What's Inside Our Bibimbap Korean Fried Rice
Find out how we supercharge our Bibimbap with traditional Korean fried rice flavours, and a dash of spice. Beyond being loaded with fresh vegetables, our dehydrated Korean fried rice dish is flavourful to the last bite, but it wouldn’t get it’s kick without its key ingredient gochujang. Keep reading to find out the ingredients that make Backcountry Wok’s vegan Bibimbap so delicious, and discover the history behind gochujang.
Discover the ingredients behind the Bibimbap flavour palate
White rice and rice flour
Rice is the base ingredient of this Korean fried rice dish. It absorbs the red pepper flavour and adds substance to the meal. It is a Korean dish staple, so Melanie, our founder, naturally gravitated towards adding rice to keep the Bibimbap camping meal as traditional as possible. Plus, we add rice flour to the mix to thicken the sauce, and keep all the aromatic flavours intact.
That extra crunch that you get in every bite is the carrots! The nutritional value that they bring is outstanding. Carrots add high levels of vitamin A, which keep your eyes working well and improves your immune system’s development. Last but not least, carrots add to the high fibre content of the Bibimbap!
Potatoes add to the hearty fibre content of the Bibimbap, leave you feeling full and it also soaks up the delicious flavours of the dish. Plus once you open your meal you’ll notice that the potatoes are dehydrated into cubes. Why? After running multiple tests, we found that cubes are the optimal size and shape to rehydrate quickly and add the right texture to this spicy mixture.
Textured vegetable protein (defatted soy flour)
It’s important for us to get enough protein content in our vegan meals especially on the trails and the textured vegetable protein powder does just that! It even adds a bit of additional veggie flavouring to the meal.
The vegan Bibimbap dish packs a protein punch with a total of 22 grams and the spinach helps to energize your body. Beyond being a protein staple, this leafy vegetable is a superfood and adds generous amounts of iron, folate and calcium which keep your skin and nails strong, and your body healthy.
Gochujang - the spicy ingredient & it’s history
Gochujang is the staple sauce of this classic Korean meal! Without gochujang, there is no Bibimbap! If you’re not familiar with gochujang, it’s a thick red chili pepper paste made with glutinous rice (also known as sticky rice), fermented soy beans and salt. It’s the reason our Bibimbap camping meal has it’s fiery taste. The fermented soybeans give the sauce it’s miso-like flavour called “umami.” To heighten the Bibimbap’s flavour we mix the rice vinegar with the gochujang and then dry it.
Gochujang has been used in Korean cuisine as far back as the 16th century and slowly gained popularity in the US due the rise of Korean restaurants in the 20th century.
Fun Fact: Traditional gochujang takes six to twelve months to develop the red pepper sauce’s fiery taste, due to the fermentation process which creates high levels of nutritious digestive enzymes. However, most store-bought sauces are mass produced and have very short fermentation periods which lowers the level of probiotic nutrients.
Garlic, shallots and onions
Adding garlic into the dish helps calm the intense spice of the gochujang paste and further elevates the flavour of the Bibimbap. Shallots and onions are dehydrated separately from the other ingredients to keep their flavour strong, and we choose shallots due to their sweet taste in contrast to the spiciness of the dish.
Red pepper powder
The red pepper powder not only adds another level of heat to the Bibimbap, it also has multiple nutritional benefits. Red pepper powder has been known to aid digestive pain, boost metabolism and make you break a sweat from its heat!
It wouldn’t be a protein rich vegan dish without soybeans. They're grinded up and mixed into the gochujang to up the protein factor!
Koji is also known as Japan’s fermentation ingredient that turns soybeans into miso paste and soybeans and wheat into soy sauce. Plus the umami flavour you love is a byproduct of Koji!