Korean-Style Tofu Bulgogi Bowls With Eggplant & Peppers

Tofu_Bulgogi_Eggplant

Korean Tofu Bulgogi Bowls

Make vegetarian Korean BBQ at home with these savory Tofu Bulgogi Bowls with eggplant, peppers, and crispy tofu in a flavorful bulgogi sauce. 

The newest innovation available exclusively at Safeway and Albertsons stores includes new Open Nature cooking sauces, designed to help expand your cooking repertoire and make weeknight cooking easy, and memorable.  

The cooking sauces are available in three flavors including Korean-Style Bulgogi, Lemongrass, and Cilantro Lime. 

I picked up the Bulgogi sauce and wanted to create a recipe for tofu bulgogi bowls using the sauce.  

What is Bulgogi?

Bulgogi is a Korean word that literally means “fire” and “meat” and is traditionally grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle.  Modern interpretations, however, often cook Bulgogi in hot cast iron or stainless steel skillet so the edges caramelize like they would on a grill.

In general, bulgogi implies a beef-based BBQ dish. But as not everyone eats beef, I created a plant-based recipe using the Open Nature Korean-Style Bulgogi sauce.  Using crispy tofu and roasted eggplant gives the dish great texture and a “meatiness” that you would want from bulgogi. 

You can also use the sauce with ground beef, thinly sliced steak, chicken or even shrimp.  It’s meant to be used as a Korean-style BBQ cooking sauce. 

The flavors are fantastic with a slightly salty, mildly sweet, and savory umami flavor.  It is not spicy, rather has a very mild, yet savory flavor profile. 

Open Nature Korean-Style Bulgogi Sauce

Bulgogi sauce is intensely flavorful and irresistible.  It is traditionally a soy-based marinade/sauce flavored with ginger, garlic, sesame and Asian pear.

While the Open Nature Korean-Style Bulgogi is not traditional, it is made with all-natural, clean ingredients including coconut aminos, which is a replacement for soy sauce, coconut sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, tapioca starch, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro, garlic, onion, red peppers, shitake mushroom, toasted sesame seed, xantham gum (as a thickener) and monk fruit extract. 

Each serving has just 60 calories, 2 grams of fat, 710 mg. of sodium, 8 grams of carbs with 3 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.   

In my opinion, it’s a bit high in sodium, so you wouldn’t want to eat all three servings in the package at one time.  

The sauces are certified gluten-free, and vegan, which is fantastic for anyone looking for a clean profile, gluten-free-based cooking sauce. 

 

Ingredients in Tofu Bulgogi Bowls

  • 1 cup Signature SELECT basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 package O Organics extra firm tofu
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 package Open Nature Korean-Style Bulgogi Cooking Sauce
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • sriracha (for serving, optional)

Korean_Bulgogi_Sauce_open_nature

Cooking Eggplant in an Air Fryer

This recipe is easy to make, but it takes a few steps because of the eggplant.  Since eggplant is like a sponge and absorbs so much oil, I chose not to prepare the eggplant in a skillet, rather I used the air fryer to “roast” the eggplant because it was faster than using the oven.   

I have to say cooking eggplant in an air fryer is literally a game-changer!  It was so easy and I didn’t have to heat the oven.  It came out perfectly roasted, tender, yet chewy for the bulgogi bowls. 

If you don’t have an air-fryer, you can simply place the chopped eggplant on a baking sheet, toss it with oil, and roast in a 400° F oven for 25 minutes. 

cooking_eggplant_in_Air_Fryer

How to Make Tofu Bulgogi Bowls

Prepare the basmati rice according to package directions. 

Chop the eggplant into 1-inch pieces.  Toss with one tablespoon of oil and place into the air fryer basket to cook at 400° F for 11 minutes, shaking the basket a few times (or stirring the eggplant) while cooking for even roasting.   If you do not have an air fryer, place the chopped eggplant on a baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and roast in a 400° F oven for 25 minutes, stirring once while roasting. 

For Crispy tofu, you need to remove all the liquid.  Remove the tofu from the package and squeeze gently with your hands to remove the liquid.  Wrap the tofu in paper towels and set a heavy skillet on top of the tofu to gently press it down for about 5-10 minutes for the liquid to be extracted.   

Remove the paper towels and slice the tofu into 1-in pieces.  Set aside. 

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Saute the red bell pepper and the onions until soft.  Remove from the skillet to a plate and reserve to the side. 

 Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and cook the tofu pieces until crispy on all sides. 

Combine the tofu with red bell peppers, onions, roasted eggplant in the skillet.  Add the Open Nature Bulgogi cooking sauce and stir to coat.   Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 minute.  Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with sliced green onions. 

Serve over cooked rice and with sriracha if you like a little heat.

Tofu_bulgugi_Open_nature_Korean_bulgogi_Sauce

Tofu_bulgugi_Open_nature_Korean_bulgogi_Sauce

Tofu Bulgogi Bowls

Make vegetarian Korean BBQ at home with these savory Tofu Bulgogi Bowls with eggplant, peppers, and crispy tofu in a flavorful bulgogi sauce. 
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Eggplant Bulgogi, Korean Bulgogi Sauce, Tofu Bulgogi Bowls
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories:
Author: Eva Fry

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Signature SELECT basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 eggplant chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 package O Organics extra firm tofu
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 package Open Nature Korean-Style Bulgogi Cooking Sauce
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • sriracha for serving, optional

Instructions

  • Prepare the basmati rice according to package directions.
  • Chop the eggplant into 1-inch pieces.  Toss with one tablespoon of oil and place into the air fryer basket to cook at 400° F for 11 minutes, shaking the basket a few times (or stirring the eggplant) while cooking for even roasting.   If you do not have an air fryer, place the chopped eggplant on a baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and roast in a 400° F oven for 25 minutes, stirring once while roasting.
  • For Crispy tofu, you need to remove all the liquid.  Remove the tofu from the package and squeeze gently with your hands to remove the liquid.  Wrap the tofu in paper towels and set a heavy skillet on top of the tofu to gently press it down for about 5-10 minutes for the liquid to be extracted.
  • Remove the paper towels and slice the tofu into 1-in pieces.  Set aside.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Saute the red bell pepper and the onions until soft.  Remove from the skillet to a plate and reserve to the side.
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet and cook the tofu pieces until crispy on all sides.
  • Combine the tofu with red bell peppers, onions, roasted eggplant in the skillet.  Add the Open Nature Bulgogi cooking sauce and stir to coat.   Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 minute.  Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with sliced green onions.
  • Serve over cooked rice and with sriracha if you like a little heat.

tofu_bulgogi_bowls

 

Open Nature Cooking Sauces

Available in three delicious flavors, the new Open Nature Cooking Sauces allow you to make weeknight dinners in a snap, without having a fully-stocked pantry full of exotic spices, seasonings, and sauces.   You’ll find the cooking sauces available in the spice aisle near the simmer sauces and packaged spice mixes.  The cooking sauces are on sale for $3.49 through the month of October as part of the Big Book of Savings. 

Choose from three delicious flavors:

  • Korean-Style Bulgogi
  • Cilantro Lime
  • Lemongrass 

SuperSafeway is a blog devoted to helping you find the best deals and planning your meals based on sales at Safeway in the Denver division.  

For more low prices, check out the Safeway weekly ad and the Safeway coupon matchup page. Would you like to stay updated on the best deals? If so, make sure to like Super Safeway on Facebook, join our Facebook group, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our Instagram, or head over to Pinterest. Also, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

* Please note – Savings information is based on Colorado pricing and the Safeway Coupon Policy for the Denver Division which includes Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Wyoming and South Dakota. Your market may vary. Prices may vary per location*

 

 

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