Korean Food 101: Kimbap

Learn to make homemade kimbap

What is Kimbap? It’s basically a korean sushi roll. The fillings for the rolls are usually all cooked. The rice is flavored with sesame oil and salt, unlike Japanese Sushi which is seasoned with vinegar.

My in-laws taught me how to make this when I first married into the family. The prep is what takes up the most work, but with the right tools, rolling it up is pretty easy. Ok, so here we go, here’s our recipe for Kimbap!

Disclaimer: As with any of my in-laws’ cooking, the measurements here are estimations. You will have to do taste tests for most of the ingredients. The key is to start with less and then add more and more to taste.

All ingredients can be purchased in Asian/Korean Markets

Ingredients

– 2 to 4 cups of cooked short grained rice
– Seaweed for sushi (1 packet is a lot and you probably won’t use all of it)
– 1 to 3 tbsp of sesame oil
– salt to taste
– pickled yellow radish cut lengthwise (you can get this pre-cut from asian markets)
– 2 to 4 carrots
– 2 bunches of watercress
– Minced Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
– 2 to 4 eggs
– Fake Crab Meat (8 pieces)

Tools:
– Sushi roller – bamboo mat

Optional
– Kimbap Ham cut lengthwise
– Flat Fish cakes
– Burdock Root (edible)

Prep Work

  1. Rice: Cook rice in rice cooker.  Prep all other ingredients while rice is cooking.  When everything else is prepare, and once the rice is cooked, take 3 cups of cooked rice and place in bowl. Season with 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil and salt to taste. A little goes a long way for the sesame oil by the way. So start with 1 tbsp and then build up if needed. Mix well. The rice should have a mild taste of sesame oil and salt so that it will not overpower the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Wash and dry all produce.
  3. Watercress: Boil enough water in a pot (enough to cover the watercress). Cut the stems of the watercress. Blanch it for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Drain. Using the same pot, saute the watercress with a tsp of sesame oil, a tsp of minced garlic (or garlic powder to taste), and salt to taste. Drain. Set aside.
  4. Carrots: Peel the carrots. Use a mandoline with a teeth attachment to cut the carrots into long, thin pieces. Using the same pot used for the watercress, saute the carrots with a tsp of sesame oil, a tsp of minced garlic (or garlic powder to taste), and salt to taste. Drain. Set aside.
  5. Eggs: Scramble 2 eggs at a time in a bowl. Set the heat to medium-high for a non-stick pan. If you’re not confident that the eggs will not stick onto the pan, use cooking spray to lightly cover the pan. Pour the scrambled eggs on the pan. Don’t stir. Wait 1-2 minutes and flip the whole egg to cook the other side. Wait 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside to cool and cook the 2 other eggs the same way. When cool to touch, cut the eggs into long strips.
  6. Fish cakes and kimbap ham: These are usually cooked already but needs to be heated up. So heat them up using the same pan as the eggs. Once hot enough, set aside until it is cool enough to touch. Cut into long strips and set aside.
  7. Fake Crab Meat: Defrost (since it usually comes in frozen form).  You can run the wrapped package in room temperature tap water to make the process of defrosting faster if you want. Open the package and unwrap the individually packaged crab meat. Pull apart once, lengthwise. Set aside.
  8. Pickled Yellow Radish: Drain. Cut into long strips if not already cut. Set aside.
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And that’s it for the preparation of the ingredients! Once you have everything ready and in place, you are ready to roll your kimbap!

Store bought kimbap have tons of rice in one roll. Our family likes to go easy on the rice and add more filling into it. We can eat more kimbap that way because the rice doesn’t fill us. If you do want the store-bought version, just add more rice and you’re good to go!

Rolling the Kimbap

  1. Lay all the ingredients within arms reach.
  2. Place 1 sheet of seaweed onto the bamboo sushi roller thingamajig with the shiny side down.
  3. Spread rice onto the seaweed. Make sure you get the edges of the seaweed sheet. You can put as much or as little rice you want into the middle of the sheet. I like to spread the rice out thinly because I know we like the fillings more than the rice.
  4. Lay all the fillings you want at one edge of the seaweed sheet.
  5. Roll the edge of the sheet around the fillings, then use the bamboo roller so that the pressure is even as you keep rolling the kimbap. Make sure you don’t roll the bamboo roller into the kimbap. You don’t want to eat that thing man. So roll, then pull the roller out, then roll again. Repeat process until you’ve rolled the whole kimbap. Since there is rice at the other edge of the sheet, it should easily stick and keep the kimbap roll closed.
  6. Cut the kimbap with a sharp knife so that you don’t squish the roll and voila! Eat it all up!

Storing the Kimbap

It’s important to note that kimbap tastes the best right after it’s made. Do not put leftover kimbaps in the fridge. It will harden the rice. Put the kimbap into containers and use saran wrap to lay over top of the kimbap. Close lid tightly and store in room temperature or if it’s a little chilly outside, put the container outdoors. Try to eat this by the next day because it doesn’t keep for too long!

Other Ingredients

You can put other ingredients in the kimbap. We’ve tried bulgogi (a sweet tasting thinly sliced, marinated beef), spinach, kalbi (marinated beef rib meat), and other veggies. Play around with it and see what you may like. You can do this! It’s delicious and it’s healthy depending on what you put in it. Good luck!

 

Thanks for reading and I hope you have an awesome rest of the day!

 

 

Korean Food 101: Kimchi Jiggae

Disclaimer: I am not Korean. I am Filipino through and through. I do, however, love korean food (and filipino food). Before I met my husband (who is Korean), all I knew about korean food is a korean bbq place called Il Mee in Annandale, VA. Since we met in 2007 (whoa… we old…), he has introduced me to a plethora of different korean dishes which I immediately loved. Except for the really spicy korean food… i’m a weakling when it comes to that.

Another Disclaimer: I am not a good cook. I can follow a recipe and it will turn out fine… but I cannot make things up in my head. I can’t come up with the concept of what goes well with what. So I’m a lost cause… maybe.

My in laws stayed with us this past week and omma was gracious enough to teach me how to cook her version of kimchi jiggae, which is by the way, my favorite kimchi jiggae. I’ve tried them in restaurants, and they just don’t compare.

So in an attempt to share my love for korean food (or any food in general), here’s her “recipe” for Kimchi Jiggae (kimchi soup).

Last disclaimer: when you’re a good cook, there doesn’t seem to be a need to measure anything. Hence, the quotation marks on the word “recipe.” So this is essentially just some guidance on how to make kimchi soup. The measurements will have to be trial and error.

Here is what you will need:

  • Olive Oil – just enough so nothing sticks onto the pan
  • Pork shoulder – cut into cubes (1-1.5 inches in size it looked like)
  • Minced garlic – appa said that the more you use, the better! So throw that in there unsparingly
  • Dwenjang – soybean paste, also spelled “doenjang” which you can find in korean markets
  • Kimchi – not all kimchi is created equal; in-laws say “mat” kimchi is the best one to use for this soup
  • Potatoes – cut into any shape you want (just don’t throw whole potatoes in the soup – that’s not right ;-))
  • Anchovie broth – appa made the broth and swear it ups the level of the soup – he’s right; omma says if you don’t have that, “use water, it’s ok” haha love them!
  • Medium firm Tofu -sometimes in stores you can see on the label that the tofu is for “jiggae” – get that one
  • Onion – coarsely cut, doesn’t have to be tiny
  • Vegetables/toppings – here’s where you can add any veggies or toppings you may want (since I’m not one to know what goes well with what, zucchinni, and mushrooms are a good go-to)
  • Carbs – omma did not add this, but she said you can add rice cakes or noodles to the soup if you’d like
  • Green Onions – “for decoration” is specifically what omma says

Whoa that was a lot. But I promise it’s delish and that’s why I wanted to share it. Ok here’s how you make it… sorta… i mean like I said.. trial and error people.. trial and error.

Heat up that pan on medium-high heat and drizzle some olive oil on it. Add the cubed pork shoulder (maybe 1.5 – 2 lbs worth) on it and start to stir it around.

img_2200.jpg

While that’s cooking, go ahead and put a dollop or more of minced garlic… I mean if I have to measure it… I’d say 2 tablespoons or so? Then mix it together so the pork will have some flavor on it.

img_2201

Time for the dwenjang/doenjang/soybean paste – it does not look appetizing, but what paste does? Trust the process people, trust. I’d say double the size of the garlic but be warned that this is rather salty, so if you want it less salty, don’t put so much on there. Then mix mix mix! Until the outer park of the pork has browned.

img_2202

Then it’s mat kimchi time. See that bowl? That whole bowl’s worth. Hahah.. hmmmm like 2.5-3 cups. Trial and error people, trial and error.

img_2219

Add the cubed potatoes. In this recipe, we used 1.

img_2220

Then the anchovie broth (or water if you don’t have anchovie broth – appa said he’ll teach me how to make it next time so maybe I’ll put a link here if I remember). Bring it to a boil.

img_2221

Then add the vegetables/toppings, onions and tofu. Here’s where you decide how much to put. I don’t think it really matters, but just make sure you have enough broth for whatever you put in there.

img_2209

Then I think you can put the noodles and or the rices cakes the last 3-5 minutes (we didn’t, so no pics of that).

Lastly, the green onion to make it pretty.

img_2218

There you go! I hope that was sorta helpful and hope that if you’re interested on making it, that it goes well for you and that you like it.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of the day!

 

 

Korean Food 101: Kimchi Jiggae

Disclaimer: I am not Korean. I am Filipino through and through. I do, however, love korean food (and filipino food). Before I met my husband (who is Korean), all I knew about korean food is a korean bbq place called Il Mee in Annandale, VA. Since we met in 2007 (whoa… we old…), he has introduced me to a plethora of different korean dishes which I immediately loved. Except for the really spicy korean food… i’m a weakling when it comes to that.

Another Disclaimer: I am not a good cook. I can follow a recipe and it will turn out fine… but I cannot make things up in my head. I can’t come up with the concept of what goes well with what. So I’m a lost cause… maybe.

My in laws stayed with us this past week and omma was gracious enough to teach me how to cook her version of kimchi jiggae, which is by the way, my favorite kimchi jiggae. I’ve tried them in restaurants, and they just don’t compare.

So in an attempt to share my love for korean food (or any food in general), here’s her “recipe” for Kimchi Jiggae (kimchi soup).

Last disclaimer: when you’re a good cook, there doesn’t seem to be a need to measure anything. Hence, the quotation marks on the word “recipe.” So this is essentially just some guidance on how to make kimchi soup. The measurements will have to be trial and error.

Here is what you will need:

  • Olive Oil – just enough so nothing sticks onto the pan
  • Pork shoulder – cut into cubes (1-1.5 inches in size it looked like)
  • Minced garlic – appa said that the more you use, the better! So throw that in there unsparingly
  • Dwenjang – soybean paste, also spelled “doenjang” which you can find in korean markets
  • Kimchi – not all kimchi is created equal; in-laws say “mat” kimchi is the best one to use for this soup
  • Potatoes – cut into any shape you want (just don’t throw whole potatoes in the soup – that’s not right ;-))
  • Anchovie broth – appa made the broth and swear it ups the level of the soup – he’s right; omma says if you don’t have that, “use water, it’s ok” haha love them!
  • Medium firm Tofu -sometimes in stores you can see on the label that the tofu is for “jiggae” – get that one
  • Onion – coarsely cut, doesn’t have to be tiny
  • Vegetables/toppings – here’s where you can add any veggies or toppings you may want (since I’m not one to know what goes well with what, zucchinni, and mushrooms are a good go-to)
  • Carbs – omma did not add this, but she said you can add rice cakes or noodles to the soup if you’d like
  • Green Onions – “for decoration” is specifically what omma says

Whoa that was a lot. But I promise it’s delish and that’s why I wanted to share it. Ok here’s how you make it… sorta… i mean like I said.. trial and error people.. trial and error.

Heat up that pan on medium-high heat and drizzle some olive oil on it. Add the cubed pork shoulder (maybe 1.5 – 2 lbs worth) on it and start to stir it around.

img_2200.jpg

While that’s cooking, go ahead and put a dollop or more of minced garlic… I mean if I have to measure it… I’d say 2 tablespoons or so? Then mix it together so the pork will have some flavor on it.

img_2201

Time for the dwenjang/doenjang/soybean paste – it does not look appetizing, but what paste does? Trust the process people, trust. I’d say double the size of the garlic but be warned that this is rather salty, so if you want it less salty, don’t put so much on there. Then mix mix mix! Until the outer park of the pork has browned.

img_2202

Then it’s mat kimchi time. See that bowl? That whole bowl’s worth. Hahah.. hmmmm like 2.5-3 cups. Trial and error people, trial and error.

img_2219

Add the cubed potatoes. In this recipe, we used 1.

img_2220

Then the anchovie broth (or water if you don’t have anchovie broth – appa said he’ll teach me how to make it next time so maybe I’ll put a link here if I remember). Bring it to a boil.

img_2221

Then add the vegetables/toppings, onions and tofu. Here’s where you decide how much to put. I don’t think it really matters, but just make sure you have enough broth for whatever you put in there.

img_2209

Then I think you can put the noodles and or the rices cakes the last 3-5 minutes (we didn’t, so no pics of that).

Lastly, the green onion to make it pretty.

img_2218

There you go! I hope that was sorta helpful and hope that if you’re interested on making it, that it goes well for you and that you like it.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome rest of the day!