With this post the trilogy of the “Korean Picnic” series comes to its end! Through these posts we discovered the world, the work and the kitchen of Ju-hyun, the korean artist behind La.On Potter, a pottery workshop hidden right in the heart of my formerly ex-town Madrid, where she teaches classes and sell her treasures. With her we already learned to prepare a sweet and spicy cucumber salad and ridiculously easy kimchi pancakes, perfect for breakfast and brunch, (ok, they are easy if you have some kimchi on hand…). Today we will learn possibly the most “hot topic” recipe of korean cuisine #hellyeah: kimbap!
*–>Here you have the post about the korean picnic, in case you missed it!
But first a bit of Kimbap for dummies: this is one of most important traditional korean dishes. Literally a cult. As explained by the name itself, (“Kim” means rice & “bap” means seaweed), kimbap is basically the korean evolution of japanese maki roll and they share rice and seaweed of course but all the difference is in what’s inside of this container. Don´t expect to find raw fish inside..but be aware: you will find a lot of sesame oil instead:). Actually apart the lack of raw fish, basically for me the difference it’s in the flavor of the sesam oil and pickled veggies, like korean daikon. The result may be no so lighter probably than the japanese version but I really like this new mix of flavors, especially the presence of yellow pickled daikon…what a great discovery!
I will give you the list of the ingredients we used to prepare the kimbap on that day but also an extra list of ingredients. The key here is to experiment!
Ingredients for 4-5 picniquetters
min. 350gr white short grain rice like sushi rice or what you have in your cup-board will be fine (It’s the process of steaming the rice that makes the trick;)
bamboo mat (or whatever you use to usually prepare maki)
Prepare all the ingredients, one after the other as explained, and gently display them in a tray once prepared. Religiously divided by color. It’s still an oriental recipe so..try to be consecuent:) Salt the veggies before to put them in the tray.
1 or 2 julienned carrots, without skin, quickly stir-fried with some sesame oil.
2 cup of spinach, blanched for a minute.
1 julienned cucumber, no skin either and don’t use the interior side.
4 eggs omelette with a bit of soy sauce in the batter, aprox 1cm thick.
2 layers of korean fishcake*, 2cm sliced and quickly stir-fried with some sesame oil.
danmuji* (yellow pickled korean daikon) sliced. We also had a nice black version, more rare to find:)
You can also try to randomly add:
stir-fried prawns, slices of avocado, grilled or stir-fried pork meat, mushrooms, fermented kimchi*, canned thuna, surimi (I personally don’t like surimi at all…), basically, whatsoever you have in the fridge it will be ok! Just stir-fry it before and set aside with the other ingredients.
*All these ingredients with the “*” are quite the “korean touch” so, if you skip them, you will basically miss the authentic flavor. They’re all really easy to grab in any oriental foodstore.
Once you have all the ingredients nicely displayed, let’s go on with the rest:
1. Cook the rice. Basically steam the rice, oriental way. Period. If you already prepared the sushi once, it’s the same process, without adding any vinegar. There is a lot inf info about this point on internet so I just suggest to google “how to cook rice for sushi” or “kimbap”
2. Once it’s ready add to the rice sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt. Mix and set aside.
3. Lay out a piece of nori in front of you on the bamboo mat. Take approximately 1 cup of rice and spread it over the bottom 2/3 of the sheet, leaving a border free of rice with your wet hands, you know, it helps. You will have in question of seconds a nice carpet of rice ready to be filled with a combination of the ingredients from your tray. Brush sesame oil and salt over the rice and have fun mixing 3 0r 4 ingredients for any roll. The idea is to get a different combination in every roll, not to put “everything” in the same roll ok?
4. Once you prepared your combo of ingredients on the carpet just roll the kimpab, as you would do for maki roll. For this part of the process also you can find a zillion of tutorials online so I won’t add any other spam to the net. Once you have all your rolls made, cut them with a sharped knife. Oil the knife with sesame oil to prevent it to get sticky. From every roll should come out about 9 pieces of 1,5 cm each. The laterals won’t obviously be so peeerfect but Ju-hyun pointed me that in Korean they also display the lateral, even if they’re not so nice to see. They display them horizontally, like they would be a decoration in the tray, while the “perfect ones” are displayed vertically.
5. That’s it! There was really easy! Kimbap is perfect for picnics! You don’t even need to carry soy sauce with you because all the ingredients are already well seasoned. In the park, beach or any excursions it will be a nice alternative to the classic sandwich!
Pics © Picniquette
I suggest you to try your hand at making kimbap and let me know how it goes, especially if you have any tips!
Thanks to Laon Pottery and her amazing work to share with me all her secrets about korean cuisine!