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!)