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Vegan Gaji-bap (Eggplant Rice) Recipe

December 5, 2010

Koreans have this thing for “well-being” healthy food, so we go through waves of particular food being popular. I watch a lot of Korean healthy cooking shows, and Gaji-bap (eggplant rice) seems to be the new big thing right now. I’ve seen Gaji-bap featured in multiple shows in the fall/winter season of 2010. They really focus on the weight-loss factor and magnesium and other vitamins in eggplant.

vegan gajibap

So, Gaji-bap is one of those dishes that your mom would tell you to eat, telling you that it’s so good for you, and you would be like “it’s boring..”. But really, once you start eating it (I like it with a good amount of chives and seeded Korean green pepper), it tastes pretty good – with it’s unique earthy and Korean peasant food flavor. I don’t make it often, but it’s a great dish to make once in a while – easy to make, low in calories and nourishing.

Vegan Gaji-bap (Eggplant Rice)  Recipe (Serves 3-4)

2 cups brown rice (and regular amount of water needed for 2 cups of rice in your rice cooker)
1 large Asian eggplant
1/2 cup dried/sliced shitake mushrooms
1/2 tsp kelp powder

Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup diced Asian chives and/or seeded Korean green peppers
4 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs gochukaru (pepper powder)
1 Tbs sesame seeds
1 Tbs sesame oil


1. Soak mushrooms for 30 minutes in warm water.

2. Wash and prepare rice as usual.

3. Cut up eggplant into cubes (size doesn’t really matter as you will mash it later) and the soaked shitake mushroom into bits and put on top of the rice.

4. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of kelp powder on top and cook on normal setting if using a rice cooker, and as you normally would if you’re cooking the rice on the stove.

5. Prepare the sauce, mix, and let it sit.

6. When rice is cooked, mix and mash the eggplant so it’s all smooth.

7. Serve with a generous amount of sauce on top and mix well. Don’t forget to serve with kimchi as well. Enjoy the nourishing, earthy taste!

gajibap in rice cooker

Cook the rice and eggplant together in a rice cooker, as you would normally cook rice.

gajibap sauce

Putting the sauce together!

mashing the gajibap

Make sure to mash the eggplant cubes well!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2010 5:58 am

    This looks great! I have never heard of gaji-bap, but I can’t wait to try it, thanks!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      December 6, 2010 9:06 am

      Hey Julie, I hope you had a nice weekend! I know, gaji-bap didn’t get talked about much until recently. Now it’s suddenly everywhere. Selecting ripe and yummy eggplant is helpful and I think it really tastes much better with a good amount of chives and/or seeded Korean green pepper, as just the bap alone can be kind of boring… Hope it turns out well. Have a great week! 😉

      • December 11, 2010 6:50 am

        Hi Sunnie,
        I did have a good weekend, thanks for asking! I hope yours was good too. Do you use asian/garlic chives or just regular chives for this recipe? I don’t normally use chives, but I use asian chives when I make kimchi. As soon as I can get to the Korean market to get some kelp powder I will try this recipe out! Thanks and take care.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      December 11, 2010 10:04 am

      Hey Julie! Yes, I do use asian/garlic chives! I updated the recipe, thanks for catching it! I actually get the kelp powder from Wholefoods. It’s in the large spice jars section they have. I just get a small bag and it lasts forever. If the Korean market is closer for you, you can just use kelp. Just soak the kelp in water for 2 hours or overnight, and use that water to make the rice!

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