Kimbab? Kimbap?


You’ve heard about it (maybe). You’ve tried it (maybe not). And it’s always confused with sushi (always). It’s not the same. It’s similar but completely different from sushi. Allow me to explain — and teach you how to make it.

So what is the difference?

From what I’ve gathered, kimbab is a rice roll filled with variable ingredients, mostly vegetable-based. Common fillers include spinach, carrot, pickled radish, egg omelette, fish cake, and ham. The rice is seasoned with sesame oil rather than the rice vinegar and sugar combination found in sushi. The nori that encases the rice and filling is also lightly dabbed with more sesame oil as well. And finally, kimbab is best enjoyed alone, with no soy sauce, ginger, or wasabi to accompany it.

It is downright delicious. And easy to make.

I’ve made sushi before so making kimbab was a breeze. Making sushi or kimbab may seem intimidating and time-consuming but really, it’s not. If you organize ingredients and get everything ready, everything assembles quite seamlessly in no time. It’s the cooking and cooling of the rice that takes the most time when making this. But have no fear! It took me only 30 minutes to roll up these babies.

And just a note: this recipe is not perfect. The rice needed some seasoning as it did not emulate the same flavour of kimbabs that I’ve had in the past. Will do more research on this and make a sequel to this post one day.

Anyways, let’s begin.
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What you’ll need:
– 1 1/2 cups sushi rice
– 2 cups water
– 4 tsps sesame oil
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp rice vinegar
– 1 pkg frozen whole spinach, cooked and drained well
– 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced length-wise
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1/2 ham sausage, casing removed and sliced into strips
– 10 sheets nori

What you’ll need to do:
1. Wash your rice until the water is no longer cloudy. Cook rice in your rice cooker or stove top.
2. While the rice is cooking, prepare your other ingredients. Cook the frozen spinach and drain it. Make an egg omelette and slice into strips when cooled. Saute carrots with ham sausage with a tsp of ghee or oil until cooked through.
3. Once your rice is finished, allow it to cool. When it is warm to the touch, the rice is ready to be seasoned.
4. Add your salt, sesame oil and rice vinegar to the rice and mix with a wooden paddle until it is all incorporated. Adjust seasoning to taste.
5. When ready, place a bamboo sushi mat on a large cutting board. Take one piece of nori and place the shiny side down, rough side up.
6. Take 3/4 to 1 cup of rice and spread it onto the nori with the fingers, leaving about 1/2″ along the bottom and the top.
7. Place your ingredients on top of the rice along the bottom.
8. With your bamboo mat, take the bottom of the roll and encase all of the fillings, if possible.
9. Keep the roll as tight as possible and roll until the end.
10. Repeat steps 5-9 for the remainder of the ingredients.
11. On the chopping board with a very sharp and non-serated knife, slice the kimbab into 6 pieces each. Be sure to cut the kimbab all in one swipe as opposed to “sawing” it off — makes for cleaner cut rolls.
12. Serve immediately. Makes 10 rolls.


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