Gimbap | 김밥

Gimbap is easily made by seasoning cooked white rice with salt and sesame oil, spreading it over lightly toasted laver, adding various vegetables and beef and rolling and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Because gimbap is easy to eat anywhere, it is a convenient dish for a simple lunch or as a lunchbox menu for outings or travels. In Korea, it is a signature menu item that mothers put in lunchboxes on outing days.

  • 4 cups cooked white rice (2 lb, 920g), 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, 4 sheets toasted laver, 7 oz (200g) ground beef, 4 pickled radishes (3 oz, 90g), ⅔ English cucumber (3½ oz, 100g), ½ carrot (3½ oz, 100g), 3 eggs, vegetable oil, salt, sesame oil as needed

Marinade for beef

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon minced green onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ground black pepper as needed

Brine for cucumber

  • ⅔ tablespoon white vinegar, ⅔ tablespoon sugar, ⅔ tablespoon water, pinch of salt
  1. Prepare the cooked white rice. To prevent the rice from becoming too sticky, use less water than usual. While the rice is hot, mix with salt and sesame oil. Cool slightly for handling.
  2. Marinate the beef with soy sauce, sugar, green onion, garlic and ground pepper for 20 minutes. Once marinated, stir-fry till fully cooked.
  3. Cut the pickled radish into the length of the laver, and as the thickness of a pencil.
  4. Cut the cucumber to the same length as the laver, and then remove seeds. Cut into strips as thick as pencils. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients for the cucumber brine and soak the cucumber for 30 minutes. Then pat dry to remove excess liquid.
  5. Cut the carrot into fine julienne strips. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat and stir-fry them. Season with salt. Let them cool.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the eggs well with a pinch of salt. In a nonstick pan, fry the eggs into thick sheets and cut them into the same size strips as the cucumber.
  1. Place a sheet of the toasted laver shiny-side down on a bamboo mat. Put a cup of seasoned rice in the center of the sheet. Spread the rice evenly over the bottom ¾ of the laver. Make sure not to have an overly thick layer of rice or gimbap will not roll properly.
  2. Arrange the beef, a slice of: pickled radish, cucumber, carrot and egg at the center of the rice. Making sure to alien them across the sheet. Roll the bamboo mat forward towards the non-rice covered end. While you roll, press firmly to shape the roll, while still remaining gentle enough as to not damage the laver.
  3. Grease the knife with sesame oil, then cut the rolls into ½-inch (1-cm) thick pieces.

It is important to cook rice properly without too much moisture. Rice may be seasoned only with salt or by sprinkling a mixture of vinegar sauce made from vinegar, sugar and salt. Depending on the ingredients used, you can create variations of gimbap with different flavors and looks. Brush sesame oil onto the surface of the gimbap according to taste or sprinkle sesame seeds on the gimbap and serve it in bite-sized pieces.

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