The other day, I got excited and decided to make kimbap, which is like Korean sushi. If you are a traditional Korean cook, you will doubtlessly realize that I am not. Nevertheless, I had a great time cooking and eating what I made.
There are excellent kimbap recipes online. This one is helpful http://koreanfood.about.com/od/riceandnoodlerecipes/r/kimbap.htm
and so are this one http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2009/07/how-to-make-kimbap-korean-sushi-recipe.html
and this one http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/kimbap
That last link is to Maangchi, which is a fantastic resource for tons of fabulous Korean recipes.
Kimbap is basically seaweed wrapped around rice with all manner of delicious fillings. Unlike sushi, the ingredients are often cooked and may be things like beef and radish that you wouldn't normally see in sushi rolls.
With kimbap on the brain the other day, I trundled off to the Asian market and picked up short-grained rice and nori seaweed sheets. American rice does not work for this dish because it is not sticky enough. It absolutely cannot be used to make this. It won't work.
I cooked the rice and steamed some veggies. My first efforts resulted in this (I made some rice balls with filling to use up rice as well, which you can see):
For these rolls, I used steak, krab, cream cheese, avocado, carrots sauteed in sesame sauce, and lightly steamed asparagus in different combinations. I quickly realized that a cardinal rule is to not overfill the rolls, or they will not stay rolled up. Many Koreans use egg, radish, spinach, and other types of fish, all of which would be good.
Emboldened by my successes, I decided to make kimbap again today. Here is the result:
This time, I seasoned the rice because it was a bit bland the first time. I used sugar, salt, sesame oil, and vinegar. It definitely added some needed flavor. Then, I made spicy krab by mashing up krab and mixing it with mayonnaise and Korean hot pepper paste. When I made my rolls, I used spicy krab, cream cheese, asparagus, and egg (cooked into a thin omelet) in different combinations. These rolls were even tastier than the previous ones.
Bonus: The reason I made spicy krab was to try my hand at making one of my favorite sushi rolls of all, the Volcano, which consists of balls of spicy krab atop rice rolls. Here is the result:
I was very happy with the results, as it tasted very similar to what I've gotten in restaurants. At the bottom of the plate you can see my spicy krab mini-roll, which I made to finish of my last remnants of rice and krab. Having plain spicy krab inside is pretty delicious.
I'd love to try my hand at making tempura and producing some tempura-dipped rolls in the future.
Have you made any fun food lately?