When most Americans think about Asian food, they probably think of Chinese food like kung pao chicken, Thai food like pad thai, and Japanese food like sushi. For whatever reason, Korean food is not very well known by the general public. This is something I would like to rectify: Korean food is DELICIOUS! Seriously, Korean cuisine is amazing, and surprisingly easy to make!
One of my personal favorites to make and eat, especially with friends, is called 김밥 or Kimbap, which is often thought of as a type of Korean maki sushi. Kimbap is traditionally more of a snack food, or a lunch on the go, much like sandwiches in the US. The word is a combination of the Korean word for seaweed (김) and the Korean word for rice (밥).
Kimbap is really easy to make, and fun to do as a group, though it can be a bit time consuming to get all the ingredients together if you are not used to making Kimbap or other types of Korean food. On the plus side though, you can really add anything you want to kimbap, so there is no pressure to go grocery shopping 😉
First, gather all the ingredients you plan to use in the kimbap. I like adding shredded carrots, spinach, cucumber, egg, mock crab, burdock root, and daikon radish kimchi to my kimbap. Each of these ingredients is prepared individually while the rice is cooking.
Then, cooled, prepared rice is spread evenly across the mate side of a piece of nori, or seaweed used for sushi. The rest of the ingredients are placed in a single line at one end, then everything is rolled together. It is challenging to explain, but as you roll your own kimbap, you will get the hang of how much of each ingredient you like and how much will fit in the roll 😉
Finally, use a sharp knife to slice the kimbap into pieces and serve! Kimbap is best served soon after making it.
I actually don’t have a specific Kimbap recipe to share with you at this time, mostly because I just wing it and throw random things in… but anyway, please check out these wonderful websites for recipes! They are all very unique and have great step by step picture directions to help first-timers as well as returners making kimbap!
Beyond Kimchi also has a great recipe, for Kimbap which I love to reference for the way the rice is prepared. Holly cooks the rice using Kombu, then seasons it with rice vinegar.
No Recipes doesn’t have a recipe for Kimbap, but Marc does mention Kimbap in an interesting post about food in Seoul.