If you were to ask my 70 year old mother whether or not she thought she was a good home cook, she would look away and nervously laugh. She would likely tell you she did not cook much, which was not true. In her mind she would have had to have been an accomplished cook to even publicly admit she had any ability at all. However, as someone who grew up eating a lot of meals prepared by my mother, not only was she a great cook, she was an honest one too.
She preferred to make the simplest foods prepared with using minimal seasonings. Everything she ever made disappeared quickly as my siblings and I would devour the dishes she made as soon as she plated them in the kitchen. Her specialty was Korean food.
One of our most favorite foods she would prepare was kimbap, a Korean style sushi roll filled with seasoned meats and vegetables. Unlike traditional Japanese rolls where the sushi rice is seasoned with vinegar and sugar, kimbap rice is typically seasoned with sesame oil and salt and is usually filled with egg, beef, carrots, spinach, pickled daikon, and other ingredients like imitation crab meat or fish cakes. Contrary to what people may believe about this bite sized food, there is no hard and fast rule as to what ingredients you can use to fill them with. Today I am sharing with you 2 things, the recipe and a video on how to make them.
Making kimbap is rather simple and involves spreading rice over a sheet of nori (roasted seaweed) filled with an array of ingredients and tightly rolled. Most people cut them into small pieces, although I personally love eating them in a whole.
Although Koreans are known for their BBQ and kimchi, kimbap is also a very popular dish which is often served during gatherings and picnics. However, this dish could easily be served for dinner or a snack.
One of the ways we love to prepare and serve kimbap is by preparing all the ingredients for the rolls and setting them out for people to make their own, like a taco bar. This way each person can personalized their own roll and enjoy the creative process in making this treasured dish.
If you love sushi, chances are you will love kimbap too. Enjoy!
Note about the recipe and video: In the video my mom shows you how to make kimbap as she does, however the recipe has been adapted to how I make this dish. The changes are personal preference and you can follow either or.
Korean Kimbap Rolls
A traditional Korean style sushi roll made with beef, pickled daikon, carrots, seasoned spinach, imitation crab, and other delicious savory ingredients. Rolled together and cut into small pieces.
- 4 cups cooked short grain rice
- 2 eggs
- 4 long carrot strips cut lengthwise in 1/3-inch x 1/3-inch
- 4 long pickled Damion radish strips cut lengthwise in 1/3-inch x 1/3-inch
- 4 long imitation crab meat strips cut lengthwise in 1/3-inch x 1/3-inch
- 1 cup blanched spinach
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup chopped Korean style bbq beef
- 4 nori sheets
- Prepare all the ingredients before assembling rolls.
- Beat 2 eggs and cook the eggs in a nonstick pan coated with cooking spray. Cook the eggs until they are gently cooked all the way through. Cut the eggs in 1/2-inch strips.
- Cook the carrots in salted water for 3-4 minutes until firm.
- Cook the spinach for 2 minutes in boiling water. Carefully squeeze the water out of the hot spinach. Season th spinach with 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil and a pinch of salt.
- To assemble the rolls, place a cup of rice on top of a piece of nori. Spoon the rice edge to edge except for the top edge. Edge should be at least 1-2 inches unfilled.
- Carefully place the filling in the center of each roll.
- Roll the kimbap using a bamboo mat, making sure to push down and pull-back every time you roll a little.
- Cut the roll into 1 inch pieces. Serve.
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 60 Minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, Forbes.com featured Alice as one of Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.