Kimbap (김밥) is to a Korean kid what chicken nuggets are for kids here.
A kid like me would have taken along a small lunchbox ration of kimbap to take along on an outing.
My other aunt, my uncle’s wife, would have made sure to make me some during the years I lived with them. I was on loan to them while my parents were trying to get themselves started in New York. She probably would have made hers with a combination of ground meat, yellow daikon, carrots, and spinach in the en vogue Korean fashion. You can, however, use whatever you want.
I watched my mom turn out a lot of these rolls and wondered at how she always managed to neither under nor over fill them. She always seasoned each element of her filling just so and slightly toasted her seaweed sheets over a low flame on the stove top if they had come out of the freezer.
Kimbap reminds me of Spring and picnics––with their burst of color and flavor, they promise that Winter will move aside and let Spring do her thing.
Kimbap How-To’s (김밥)
- Use sushi rice for best results. Make sure to thoroughly cool before use.
- Add a dash of sesame oil to the cooked rice.
- The rolling mat is really helpful and highly recommended.
- Smoothing the rice evenly helps with the rolling.
- Use a very sharp knife when slicing. A dull knife can deflate your roll.
- Wet your knife in between cutting if it gets sticky with rice.
- Classic: egg, spinach, carrot, yellow daikon & ground beef
- Super Green: avocado, cucumber & asparagus
- Pink & Green: avocado, basil & smoked salmon
- Spicy Tuna: canned tuna & kimchi
- Stir Fry: sauteed zucchini, snow peas & scallions
- Flower Power: nasturtiums, alfalfa sprouts & cucumber