If you’ve never tried kimbap before, you’re in for a treat. Unlike sushi, kimbap has its own unique flavors and ingredients that make it a beloved dish in Korea. With this easy recipe, you can create your own delicious kimbap in just an hour. But before we dive into the cooking process, let’s learn more about this delectable dish.
Kimbap, which translates to “dried roasted seaweed rice,” is a popular and versatile food in Korea. It’s similar to a sandwich, as you can fill it with various ingredients such as meat, sausage, tuna, vegetables, and even cheese. Much like sandwiches, the possibilities for kimbap fillings are endless. It’s also a convenient and portable food, often enjoyed as a packed meal for picnics or lunch.
Not only is kimbap incredibly flavorful, but it also makes for an impressive presentation when served on a platter. So, let’s embark on this culinary journey and wow your taste buds, as well as your guests’.
Kimbap Ingredient Essentials: Crafting a Delicious Korean Delight
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous ingredient options when making kimbap. However, for your initial attempt at the dish, Ryu’s recipe is highly recommended. It is advisable to follow the recipe as closely as possible, which may involve visiting a specialty Korean market to obtain the necessary ingredients.
To prepare kimbap, gather the following ingredients: cooked white rice, spinach, sesame oil, salt, canola oil, peeled and julienned carrots, beaten eggs, Spam, strips of pickled radish (also known as danmuji), optional but recommended strips of imitation crabmeat, nori sheets (seaweed sheets), and roasted sesame seeds for garnish.
After cooking the rice, proceed to cook the spinach and carrots for the kimbap.
First, cook the rice according to the package instructions, using 4 cups of cooked rice. Season the warm cooked white rice with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and ¾ teaspoon of salt, and let it cool.
Boil water in a pot. While the water is heating up, get a large bowl ready for an ice bath. Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then promptly transfer it to the ice bath to cool. After cooling, remove the excess water by squeezing the spinach and transfer it to a small bowl. Season with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt before setting it aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the julienned carrots and sauté until they become tender. Season the carrots with ¼ teaspoon of salt and transfer them to a plate.
Cook the egg, then slice it. Fry the Spam and slice it as well.
Clean the skillet with a paper towel and add 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the beaten eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add the eggs to the skillet and cook until the bottom is set. Carefully flip the eggs over and cook the other side. Transfer the cooked egg to a cutting board and slice it into ½-inch strips.
Using the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon of canola oil and fry the Spam until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Cut each piece of Spam lengthwise into ½-inch strips. Set aside at least 12 pieces.
Roll and wrap the kimbap tightly
Prepare all your ingredients and place them on a plate, including crabmeat if desired, for easy access. Take a sheet of nori and place it shiny side down on a clean, dry surface like a cutting board. Wet your fingers with water to prevent rice from sticking. Spread approximately ¾ cup of rice evenly and thinly across the bottom ⅔ of the nori.
Afterward, arrange the prepped ingredients horizontally in rows on the rice. With both hands, gently lift the bottom edge of the nori and begin rolling it over. Apply even and firm pressure while rolling, using your fingers to tuck in the ingredients as you continue rolling.
Continue rolling until only a small portion of the nori is left. Moisten the remaining seaweed with water using your fingers, and roll it to seal the kimbap.
Repeat the process with the remaining nori and ingredients to make 6 rolls. Brush a thin layer of sesame oil over each roll. Cut the rolls into ½-inch pieces, garnish with roasted sesame seeds, and enjoy!
Homemade Kimbap Made Easy
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 8 oz spinach
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 4 tsp canola oil
- Slice 2 carrots into thin matchstick-like strips (julienne)
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 4 oz Spam, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- Include 6 pieces of pickled radish (danmuji) strips
- 6 nori sheets (seaweed sheets)
- Roasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Extra sesame oil for brushing
- 6 pieces of imitation crabmeat strips
- Fill a pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl separately.
- Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then immediately transfer it to the ice bath.
- After the spinach has cooled, remove any excess water by squeezing it gently, and transfer it to a small bowl. Season the spinach with 2 teaspoons of sesame oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt, then set it aside.
- After cooking the white rice, season it with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and ¾ teaspoon of salt while it is still warm. Set aside the seasoned rice to cool down.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the julienned carrots and sauté until they become softened. Season the carrots with ¼ teaspoon of salt and transfer them to a plate. Set them aside for later use.
- Using a paper towel, wipe the skillet clean. Add 2 teaspoons of canola oil to the skillet and heat it over medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, season the beaten eggs with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Pour the seasoned eggs into the skillet.
- When the bottom of the eggs is set, carefully flip them over using a spatula to cook the other side. Once cooked, transfer the eggs to a cutting board and slice them into strips that are approximately ½-inch wide.
- In the same skillet, add 1 teaspoon of canola oil and fry the Spam until it is lightly browned on each side, which should take about 5 minutes..
- Cut each piece of Spam lengthwise into strips that are ½-inch wide. You should have a minimum of 12 strips. Set them aside for now..
- Arrange all the prepared ingredients, including the crabmeat if you are using it, on a plate..
- Place a piece of nori, shiny side down, on a cutting board or flat surface.
- Prepare a small bowl of water and wet your fingers to prevent the rice from sticking. Then, evenly spread approximately ¾ cup of rice across the bottom ⅔ of the nori, creating a thin and even layer.
- Place the prepared ingredients horizontally in rows on top of the rice. Using both hands, carefully lift the bottom of the nori and roll it over the ingredients. Apply firm and even pressure while rolling, using your fingers to tuck in the ingredients. Continue rolling until only a small portion of nori is left. Dampen your fingers with water and spread a small amount on the remaining nori to seal the kimbap. Roll again to securely close the kimbap.
- Proceed with the remaining nori and ingredients in the same manner. After that, take a brush and lightly coat each roll with a thin layer of sesame oil.
- Slice each roll into ½-inch pieces, sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds for garnish, and serve.