Fresh, spicy, and flavorful chicken & rice bowls with gochujang bibimbap sauce and pickled cabbage make a perfect weeknight dinner.Jump to Recipe
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On a recent weekend trip, we were looking for a simple meal to make at our vacation rental that we could easily bring all the ingredients for and cook within a limited kitchen. Thankfully, these gochujang rice bowls with chicken and pickled cabbage were the perfect meal to prep ahead of time and assemble when we got to our destination!
Packed with tons of flavor thanks to a spicy gochujang bibimbap sauce and a blend of pickled carrots and cabbage, these Korean inspired chicken and rice bowls hit the spot when you’re craving an easy and healthy meal. These versatile bowls can be made ahead of time, prepped for the work week, or thrown together for an easy dinner after a hard day. You can also swap a number of ingredients with store-bought versions for an even easier meal, if you need it.
So basically, this recipe is a life saver when you’re low on energy and need an easy home cooked meal!
Gochujang Rice Bowl With Pickled Cabbage Ingredients
With just a few basic but flavorful ingredients, this spicy Korean inspired chicken and rice bowl is the perfect simple weeknight dinner. Here’s everything you need to make this recipe:
- Chicken breast
- Soy sauce
- Vegetable oil
- Rice vinegar
- Shredded carrots
- Red cabbage
- Lime juice
- White rice
- Sesame seeds
- Gochujang bibimbap sauce
- Chili crisp (optional)
You can make a delicious Asian chicken for these gochujang bowls with a simple 3-ingredient marinade: soy sauce, vegetable oil, and rice vinegar. We always recommend making it fresh, as the flavors and cooking style influence the taste of the final dish. However, you can always use plain leftover chicken to simplify this recipe if you choose!
We also recommend making your own blend of pickled veggies using carrots, cabbage, lime juice and salt. It’s super easy and tastes much fresher than store-bought pickled ingredients. Plus, you can customize how much of each veggie type you want and how strong the pickled flavor is by adjusting how long you let the ingredients sit.
However, similar to the chicken, you can really use any store-bought pickled cabbage and carrots if you’d like to simplify this recipe even more.
Finally, for the sauce, we love making this classic gochujang bibimbap sauce recipe from My Korean Kitchen. This sauce has the perfect amount of spice and adds an irresistible flavor to any dish! We highly recommend you try making her recipe, too, if you have a few extra minutes to spare. If not, your favorite store-bought bibimbap sauce will do.
How To Make Spicy Korean Gochujang Bowls With Rice
Making gochujang rice bowls with chicken and pickled cabbage is super easy. All you need to do is prep each component individually, then assemble your bowl! Here’s a breakdown of each step:
- Prep the pickled veggies ahead of time: Combine carrots, cabbage, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours to allow the cabbage and carrots time to pickle.
- When you’re almost ready for dinner, marinate the chicken in vegetable oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Next, heat a small frying pan over medium heat and toast the sesame seeds until they’re golden brown. Set aside for later.
- Then, steam the white rice in a small sauce pot or rice maker, following the instructions on the packaging.
- In the meantime, prepare the bibimbap sauce. We recommend making this classic gochujang bibimbap sauce from My Korean Kitchen.
- Next, cook the chicken. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, adding the chicken once it’s nice and hot. Flip the chicken every 3 minutes until it’s cooked through, approximately 9 to 12 minutes (3 to 4 flips). You can use a digital meat thermometer to tell when it’s ready.
- Then, slice the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
- Finally, assemble the rice bowls. Serve rice topped with chicken and pickled veggies, topped with a drizzle of bibimbap sauce and garnished with toasted sesame seeds and scallions.
You can easily prepare these gochujang rice bowls ahead of time for the week’s lunches or an easy weeknight dinner, since you’ll make each component of the bowl individually. Check out the next section below for how to prep and store the ingredients!
Making Gochujang Rice Bowls Ahead Of Time
Thanks to a couple of simple ingredients, you can easily prepare these gochujang rice bowls with pickled carrots and cabbage ahead of time and store the components individually for when you’re ready to enjoy them. This can be a huge help when it comes to meal prepping lunches for the week or bringing a mostly prepared dinner on a weekend getaway.
To make these ahead of time, you’ll want to make all of the individual parts of the recipe but not actually assemble the rice bowls. Instead, store each ingredient away for an easy make-ahead lunch or dinner:
- Steam the rice, let it cool, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Cook and slice the chicken into ready to eat pieces, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Make the pickled carrots and cabbage and store in whatever you used for a pickling container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Prepare the gochujang bibimbap sauce and store in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Toast the sesame seeds and store in a small container at room temperature (these will stay good pretty much as long as you need them to).
- Slice the scallions and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
With all these ingredients prepped and stored properly, you can easily assemble these Korean rice bowls with chicken whenever you’re hungry! Simply reheat the rice and chicken in the microwave, then combine with the remaining ingredients in a bowl to serve.
A little prep ahead of time makes for an extremely easy lunch or dinner, whether you are on the go or just feeling a little lazy after a long day.
Why You’ll Love These Easy Chicken And Rice Bowls
This quick and easy gochujang chicken rice bowl is the perfect satisfying lunch or dinner anytime of the year. It’s warm and comforting with spicy sauce, nutty sesame, tender chicken and steamy rice, yet the crunchy carrot and cabbage provide a light and fresh flavor that brightens the dish.
Whether you’re enjoying them for an easy dinner on a cold winter evening or a fresh and healthy lunch on a sunny spring day, these spicy Korean rice bowls will be one of your new go-to recipes for when you or your family need an easy meal.
Try our gochujang rice bowl recipe and let us know what you think below with a rate, comment, and share!
Love this recipe? You may enjoy these recipes, too:
- Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Bowl
- Thai Chicken & Rice Bowl with Peanut Sauce
- Asian Chicken Salad
- Asian Inspired Fried Fish Rice Bowl
Gochujang Rice Bowl With Chicken And Pickled Cabbage
Pickled Cabbage & Carrots
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- ¼ medium red cabbage chopped
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ pounds chicken breast
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Rice Bowl Ingredients
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups white rice dry
- 3 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 3 medium scallions sliced
- Classic gochujang bibimbap sauce recipe by My Korean Kitchen, or use store-bought
- Chili crisp optional topping
- First, prepare the pickled cabbage and carrots ahead of time. Combine shredded carrots, chopped cabbage, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
- Next, marinate the chicken. Combine chicken breast, vegetable oil, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a bowl and marinate in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Then, steam the rice. Bring water to a boil, stir in the rice, then lower to a simmer and cover. Steam for 20 to 25 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
- In the meantime, prepare the toasted sesame seeds. Heat the sesame seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, shaking occasionally to prevent burning. Set aside.
- Prepare the gochujang sauce, if not using store-bought, and set aside.
- Then, cook the chicken. Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the chicken and cook, flipping every 3 minutes or so until it's cooked through, about 9 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces.
- Finally, assemble the bowls. Serve rice topped with chicken, pickled veggies, bibimbap sauce, toasted sesame seeds, scallions, and chili crisp.