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Gimbap day

People know this kimbab as “korean sushi”. I first knew this from my sister, since I’m more to a frenchy japanese style of cooking, my sister is much more to korean. She loves everything korean, from the serials, their language (since she watches almost all korean serials, she kinda understands some of their language), their singers, including the cooking. Starting from kimchi, jap jae, to this gimbap. Well, another history behind this was my sister has a korean friend who eventually rented our apartment’s room for 2 over years for her studies in Singapore, and it so happened that she loves to cook authentic korean cuisines. Her mom used to send all authentic cooking materials and ingredients through DHL, including her mom’s homemade kimchi (and I tasted it, it was heavenly. Truly! ). My sister then had the chance to learn a lot about korean cooking, home cooking to be exact. AND I in turn had the chance to learn from my sister, a recipe or two.

My sister made this about a couple years back, while teaching me. Though we took a hard time going around Jakarta, from blok M to kelapa gading to find the exact raw ingredients ( certain things my sister insisted to get it from korean supermarkets and it has to be authentic to taste as good, which at that time I still knew nothing about…). But I liked the outcome. Fresh, yet rich, yet light (since it doesn’t use the rice vinegar like the japanese uses on their sushi). It also has longer staying power (again, the rice vinegar factor), perfect for ‘bento-ing’ kids (also good for kids who doesn’t like the vinegar-y smell of the japanese sushi rice… this is perfect!) to school or hubby to office. My sister said most of korean made this kimbab for their kids indeed to bring to schools from their leftover materials from dinners, since it was easy to make, although kinda lots of things to prepare and cut. We made that the way her korean friend like to have, filled with korean corned beef, preserved radish, carrots and some other veges, fried eggs, and cheese. I also find that was a perfect combination. So I use it almost every time I make this, except for the time when I cannot find certain materials like the preserved radish.

Since it is a family menu and it was perfect to eat almost by anyone in the family, I’m going to share how to make. You can choose any fillings you would like to have inside the kimbab, this is just what me and my sister prefer the most.

1. Prepare ingredients for filling

  • pan-fry corned beef (I uses spam here, and my sister uses authentic korean corned beef especially made for kimbab, you can find it in any korean supermarket) and cut into a long stick (preferably with about 1cm thickness)
  • carrots (my sister like it raw, me too. But there were time when I had to prepare with cooked ones, I uses buttered boil carrots, if I have to) cut into a long stick too.
  • cucumber if you would like to have, cut into long stick.
  • fry beaten egg with a flat pan, and cut into long ribbons
  • cut cheese into long ribbons too
  • cut preserved radish (yellow in color, I can’t find this most of the time, I uses normal chinese preserved radish, which already come in small cuttings, but then not as fragranced and not as nice as the authentic korean ones) into long stick with almost the same thickness as the corned beef

2. Prepare the rice

Mix the just-cooked rice (normally I like to use organic ones, coz most organic rice tend to be more sticky, my sister like to use either korean or japanese sushi rice for this) with a bit of salt (here I like to use sea-salt coz it gives more depth to it) and sesame oil (I reckon this has to be the authentic korean black sesame oil, ’cause the chinese one won’t work as nice… Different processing method resulting in different in taste and aftertaste) together in 1 big bowl (be it plastic or stainless) 1 batch at a time (if you are lazy and want to mix all, return some into the rice cooker with warming function, or else, it will turn too dry, and will be hard to stick all the fillings together).

3. Building the sushi

Layer on your table: cutting board (or any other board that will help you define your working space), plastic layer (I uses plastic bags and cut it into half), then the seaweed (you can use japanese ones, but I like to use korean ones, which has thinner layer. Although it’s more fragile, it gives a better korean taste, again different processing method resulting in different taste).
Start with topping the seaweed with the prepared rice, and press it so as to make it stick to the seaweed, until it builds about 1-1,5cm thickness. Then fill with all the fillings and roll the plastic layer over until it becomes a seaweed roll (it will help if you have one of those bamboo stick japanese sushi-making helper).
Take out the plastic layer and cut into sushi cut, with about 1-1,5cm thick. And voila it’s ready!!!

Hope you enjoy what is coming!!!! It was great for kids picnic snack or emergency food in the car when the traffic jam is really bad or when you are going on a long long journey like going to bandung or puncak area. YAY!!!

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