Vegetarian Korean Bowls

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Vegetarian Korean Bowls are filled with veggies, edamame, vegetarian ground meat, and a delicious sweet and spicy Korean sauce for the ultimate vegetarian meal.

295 CAL 35g CARBS 6g FAT 39g PROTEIN 4
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Vegetarian Korean Bowls take all your favorite sweet and spicy Korean flavors and combine them in a delicious and easy way to make bowl packed with Asian vegetables, edamame, and meatless crumbles.

Lately, I have been obsessed with Korean flavors. There is a food truck in our town that makes the most amazing Korean fusion food, mostly tacos and quesadillas, and we loyally stop by every week to get our fix. The sweet and spicy mix is hard to beat.

Since we love these so much, I have been working on creating the same flavor combination at home and in the process, we started eating this simple Vegetarian Korean Bowl for lunches. I make up a big batch on the weekend and we pair it with rice, quinoa, lettuce wraps, or make tacos. It's so easy and seriously good. We also love it with ground beef, like in these Korean Beef Bowls.

To get the sweet and spicy combination working, everything is tossed with a quick homemade sauce made with soy sauce, brown sugar (or another sweetener), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Asian garlic chili paste. The resulting dish has just the right balance of savory, sweet, and spicy. We love meatless crumbles so I like to add those for protein but you could also use tofu, vegetarian chicken, chickpeas, or tempeh.

How to make a quick and easy Korean Sauce

Once you start making this sweet and spicy sauce, you will want to make it on everything. You can play around with the proportions to make it sweeter or spicier. Here is what you need. 

  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar (or honey, agave, Stevia to taste)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. Asian garlic chili paste (like sambal olek or Sriracha)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • Mix everything together and add it to your stir fry. For a thicker sauce, add 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch.

What are the best options for vegetarian meat products?

There are a lot of options out there when it comes to choosing vegetarian protein sources and for this recipe, I like to use vegetarian ground beef or crumbles. Some other options would be vegetarian chick'n strips (normally sold in the freezer section) or vegetarian sausages. You could also use tempeh, baked tofu, or chickpeas. 

Tips for Making Vegetarian Korean Bowls

  • This recipe will work with any kind of veggies you like or have on hand. To get variety, I like to grab a bag of fresh Asian veggies in the produce section. The one I buy usually has shredded kale, Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, and snow peas.
  • If you don't like spice, just leave out the Siracha. You can always serve it on the side for those who like things with some heat. 
  • To make this recipe without refined sugar, you can substitute honey or maple syrup for the brown sugar.
  • Add fresh with some chopped cilantro, basil, or mint on top.
  • Add crunch with some chopped peanuts, cashews, or sesame seeds.

What to serve with Korean Bowls?

To complete your meal, you can serve this with some cooked brown or white rice. You could also use a base of quinoa to sneak in some extra plant protein. For a lower carb option, use some spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice. And for something different, try it with cooked rice noodles or soba noodles.

This can also work as a filling for lettuce wraps or Korean style tacos or burritos. And if you want to get extra creative, add a fried egg on top in the same tradition as bibimbap.

The Recipe
Vegetarian Korean Bowls with sauteed Asian vegetables and vegetarian crumbles.

Vegetarian Korean Bowls

295 CAL 35g CARBS 6g FAT 39g PROTEIN 4
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  • 3 cups mixed Asian vegetables
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 2 tbsp water (more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (GF if needed)
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar (or honey, agave, Stevia to taste)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. Asian garlic chili paste (like sambal olek or Sriracha)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 lb. vegetarian crumbles

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Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the Asian vegetables and water. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes until tender crisp. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. If vegetables begin to stick or burn, add a touch more water. Remove and set aside.


Add the vegetarian crumbles to the pan. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until it is warmed through.


Meanwhile mix together the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, chili paste, garlic, and ginger. Add to the cooked veggie crumbles and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes.


Stir in the vegetables or serve them on the side, scooping some of the extra sauce on top.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 295
Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1240mg
Total Carbohydrate 35g
Dietary Fiber 13g
Sugars 11g
Protein 39g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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