Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homemade Kimbop

Today my mother was telling me she can't find good Korean food blogs, so we are on a mission to bring good authentic Korean home cooking to the world. This is a picture guide to making "Kimbop," or Korean seaweed wrapped rice rolls.

A note: your first roll is not going to be perfect!
Don't sweat it-- just eat it with a fork if it's that bad, then roll up your sleeves and try again. It takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's fun and you feel so proud of yourself afterwards!

First steam a few cups of white sticky rice (sushi rice works best). Then gather your favorite fillings, examples are soy meat, tofu, carrots, avocado, cucumber, pickled daikon, and kimchi:
Use whatever you like or have on hand, just make sure you cook and season (with a little salt and pepper) the ingredients that need cooking (fry, grill, or steam) and cut everything into strips for easy rolling.Set up your Kimbop-making station with several cups of steamed sushi rice seasoned with rice vinegar, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and furikake flakes to your taste (about a tablespoon of each). Place a sushi mat on top of a large cutting board and lay a seasoned nori sheet on the sushi mat:Spread some seasoned rice as above, at least 2 mm thick to cover the seaweed. This will ensure you get a good sized roll, not a wimpy little rice taquito. Then lay the prepared fillings across the rice nearer to you:Unlike the photo above, it is easier to roll if you lay the fillings on top of each other, not all spread out (just for you to see the ingredients better :).

Now the tricky part. Fold the bottom of the sushi mat with the bottom edge of the nori over the fillings and press firmly: Keep rolling everything while pressing down to compact after each roll, while pulling the mat out of the roll as you go (see the first photo-- you don't want to eat the mat):When you finish rolling up to the edge, give the whole thing a last good squeeze (with the mat still on) along the whole length of the finished roll. Then unwrap! You'll be so proud of yourself (poke the fillings back in if they're sticking out like below):Make sure it is round by checking the side view:Then hold the roll in shape and slice with a sharp serrated knife into little rounds (a little less than 1 inch thick):Arrange pretty patterns or stack on little plates and devour! (after you admire your beautiful handiwork). Then repeat with a new nori sheet until you use up all your ingredients!
Kimbop are perfect for picnics and lunch boxes ("doshirak"). In Korea, they are sold a-dollar-a-roll in little Kimbop shops where little Korean ladies with permed hair make them perfectly with lightening speed (years and years of practice!).
Another note: the Asian ingredients you can find in Korean markets, maybe even Chinese or Japanese markets).
You can even leave them uncut and eat them like skinny Kimbop burritos!

This is surefire way to impress your family and friends.
Good luck and have fun!

(Thank you to Mommy for making everything shown above!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fruits of Summer

Summer is pretty much here and so are strawberries! The luscious red berry is to be found everywhere, such as in this Strawberry Shortcake Sundae at Coco's .Anita and Sarah (above) were admiring it before our banquet at the Anaheim Hyatt.

Then at the banquet, a Dark Chocolate Cheesecake:
See! They are everywhere. Where should you go if you love strawberries?
Oxnard! Pick your own while tasting as you go (so fun!)
Sarah, Karen, me, and Minju at the KCCC banquet!

What's your favorite summer fruit?
I love cherries and mangoes!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reason to Celebrate

Good news-- I graduated! Our Dietetics class decorated our hats together at Joyce's apartment. We even had a hotpot party while decorating. Hotpot is an Asian thing where you have one big boiling pot of broth into which you just drop vegetables, tofu, (and meat, traditionally) and leave to cook. Then you fish some savory cooked morsels out and devour with rice! Sorry I didn't get any photos, but here are some of our Nutri Sci class:
That's me on the left :)
This is how I felt walking across the stage and receiving my fake diploma:Like a piece of vegan French toast fruit face-- pure happy!

Celebration Vegan French Toast:
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup rice or almond milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a few slices of bread (any kind you like! I used plain white for its lightness)
Blend bananas, rice milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in blender or food processor and pour mixture into a wide dish. Gently dip bread slices into the mix, coating both sides. Fry in a non-stick, medium-hot skillet until golden brown.

My deepest apologies for being MIA in blog world my last year at Cal, but now I can blog much more regularly for you all! Here are some food flashbacks of senior year:
Nori Rice Ball made at home for my little brother. I forget what was in it, but traditional fillings include umeboshi (sour pickled plum). We Cha's like kimchi and "banchan"-- sauteed salty Korean root vegetables (Korean markets sell prepared versions).

I made this Apple Cinnamon "Mega Muffin" from the Babycakes book. I made it in a pie dish because I didn't have a muffin tin in my college apartment, so it looked like one HUMONGOUS muffin. Still, it was so moist and delicious:
These are little hors d'oeuvres I whipped up for an art gallery catering event at work. They are little Vital Vittles sweet baguette slices topped with sour cream and handmade vegan tapenade, garnished with tiny parsley sprigs. You can use vegan cream cheese instead of the sour cream.
Vegan Tapenade:

-2 cups pitted kalamata olives
-1/2 cup to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse olives in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Stream in extra virgin olive oil while processing until the texture is fine but textured. Add more olive oil to achieve your preferred thickness. More olive oil for a runnier consistency, less oil for a thick dip-like version. Add some sea salt to taste, only if your olives are not salted. (Don't add salt if the olives are salted-- it will be WAY too salty!)

A rare, but relished indulgence, Vanilla Swiss Almond Rice Dream ice cream topped with an Uncle Eddie's Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie:
Congratulations to all you dears reading this who graduated or are graduating soon!
It's a really good reason to celebrate-- go make yourself a vegan sundae.

What vegan ice creams do you like?