One of my favorite things to eat while living in Korea was Kimbop. Kimbop is a really common food that can be a meal or a snack depending on what you put in it and how you want it to fit into your schedule. I was a huge fan of Kimbop because it was a healthy, quick, and really convenient food to grab for a couple of bucks while I was rushing around. In Korea you can hit up Kimbop joints and get your fix for a couple of dollars or if you’re in a hurry Kimbop is also sold to-go wrapped in foil and it should be noted for any lovers of breakfast tacos that they look identical when they are wrapped.
Thankfully when I tasted my first Kimbop roll I got over my disappointment over never finding a breakfast taco in those little foil packages. Kimbop is tasty and can be pretty cheap to make depending on what kind of fillings you decide on. I’m pretty partial to beef and tuna recipes, heavy on the mayo, but the recipe that I’m going to share with you is a standard Kimbop recipe and is one of the most common. Think of it as the original version of Kimbop. I’ve had some really tasty Kimbop during my time overseas and I’m pretty excited to share this great on-the-go snack with y’all, so enjoy!
2 cups Cooked White Rice (You want your rice to be sticky so make sure to use a short grain rice)
Krab Stick (Yes, with a K. Fake crab is kind of a must in kimbop.)
Pickled Daikon Radish or Danmuji (단무지)
Gosari (I’ve got a handy gosari recipe in case you can’t find any)
Sheets of Nori
Now that we’ve got all your ingredients let’s talk about what you need to do to get some delicious Kimbop in your face as soon as possible! First if you haven’t cooked rice get that in your pot or rice cooker and get moving. You want your rice to be warm when you spread it on the nori so something that I like to do is get my other ingredients prepped while my rice cooker is doing it’s thing. While that rice is moving along here’s how you can get your assembly line ready for making your Kimbop as fast as possible.
Over medium heat add 1 tbs of sesame oil to the pan and add 4-6 oz of Krab stick to the pan cooking it thoroughly. Next move on to your cooking your carrots by adding another tbs of sesame oil to the pan and adding your julienned carrots to the pan. I like to buy 16 oz packs of already julienned carrots and add half a package to the pan for around 3 or so rolls.
Cut your pickled radish into long narrow 1/2 inch strips. If you aren’t about cutting then rest east because you can get bags of it already pre-cut in nearly all Asian grocery stores. Scrambled 2 eggs and pour into your making sure to spread it evenly like a pancake. Take the egg out of the pan and cut into long strips just like the radish. You want to make sure that you get an equal amount of ingredients in your Kimbop so consistency in your cutting is key. Every little bite of Kimbop should be like a flavor party and you’re the guest of honor!
After all the prep work is done all you have to do is put together your soon to be tasty Kimbop. Just lay your Kimbop down shiny side down and spread an even layer of rice on your nori. While your rice is still warm layer all of your ingredients in whatever order you like, but the key is to do it while the rice is warm because without it your nori and rice won’t stick together which means that your Kimbop will just fall apart when you try and cut it. Once everything is layered start to roll your Kimbop in on itself starting by folding over from the edge closest to you. Apply even pressure and keep rolling away from you with your mat. Let your Kimbop rest BEFORE YOU CUT IT. I swear that letting your Kimbop chill out for a few minutes will mean all the difference in how it looks after you cut it. I was impatient to eat and so my Kimbop is a little lopsided but at least it was still delicious.
I hope this little collage shows you just how easy it is to put together your Kimbop roll after all the prep work has been done and that you have some fun making these tasty rolls. I always loved being able to pick up some Kimbop for a dollar or so in Korea and I’m glad that I learned how to make my own because sometimes you just need some Kimbop in your life. Hit me up if you have questions and keep your eyes open for my Kimchi Chiggae post that is soon to come because nothing is going to be yummier this fall!