Kimbap, also known as 'Gimbap', is a Korean dish composed of seasoned cooked rice and colourful paddings wrapped in dried seaweed and cut into bite-size pieces. Because of its portability, it's a popular light lunch option, and it's frequently included as part of a packed mess.
Although the appearance of kimbap is similar to that of Japanese maki rolls, the ingredients are vastly different. Kimbaps are ideal for tiffin and are a quick and tasty snack available in Korean restaurants with a variety of fillings.
- 3 cups cooked Japanese rice, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- Danmuji (yellow pickled radish or takuan), sliced lengthwise into sticks
- 1/2 English cucumber cut lengthwise, seeds scooped out with a small spoon
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced lengthwise into thin sticks
- 3 1/2 cups baby spinach
- Sesame oil, for brushing
- To make the kimbap rice, place the rice in a bowl and add the sesame oil and salt. Mix using a rice paddle until the rice is evenly coated. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside.
- In a medium pan, add 1 teaspoon sesame oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the whisked eggs and tilt the pan to spread the mixture evenly. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the omelette is fully cooked.
- Transfer the omelette to a cutting board and set aside for 1-2 minutes to cool. Place on a large plate and cut into sticks. Place the takuan (pickled daikon) alongside the omelette sticks.
- Using the same pan for the omelette, add the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and turn the heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add the carrot and cucumber sticks and cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and transfer the vegetables to the plate, next to the daikon and omelette.
- Add the spinach to a small pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for one minute, then drain. Rinse the spinach under cold water and squeeze out any excess moisture. Squeeze out as much water as you can while taking your time. Toss the spinach with 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a mixing bowl. Set aside and season with salt.
- Place a bamboo mat on a flat surface and add a sheet of nori seaweed on top, shiny face down.
- Fill a small bowl with water and place it next to the bamboo mat.
- Add a little sesame oil to a small bowl and place it next to the bamboo mat, with a brush.
- Put about 3/4 cup of rice on the seaweed and spread it evenly across, parallel from you, leaving about 1/3 of the seaweed – the side furthest from you- empty.
- Add the fillings to the centre of the rice – I recommend calculating and separating the fillings equally so you have the same amount for 3-4 kimbap rolls – and start rolling.
- Grab the mat's bottom edges with your thumbs while holding the filing with your other fingers. Roll it into a tight cylinder, firmly tucking the fillings in and lifting the bamboo mat's edge slightly.
- Roll it forward while using a little pressure but not so much that the filling spills out.
- Dip your index finger in water and lightly wet the part of the seaweed that’s empty.
- Keep rolling and let go of the mat when you get to the other end.
- Lightly brush the seaweed with some sesame oil and slice kimbap into bite size pieces. Serve immediately (kimbap tastes best fresh).
Author : Saurabh Thapa