Recipe | 김밥 (Kimbap aka Korean rice rolls) ^^

Sooo, a few weeks ago my friend and I checked out a newly opened Korean food place in our area. We ordered some 김밥(kimbap) along with 팥빙수 (patbingsu), 비빔밥 (bibimbap), & honey butter bread which were all so delicious. I personally found the food quite on the pricey side though. I’m still craving for more 김밥 so I decided that I’ll just make some and share the recipe with you guys!

Many people say that 김밥 is like Korean sushi but NO, 김밥 and sushi are different. They’re similar in the sense that they are basically rice rolled and wrapped in roasted seaweed with fillings inside, but the taste & ingredients are different. In 김밥, everything is cooked (well except for some vegetables), unlike sushi where there is raw fish meat.

김밥 is like the traditional sandwich of Korea. It is one of the most popular snacks and the usual food brought during picnics, trips, & campings.

There are several types of 김밥 but today I’ll just be sharing with you the most common one (or at least I think so).

Here are the Ingredients:

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500 g short grain rice (Jasponica or Japanese rice)

1 pack 김 (Kim) or roasted seaweed sheets

1 Cucumber (seedless preferred)

1/2 carrot

1 pickled raddish

ham

imitation crab sticks

3 eggs

spinach

sesame seeds

sesame oil

salt & pepper

bamboo mat (optional)

Steps:

1. Rinse the rice grains and let them soak in water for around 20 minutes (water level should be around the knuckles when fingers are placed flat on top of leveled rice grains in the pot). After that you can start cooking the rice in high-medium heat until it comes to a boil. Lower the heat to a low-medium until the rice gets cooked (with occasional stirring).

2. While the rice is cooking, you can start cutting some of your filling into strips of similar thickness.

  • Cucumber – Don’t remove the skin but remove the seeds if what you have isn’t seedless, cut into 1/2 cm thick pieces, add a little bit of salt and let them sit for 5 minutes then wash with water and blot dry.
  • Eggs – beat the eggs, season with a pinch of salt & sugar and cook in a pan. Let the cooked egg cool then cut into 1/2 inch strips.
  • Ham & Crabsticks – you may or may not cook these, but its better if you do; also cut in 1/2 cm thick pieces
  • Carrot – cut the carrot diagonally and thinly to have 2-inch long strips then julienne into thin strips. Stir fry for a 1-2 minutes; season with salt & pepper.
  • Pickled raddish – cut into strips similar to the cucumbers🙂
  • Spinach – blanch then season with some sesame seed oil. (I actually forgot to use this in the rolls I made)

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3. Set your fillings aside in a plate. After the rice has been cooked, let it cool for a while until around 50 C. Season the rice with some sesame oil (1 1/2 to 2 tbsp), some salt & sugar then sprinkle with some roasted sesame seeds. Mix well by a cutting motion and avoid mushing the rice grains. Cover the bowl/pot of rice with damp cloth or plastic wrap to prevent the cooked rice from drying.

4. Now, let’s get rolling! Organize everything you need to be efficient. Get your bamboo mat and lay it on your work space (It’s fine though if you don’t have one. You can use foil or just some plastic wrap.) Also, prepare a bowl with some water.

Get a sheet of 김 (or Nori if you can’t find Korean roasted seaweed, they differ in taste though because I think they use different seaweeds). Lay it down on your rolling aid(?) with the shiny (SHINee!) side down, and the lines in a vertical orientation. Get a dollop of rice and spread it evenly on the 김 but leaving 1 – 1 1/2 inch space at the upper part of the 김. (Tip: Wet your fingers with water (you prepared a bowl of water right?) To prevent rice from sticking to your fingers.)

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Put a little bit of everything (this is the part that I enjoy best, sometimes I keep on eating the strips I made haha!) Just be sure that you’ll still be able to roll shut your 김밥 close or else your filling will be spilling everywhere! Haha

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Once your happy with your open 김밥, you can now roll it baby! Put some grains of rice at the uppermost margin, they will act as paste to seal the roll (You can also use water as a sealant if you want). This part needs some practice but you’ll get the hand of it after 2 or 3 rolls. I don’t know how to explain the process. Errrrrhhhm. Hold the two bottom ends and then bring it over the portion above the fillings then proceed rolling. Make sure that it maintains the shape by doing a rolling motion like that of rolling a scroll (I’m not making any sense, am I?)  with the help of your mat. And Tada! One 김밥 roll down!!

Now this baby needs pampering. Apply some sesame oil on top of the 김밥 roll (with the meeting of 김 ends at the bottom) and sprinkle it with some sesame seeds. Cut the roll into 1 inch thick pieces (Tip: Coat your knife with some sesame oil to cut the roll neatly and to prevent the rice from sticking to the knife.) If your tired of rolling, you may not slice the roll and just eat it as is! TRUST ME, ITS FUN EATING IT THAT WAY! HAHAHAHA

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It took me almost 3 hours from cutting the ingredients to slicing the 김밥 rolls (I was able to make 5 in total and still had leftover fillings). I’m no expert, just sharing my 김밥 recipe. Hihihihi

Good luck and enjoy your delicious 김밥!

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xx,

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