian (RD), regulated by the Ontario College of Dietitians. She is a mom, YouTuber, Blogger, award winning cookbook author, media coach specializing in food and nutrition influencers, and a frequent contributor to national publications like Healthline and on national broadcast TV shows.